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Lisa Scottoline

  • My theory is that you find out who your true friends are when something good happens to you, not when something bad happens to you. Everybody loves you when something bad happens to you. Then you're easy to love.

  • 'He got promotion after promotion and a salary increase each time. ... But as soon as he turned sixty-five, Your Honor, Mr. Stapleton told him he had to retire. In clear violation of the Age Discrimination Employment Act.' Hank glares at me accusingly. I scribble on my legal pad to avoid his stare. I write: I hate my job. I'm moving to New Jersey to grow tomatoes in the sun. ' ... So, after serving Harbison's for thirty years, after reporting directly to the chief executive officer, they had him peddling eye bolts, Your Honor. In the mall.' His boyish chest heaves up and down with outrage. The chambers are silent. I write: The beach would be nice. I could look for dimes in the sand with a metal detector.

  • Any good poker player will tell you the secret to a winning bluff is believing it yourself. I know this, so by the time I cross-examined the last witness, I believed. I was in deep, albeit fradulent, mourning. Now all I had to do was convince the jury. 'Would you examine this document for me, sir?' I said, my voice hoarse with fake grief. I did the bereavement shuffle to the witness stand and handed an exhibit to Frankie Costello, a lump of a plant manager with a pencil-thin mustache. 'You want I should read it?' Costello asked. No, I want you should make a paper airplane. 'Yes, read it, please.' Costello bent over the document, and I snuck a glance at the jury through my imaginary black veil. A few returned my gaze with mounting sympathy. The trial had been postponed last week because of the death of counsel's mother, but the jury wasn't told which lawyer's mother had died. It was defense counsel's mother who'd just passed on, not mine, but don't split hairs, okay? You hand me an ace, I'm gonna use it.

  • Everybody hates lawyers, but they don't realize judges are just lawyers with a promotion. Think about it.

  • What do they call it when a woman is cuckolded? Or doesn't that matter enough to have its own word?

  • Testosterone should be a controlled substance.

  • I edged forward on my pew in the gallery so I wouldn't miss a single word. My ex-lover's new girlfriend, Eve Eberlein, was about to be publicly humiliated by the Honorable Edward J. Thompson. I wanted to dance with joy right there in the courtroom. Hell hath no fury like a lawyer scorned.

  • McIllvaine, a trial veteran, had been standing out of the crossfire, keeping his mouth shut until it was time to grandstand for the jury. All the courtroom's a stage, and all the men and women in it merely lawyers.

  • There was no known cure for a Catholic education.

  • ... don't argue what you don't believe in. Rule number one, in law and in life.

  • She was a redhead, which is a blonde with poor impulse control.

  • People project all sorts of emotions onto their cats, and cats like it that way.

  • We don't think of mothers as having superpowers, but they do. Mothers ... can tell we're sad by the way we say, 'I'm fine.'

  • She had paralegal training, and she was a scam artist, which was a lawyer without the student loans.

  • She felt ... ready to leave behind her doubts, insecurities, and guilt. Okay, maybe not her guilt. Guilt was like her handbag, occasionally heavy, but something she just felt better carrying around. Same with her insecurities, with which she had grown secure. As for her doubts, she remained doubtful.

  • Whoever said you can't go home again wasn't Italian.

  • ... everything associated with weddings cost the same — a fortune.

  • ... the human body was a thing of beauty because so many structures protected the heart, but she realized that the human heart simply could not be protected, not by muscle, not by bone, not by anything.

  • ... the thing about love is that we can't control whether we get it, but we can control whether we give it.

  • Do you know what they call people who hoard books? Smart.

Lisa Scottoline, U.S. lawyer, writer

(1955)