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Monday, February 10, 2014

I Didn't Realize that UCLA had an Admiralty Law Professor

At the Faculty Lounge, Michelle Meyer posts about Long Knives, a new legal thriller by Charles Rosenberg. This book is a sequel to Rosenberg's earlier book, Death on a High Floor, and moves the protagonist of the earlier work from a large law firm to a tenure-track faculty position at UCLA School of Law.

Meyer includes an excerpt from the book's prologue. From that excerpt:

Five years [ago], I had decided, let’s face it, on a whim, that I was done with Big Law. And so, aided by a bit of luck and the dwindling memory of my fifteen minutes of fame from saving Robert Tarza’s butt from San Quentin, I left my law firm, Marbury Marfan, and transformed myself—poof!—into a tenure-track law professor at UCLA. I still worked hard, but I no longer spent my nights preparing for trial or my days battling the jerks, most of them of the male persuasion, who seemed to appear like clockwork on the other side of my cases. 
 . . .
Teaching and writing about civil procedure, with eight long trials under my belt, was a natural for me. Teaching admiralty law had come as a surprise; I’d never even been on a sailboat prior to arriving at UCLA. But fate twists your life in funny ways. The week before classes started for my first year of teaching, Charles Karno, who looked the picture of health and had been teaching the admiralty course for more than twenty years, dropped dead of a heart attack while running a half marathon. The dean had prevailed on me to teach it. “You can learn it along with the students,” he said.
I have never gotten into reading legal fiction, but I will admit that the main character's occupation as a professor at UCLA Law makes Long Knives tempting. But I doubt I will end up reading it, since I would probably need to read Death on a High Floor first, and because I would be tormented by inaccuracies (for example, a search of UCLA Law's curriculum indicates that there are no classes on maritime or admiralty law).

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