Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Street Lawyer




















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?
Questions
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?

9 comments:

Abby M. 1-2 said...

2. I think that the event that Mike went through was not only a freak incident, it was also one where he and many others were almost murdered, all because ofthe selfish lives they led. I think that if an event of that magnitude had happened to me I would definately reexamine my life and career and probably change careers to do something that was more of service to others than of gain for myself, as Mike did.

Andrew C 7-8 said...

2. I think that this freak accident opened Mike's eyes to the bigger picture and what is important in life. This family could have been anyone he knew and he felt the need to make a difference. He seems to now know money is not everything.

Avi D. 7/8 said...

1. I would not give up my career because that is just wasted time. I would however make consistent donations to the homeless. Throwing away your career is a bit too extreme

2. The freak accident surely affected Mike, but I would still not go to the extreme and make an impulsive career change and ruin my future, but still I would try in little ways to help out those who are less fortunate

Spencer P. 1-2 said...

1. If i was in Mike's position, i would probably do what i thought was right and not turn over the file. I believe doing the right thing is a reward in its self.
2. I would probably make a career change because of one freak incident because of who I am. I, myself and impulsive and do what my feelings tell me to do.

AnaleeL7-8 said...

1. I would not turn over the file because it is not something that would make a huge difference and also it is a big sacrafice to not have a job.

Kyle N.1-2 said...

I would not turn over the file. Doing what is right is more important here. Think about it...if you turned over the file, you would still lose your career reputation for taking it in the first place, they'd think you stole it for yourself. By doing what is right, he can believe he is helping the family he bonded with and Mister, by helping people like them survive and not end up like them.

Brandon M. 1-2 said...

1. I'll be brutally honest. I would probably turn over the file to preserve my career in that situation. Unfortunately, I do not think that my job takes a back seat as a priority to money for some homeless people.

2. Once again, I believe that my evil self would just ignore the freak accident and continue on with my life. I also do not see how I would feel for a guy who was ready to shoot me. I would continue with my life unfaltering.

Monica J. 1-2 said...

2. No i would not change my carre because it is a good career and just cause one thing happened doesnt mean it iwll happen again. OF course if it did happen again i might have to quit.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

thread graded