Trial and Error is a legal memoir that gives an unvarnished account of life as one of America’s leading trial lawyers; detailing the path from nervous novice to the top of the legal profession. In 1958, John C. Tucker began a legal career that would lead the Chicago Tribune to call him “one of Chicago’s finest and most idiosyncratic trial lawyers.” Now, in a book reminiscent of Scott Turow’s classic One L, Tucker employs painstaking honesty and fascinating detail to illuminate the difficult steps in learning the trial trade and the reality of life as one of the country’s leading civil and criminal trial lawyers. Free of the impenetrable language and self-congratulation found in the memoirs of many trial lawyers’ memoirs, Tucker skillfully chronicles an extraordinary variety of engrossing cases. From the infamous 1969 trial of the “Chicago Eight” war protesters — including Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden and Bobbie Seale, heard before the notorious Judge Julius Hoffman — to one of the most important civil rights cases of the era, the Supreme Court decision that spelled the death knell for the corrupt political patronage system in Mayor Daley’s Chicago, Tucker’s career spanned three decades of legal landmarks. In Trial and Error Tucker becomes the star witness whose crisp prose and penetrating voice carries readers rung by rung up the legal ladder, altering common misconceptions of lawyers and their craft. Relating both the highs and lows, while also recounting tales from the trial of a giant Mafia gambling ring to a legal showdown with heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, Tucker gives aspiring young attorneys, law students, recent graduates, and all fans of courtroom drama — and comedy — the chance to see it all through the eyes of the man in the middle of the ring.
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