Scoundrels in Law

Siouxsie suggests that everyone get a flu shot.  Siouxsie has been fighting the plague this week, and it has not been fun.

During her respite though, Siouxsie was reminded of the book, Scoundrels in Law:  The Trials of Howe & Hummel, Lawyers to the Gangsters, Cops, Starlets, and Rakes Who Made the Gilded Age by Cait Murphy.  The book was released last summer and reviewed favorably by Scott Greenfield at the WSJ.

Here is how Ms. Murphy describes the subjects of her book:

From 1869 to 1902, William Howe and Abraham Hummel were New York’s most famous lawyers displaying panache and a legal flair that made them favored advocates for villains of all kinds …  Howe and Hummel were the most famous and famously rotten lawyers in late 19th century New York.  Their specialties were blackmail, Broadway and especially murder.

Howe and Hummel got their reputation by bribing judges and suborning witnesses.  The book does not have as many details about every aspect of the two main characters lives that one would hope.  But it is interesting to compare the criminal justice system of this era to our own.  Certainly things have changed, but the crime and corruption of this era is similar to the present.

Ms. Murphy appeared on C-SPAN and read a chapter of the book for Vanity Fair.  Both of these links provide a good overview of the book, so you can decide for yourself if you want to pick up a copy.

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~ by siouxsielaw on February 22, 2011.

4 Responses to “Scoundrels in Law”

  1. Thanks for the suggestion. I clicked on the C-SPAN link and was surprised by the author’s appearance. I guess I thought she would have dressed in period pieces or something. TV and the internet have turned my brain to oatmeal. It really should not matter what an author looks like. I should have been surprised that the author looked like an academic, not an actor.

  2. Feel better, Siouxsie!

    I know the feeling; been fighting a terrible sinus infection/high fever whilst dealing with depositions this week. Not. Good.

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