"John Hartmann paints a vivid picture of the 'New Jersey Way' of prosecuting and defending persons accused of crimes. ... Jacket is a raucous ride through the New Jersey criminal court system."
— Robert P. George,
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence,
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 supercilious 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.)
"A candid, colorful, and penetrating exposé of the gritty realities in our criminal justice system.
As a criminal defense lawyer raised in New Jersey, I strongly recommend it."
the lawyer who acquitted Michael Jackson
2012 216 pp/softbound | ISBN: 978-0-937548-75-2
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