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V. Goliath: The Trials of David Boiesby Karen Donovan
Synopses & Reviews
Once it's over, it’s over.
10:25 a.m., December 10, 2000, Westchester County Airport
“Well, I have twenty-four hours, David Boies said, finally settling into his seat in the Learjet that was idling on the tarmac.
The statement begged for a question, and I obliged. To do what?” I asked from the seat across from him. To learn the constitutional law, Boies replied matter-of-factly, his steely blue eyes staring ahead.
On this morning, Day 33 of the postelection fight between Vice President Al Gore and George W. Bush, we were headed toward Washington, D.C., for the final court appointment that would decide who won the presidency in 2000. Each of the previous thirty-two days had presented a roller-coaster ride, swinging wildly often by the hour, for the opponents, and for the nation, which woke up the morning of November 7 to discover that the presidential race was too close to call. The state of Florida hung in the balance, with Gore pressing for recounts of the ballots and Bush opposing him at every turn.
As Boies boarded the plane, I mentioned that I had caught part of his ABC appearance on This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts before leaving my Brooklyn apartment. He told me that was one of four Sunday shows he had taped, beginning at six-thirty that morning.
Boies pulled out the draft of a legal brief that was due at four o'clock that afternoon at the U.S. Supreme Court; the case was scheduled for argument at eleven a.m. the next day. In all likelihood, the argument would be Gore's last chance to gain the White House.
By ten-thirty, we were airborne. As Boies began to mark up the faxed pages in his hand, I noted the time that the draft brief had arrived at his home in Armonk-9:59 a.m. He must have grabbed it just before leaving, along with the box of sourdough pretzels and blue duffel bag (which contained another box of pretzels in addition to a cheap blue suit, a blue striped shirt, and a blue knit tie).
On this ride, I wouldn't have the opportunity to ask many questions. But I didn’t need much explanation. It was clear that Boies would be arguing for Gore the next morning instead of Laurence Tribe, the Harvard Law School professor considered one of the country's most renowned constitutional scholars. Over the course of the Bush/Gore fight, Tribe had argued twice against the Republican claim that the Florida recounts violated the Constitution, on one of those occasions at the U.S. Supreme Court. Nominally, Boies was the Gore team's man in the Florida courts. But of course he was much more than that-he was their hero.
So it seemed clear to me that Boies would take center stage for the final act, even though he had told reporters gathered for a hastily convened
Saturday-afternoon press conference in Tallahassee the day before that he was going home to Armonk. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a bitter 5-4 split between the justices, had just voted to halt manual recounts across Florida and to hear Bush's case on Monday. Boies’s work in the case was ostensibly finished.
On the plane ride home to Armonk that Saturday, I had asked Boies whether he wanted to argue the case. You always want to do an interesting case like that, he said, but added: I would frankly rather not do it, given Larry's prior involvement. Larry will do a f
Provides a close-up study of the life and work of David Boies, America's most prominent trial and celebrity attorney, analyzing his strategies, skills, effectiveness, and penchant for personal renown as he takes on a series of headline-making cases. 30,000 first printing.
David Boies, the star trial lawyer in a country obsessed with legal drama, proves endlessly fascinating in this compulsively readable account of his extraordinary career.A man of almost superhuman accomplishment, Boies argued a string of headline-making cases before being catapulted to international prominence when he represented Al Gore before the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. Brash, reckless, and prideful, he is also charming, charismatic, unerringly articulate in the courtroom, and supremely comfortable in the public eye. Legal journalist Karen Donovan, herself a lawyer, had unprecedented access toBoies for nearly two years. In v. Goliath she gives us a scintillating chronicle of the legal dramas in which Boies has played a crucial role and a riveting, up-close portrait of a singularly giftedlawyer.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Karen Donovan is a former editor and reporter at the National Law Journal. Her work has appeared in Wired, Business Week, and The New York Times. Formerly a practicing attorney, she recently completed the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
"Once it's over, it's over" — A ticket for speeding — The Cravath system — The seed of the myth — "Everyone recognized that the time had come for him to go" — The tribe — The show — The first lesson — The doctrine of retribution — Kiss and make up — Big money — Getting to $512 million : bidding up the case against Christie's and Sotheby's — Glamour — In the bunker — The haymaker — 3,300 ballots — "Well, I think that's a very hard question" — The Jule dice.
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