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Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Appeal by John Grisham

Goodreads Summary:
In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town’s water supply, causing the worst “cancer cluster” in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.

Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?

The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mold him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.

The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave readers unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.


John Grisham is an amazing author of all books related to law and courtroom antics.  In this particular novel he takes on a new aspect of law.  A small law-firm has taken on a huge company to obtain a large settlement for basically an entire city.  People are dying and suffering from cancer and related illnesses due to the illegal dumping of waste.  This waste has contaminated the water supply which people showered with, cooked with, and drank from.  This small firm is able to obtain a million dollar award for their client, but the company is appealing the decision to the Supreme Court of the state.

Grisham then takes on the explanation of how a Supreme Court race could potentially be ran.  He talks about the logistics and how big businesses easily sway the votes by throwing more money into the race than other candidates are able to obtain.  In no way is what these companies doing legal, but they aren't able to be caught either.  It is this injustice of election that causes this firm to lose their case in the Supreme Court. 

Grisham once again kept me enthralled in the legal system, always wondering what was going to happen on the next page.  Unfortunately, what I thought was sure to happen, didn't.  The ending is not a happy one, but it does show how other lives can be affected and thoughts can possibly be changed by the occurrences in ones own life.  I have to admit this wasn't my favorite of Grisham's novels so far, but it was still a good one.

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