Prakash turns a series of trial transcripts into a high-school soap, where the cool kids try to take the Honors Society down a peg, and kind of succeed, but kind of don't. By the time she reaches the end of the trial, she is recounting a scene that could literally take place in a classroom, where a member of the trial team passes her a note mocking defense counsel and she laughs out loud, attracting the woman's attention. (Page 244.)
That attitude is endemic to Prakash's book. Her verdict at the end is not that the plaintiffs made a mistake in structuring the trial as they did or presenting the evidence as they did, but that the jury made a mistake in not believing the story as the plaintiffs presented it. There are some interesting nuggets along the way--Mark Lanier is clearly a talented storyteller, and provides some worthwhile analysis on day-by-day trial presentation--but the fact that the plaintiffs appeared to make such a large blunder at either the beginning or the end of the case, and that blunder goes unexamined for the two hundred thirty pages in between, or the twenty pages afterward, mean that they're not quite worth the slog through the shallow cheerleading that takes up the remainder of the book.
Trask on Prakash
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