Here’s something we’ve never tried at Overlawyered: a full-length, original book review by an outside contributor. Blogger David Giacalone, whose now-inactive EthicalEsq. (later f/k/a) is fondly remembered and has often been linked in this space, has kindly offered to let us publish his newly written review of BabyBarista and the Art of War, a new novel based on Tim Kevan’s popular BabyBarista column for the U.K.’s Times (a paper to which I’ve contributed as an online columnist in the past). The novel has been hailed as a “Hogarthian romp” and a “satire with edge”; David says it displays its subjects, British lawyers,
acting very much like the worst segments of the American bar: taking huge fees for little work, entering settlements at their clients’ expense (to assure a fee, or to get to a golf course or an early lunch), exploiting underlings, disrespecting a “litigant in person” (pro se) party, making it dangerous to raise sexual harassment charges, etc. It was heartening to hear BabyB warn clients about the risks of no-win-no-fee (contingency) arrangements, and enlightening to see how personal injury claims are fabricated. For the entire 266 pages, the Bar’s foibles and vices are laid bare, but with a light (if exaggerated) touch rather than a heavy hand.
The review is longer than our usual blog post, so we’ve published it on a separate page here.