By Robert W. Kelley
Reviewed by Philip Frieden
In his thrilling courtroom drama, The Memorandum, attorney Robert W. Kelley shares his real-life tale of death, greed, perjury, and triumph. The pages crackle with suspense as Kelley, an accomplished trial lawyer, expertly employs simple but forceful prose to treat the reader to the harrowing twists and turns as one legal team seeking truth battles another fighting to hide it.
The book opens with what seems to be a typical fender bender--until a family watches in horror as the unthinkable happens, and a young child is engulfed in flames. The boy's parents hire Kelley to sue the driver who caused the crash--and then the case truly explodes. One serendipitous night while Kelley is making dinner for his kids, he overhears a news segment about a case just like his. Bells go off, and Kelley realizes an important angle may have been missed. With the pedal to the metal and a full tank of gas, the reader is off to the races as Kelley's courtroom adventures begin.
Right then, I loved this book. A trial lawyer willing to admit he may have overlooked a potential angle in the case, and then finding it by total happenstance? It makes me admire Bob Kelley even more than I have all these years.
But now, as you read further, you enter the hell of the American civil litigation system, with a small law firm pitted against what Kelley describes as the endless resources of a corporation desperate to keep its secrets hidden. The reader gets a first-hand view of Kelley and his cocounsel exemplifying the best of the American justice system, just as their adversaries seem to reflect the worst.
To say Kelley and his legal team worked hard would be a gross understatement: we are talking thousands of hours combing through truckloads of documents, and hundreds of thousands of...