This engaging, irreverent, and most unusual memoir by Trenton attorney John Hartmann puts a human face on dysfunctional Jersey justice. Hartmann’s self-deprecating wit and keen eye for all things absurd and ironic reveal him as an equal-opportunity ridiculer from overbearing lawyers and judges to cocky cops, clueless clients, pretentious politicians, and a raft of hapless dealers, deadbeats, prisoners, and prostitutes. Central to Jacket is the story of Hartmann’s client Nate Smith wrongly identified in a robbery and locked up for a crime he probably didn t commit.
As Hartmann recalls Nate’s case, he dishes out amusing anecdotes, shares Garden State trivia, admits to various personal quirks and shortcomings, and offers a treasure trove of advice on how to start a legal practice, prepare clients for trial, cross-examine witnesses, pick juries, and make prison hooch. Jacket is a must-read for aspiring lawyers, lawbreakers, and Law and Order fans. (And, of course, for all you practicing New Jersey criminal defense attorneys out there.)
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