Closest to the Fire: A Writer’s Guide to Law and Lawyers has several purposes. It clarifies what lawyers actually do, gives warnings to writers, provides first-year law students and those contemplating a career in law an overview of the legal system, and serves as a reference and backbone for writing good literature.
Although this volume deals with ‘The Law’, author, Karen A. Wyle, explains a host of topics in an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand style. For instance, she describes class action suits, plea bargains, statutes of limitations, and more. Further, she clarifies terminology such as the difference between arbitration and mediation, stealing and embezzlement, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, a petition and a motion, business and hobby tax write offs, to mention just a few. Additional topics of interest include: What is a promissory estoppel and how can you sue for it?; Why trespassing is not limited to walking, running, or driving on a property?, What are the differences among chapter 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13 bankruptcies?, How do trials work?, How does the ‘Stand your ground’ law stand against the ‘duty to retreat’ principle?
Karen A. Wyle is currently licensed in the state of Indiana. Yet her book contains other specific data, and to boot, the differences in some laws from one state to another state. Supporting material include a list of legal terms and their definitions, suggestions of books similar to Closest to the Fire, and a plethora of plot ideas for the author looking to write legal fiction.
I recommend Closest to the Fire: A Writer’s Guide to Law and Lawyers for any adult living in the United States.
My favorite quote: “A good trial lawyer has much in common with a good actor, but will spend far less time rehearsing and performing, compared to the hours consumed by the drudgery of trial preparation. Still, a really good trial lawyer may have as strong a personal presence, as much charisma, as any star of stage or screen.” – Karen A. Wyle
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