The Street Lawyer by John Grisham tells the story of a big time lawyer turned defender of the homeless. Michael Brock is on the fast track in life and on his way to being a partner at one of the biggest firms in the country, Drake & Sweeney. On his way to the office one morning a homeless man gets the elevator with him and follows him to work. Soon after while Mike is in a conference with eight other lawyers the homeless man returns and takes them all hostage. The man identified only as Mister has a loaded gun and what appears to be dynamite around his waist. He keeps all of the men bound together by rope and against the wall for hours. Mike is his messanger and when he has Mike leave the room the police have a sniper outside the door ready to kill Mister. As Mike bends down to pick something up the sniper takes out Mister. While in the room before his death he asks all of the lawyers how much they make a year and how do they donated to the homeless directly. All reveal their earnings and say they donated hardly anything of they donated anything at all. This brings new thoughts into Mike's mind about helping the homeless. A few days after the shooting Mike finds the 14th Street Legal Clinic and goes in to find out what they do and looks for some advice. He meets with Mordecai Greens at this meeting and he tells him all that he wants to hear. A few days after this meeting Mordecai calls on Mike to come and help at homeless shelter. He accepts and meets a family that he will never forget. This family is a single mother with four children who Mike becomes attached to. He gives them food and plans to give them other things the next day but will not get the chance to because they die that night in their car from carbon monoxide while trying to stay warm. This is the tiping point for Mike and he decides to leave the firm and go work at the 14th Street Legal Clinic but not before he does something that could change his life. He takes a file from his old firm describing an illegal eviction at a warehouse bought by the TAG group that was being sold to the postal service. These evictions forced Mister, the family and 15 other people back onto the streets. Mordecai and Mike sue Drake & Sweeney for $10 million for the wrongful eviction and the deaths of the mother and four children. While they are doing this Mike's old firm and the D.C. police make numerous attempts to find the missing file. Because of the theft of this file two people have been fired and Mike's law license is at stake if he does not turn over the file. The debate about the file and what would happen to Mike go on for a long time and the file is a crucial part of reaching a settlement with Drake & Sweeney who are terrified of trail. Will Mike turn the file over to help preserve his reputation and save his career? Will Drake & Sweeney do what it takes to avoid an embarresing trail and save their reputation?
1. If you were in Mike's position would you turn over the file to preserve your career or would you hold onto it and help do what you think is right?
2. If you were in Mike's situation would you make a career change because of one freak incident?