Overkill - Joseph Teller Excellent legal novel (hate to lock these into a genre since the Jaywalker novels occupy a genre all their own.)

Jeremy Estrada is guilty. No question. He walked over and shot his adversary in the head. Most attorneys would have plead Estrada out hoping for the best. Not Jaywalker who fervently believes that each defendant deserves the best defence and that there are often mitigating circumstances not readily apparent. A review of the statues reveals that “If the jury can be persuaded that the defendant acted under the influence of "extreme emotional disturbance," it may return a verdict of not guilty on a murder charge. If those words applied to anyone, Jaywalker decided, they had to apply to Jeremy Estrada. The cumulative effect of his torment at the hands of Sandro, Shorty, Diego, Victor and the rest of the Raiders had surely disturbed Jeremy, not only emotionally, but physically, as well. Could there possibly be any doubt that that disturbance had been "extreme"?”

Jaywalker is so me . This quote describes me going to the airport: The next morning-he booked only early flights, because the equipment was always there, rather than being expected momentarily from Boston or Philadelphia-he'd set out for the airport neurotically early. He liked to allow enough time to get lost on the way, suffer not one but two blowouts, have trouble finding an empty spot in the long-term parking lot, discover that the shuttle bus wasn't running, encounter record lines at security...” On the other hand this is definitely NOT me, :”"Other lawyers prepared for trial. Jaywalker over-prepared; he ultra-super-hyper-over-prepared. He organized, interviewed, investigated, interrogated, subpoenaed, photographed, recorded and visited the crime scene. And then he did all those things over again, three or four times. He totally obsessed over every single case, no matter the simplicity or complexity of the charges, or the length of the potential sentence,"

There’s a very humorous scene in a judge’s elevator when the female prosecutor, in the dark, has to climb on to the shoulders of Jaywalker to try and reach the exit hatch in the ceiling. As you know when you climb on a horse using the wrong foot, you might wind up facing the wrong way. Imagine the result. I won’t explain how they wound up in that elevator nor what the judge they met at the bottom was doing in high heels.

Teller writes in an afterword that this case was based on a real one that he tried many years ago, as is true of his other books. I really like his books. Jaywalker is such a sympathetic character one cannot help but root for him despite (or perhaps, because) of his legal shenanigans. Tellers books also have a real air of authenticity sometimes lacking in other legal dramas.

From the author’s website: “....he spent three years as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (the precursor of the Drug Enforcement Administration), doing undercover work. For the next 35 years, he worked as a criminal defense attorney, representing murderers, drug dealers, thieves and at least one serial killer. When New York State restored the death penalty in the nineties, Teller was one of a select group of lawyers given special training to represent capital defendants, which he did on several occasions, including winning an acquittal for a man accused of committing a double murder.”