Hello friends. This post is a collection of quotes from the book - A Time for Mercy by John Grisham.
A Time for Mercy is bursting with all the courthouse scheming, small-town intrigue, and stunning plot twists that have become the hallmarks of John Grisham.
To be a real lawyer, first you grow a thick skin, and second you tell everybody but your clients to go to hell.
A small-town lawyer is dead if he alienates his judges.
Everything is about race in Mississippi, don't ever forget that. A simple black woman on the verge of inheriting what might be the largest fortune this county has ever seen, and the decision rests with a jury that's predominantly white. It's race and money, a rare combination around here.
I don't mind making tough decisions. That goes with the job. But, in a case like this, it'll be nice to have twelve of our good and faithful citizens in the hot seat. I'd like that, for a change.
There's not much money around here, never has been. Now, suddenly, there's a pot of gold, and a lot of people want some of it. You don't. I don't. But there are plenty of others. It's important that you and I stay on the same page.
When you've been beaten you never forget it. The bruises go away but the scars remain, deep, hidden, raw. You stay beaten. It takes a real coward to beat a woman. Eventually, he had said he was sorry. She said she forgave him, but she did not. In her book some sins cannot be forgiven, and beating your wife is one of them. She had made a vow that she was still determined to keep - one day she would walk away and be free. It might be ten years or twenty, but she would find the courage to leave his sorry ass.
Ethics are determined by what they catch you doing. If you don't get caught, then you haven't violated any ethics.
In the opinions of most lawyers who spent their careers in courtrooms, seating was important. It conveyed power, or lack thereof. It allowed certain lawyers or litigants to be seen more, or less, by the jurors, who were always watching. On occasion it could set the stage for a David and Goliath struggle as a solitary lawyer and his crippled client faced a throng of corporate suits, or a beaten-down defendant faced the power of the State. Seating was important to comely female lawyers with short skirts and a jury box filled with men, and it was equally important to drugstore cowboys with pointed-toe boots.
When you have no future, you live in the past.
The truth was paramount, but as every trial lawyer knew, there were various ways of telling the truth.
The courtroom is owned by the taxpayers. So act like you own the place.
Bad lawyers tried to trick witnesses, or pin them down, or confuse them, all in an effort to win the deposition. Good lawyers preferred to win at trial, and used depositions as a means to gather information that could be used to set traps later. Great lawyers skipped depositions altogether, and orchestrated beautiful ambushes in front of the jury.
Look, dear, right now you're shell-shocked and you're scared. Shake it off. You've done nothing wrong, so don't get blamed for anything. Control the damage, then control the spin.
It's not the cases you take that make you, it's the cases you don't take.
I think we're just sort of sleepwalking, you know, just going through the motions, trying to survive this hour so we can deal with the next one. We're praying for time. Praying for the days to turn into weeks and then months, and then maybe one day years from now the nightmare will be over and we can manage the pain and the sorrow. But at the same time we know that'll never happen. You're not supposed to bury your kids, Jake. It's just not the natural course of things.
They taught us in law school that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.
Discovery is always a work in progress. New names are always popping up. Reluctant witnesses sometimes come forward at the last minute. One witness remembers another one, or another one, or he remembers something else that happened.
A child can't chase a father who has no time for him.
It's what being a lawyer is all about. Being in the courtroom, in front of a jury, is like being in the arena, or on the field. The competition is fierce. The stakes are high. The gamesmanship is intense. There will be a winner and a loser.