Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Life in Court” as Want to Read:
My Life in Court
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Life in Court

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  127 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A famous lawyer recounts some of his significant civil and criminal cases.


Prologue: Opening the green doors --
Reputation: The libel case of Quentin Reynolds vs. Westbrook Pegler --
Divorce: The 'war of the Roses' and others --
Talent: The case of the plagiarized song 'Rum and coca-cola' --
Honor: Issue of Nazism in America --
Life and limb: Two cases of negligence: I.
Published (first published 1961)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Although dated, this book is an interesting and detailed recounting of a number of widely differing cases by the high profile old school attorney who tried them. I enjoyed reading the author's thought-processes, strategy and trial sequences despite some overlong sections. Nizer, through his work ethic, tenatiousness and creativity, seems to have earned the basis for his ego.
Jim Puskas
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
What makes this book, written over 50 years ago, still relevant today is not so much the career of this lawyer, but rather what the book tells us about our western society and in particular about America. In a word, the terms "fake news" and "alternative facts" may be quite new but the phenomena they signify have been with us for as long as the printed word has existed and likely before that as well. Outrageous barefaced lies have always been powerful weapons and have always been a favorite tool ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
As an attorney, the book was very interesting. He does an excellent job explaining the inner workings of an attorney's mind in an effort to represent his clients to the fullest extent possible. This books contains a lot of detail about our judicial system and the facts of the cases he writes about. Unfortunately, the detail will probably be boring and tiring to many readers.
Joe Rodeck
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shows that a first class lawyer has to also be both a psychologist, and talented writer and thespian. Very impressed with the in-depth knowledge of divorce and its effects. That chapter is a WOW; especially the guilty, grim fascination when he goes through the nauseating details of a woman seeking a divorce from a podophiliac.

My usual complaint is too many names, almost all who would be unknowns to a modern audience. The reader doesn't have to be introduced to every appellate judge, executive
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Nizer's account of his courtroom battles is somewhat stylized, but it is incredibly well-written and tautly plotted. Nizer has some important lessons about legal practice too-- the importance of moral intuition over legal technicality, and the necessity of meticulous preparation in the courtroom.
Michael Hinsley
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
!944! I'm surprised how well written this is. I read as a young man one or two of his books, so I was genuinely pleased how good the writting was. It has held up marvelously well. Nizer lived til 1994, no less, and worked as a lawyer til days before his death. I'd like to find a bio on him.
Rob Hafernik
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look into real court cases.

The real cases covered in this book are more entertaining and more bizarre than anything I've read from Earl Stanley Gardener. Real life is stranger than fiction and people really do strange things when they get into court.
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, law
An idealistic and enthusiastic account of the one man's experience in the handling high-profile cases.
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended by a long-time Crown prosecutor, subsequently appointed to the bench. Apparently full of examples of highly effective cross-examination.
Oct 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: law-crime, nonfiction
I found this paperback in my grandfather's basement, and am so glad I "borrowed" it. The photograph of the jacket cover is just like the copy I had.
Dec 16, 2008 is currently reading it
Difficult read but great for those os us interested in how the litigatin lawyers frame their cases. With a lot of Supreme Court actual rulings, that somelawyers forget about today.
Charlie Burnham
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing

The best book on trial practice I have ever read. Would have given it six stars if I could.
rated it liked it
May 26, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jul 20, 2013
Howard Jaeckel
rated it liked it
Apr 01, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jan 21, 2016
Marianne Wason
rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2015
rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2010
Andy Klein
rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2012
rated it liked it
Aug 18, 2009
Thom Dunn
rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2009
rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2011
Amarnath Sardesai
rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2013
rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2015
Torianto Johnson
rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2009
Thomas A Wiebe
rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2013
Marta Richards
rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Story of My Life
  • The Man to See
  • In the Shadow of the Law
  • Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made
  • Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality
  • The Legal Analyst - A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law
  • The End of Anger: A New Generation's Take on Race and Rage
  • Civility
  • My Personal Best : Life Lessons from an All-American Journey
  • A Nation of Immigrants
  • Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century
  • The Nature of the Judicial Process
  • And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank
  • The Horse's Mouth
  • At Random: The Reminiscences of Bennett Cerf
  • Gideon's Trumpet: How One Man, a Poor Prisoner, Took His Case to the Supreme Court-and Changed the Law of the United States
  • The Elements of Legal Style
  • Respect for Acting

Share This Book

“observed by neighbors, vicious and untrue. Not only was there” 0 likes
More quotes…