Melvin Belli:

The King of the Courtroom
by Mark Shaw

March 2007 | $24.95 | Hardcover | ISBN: 978-1-56980-324-0

Melvin Belli is the attorney responsible for those million-dollar lawsuits you see in the news. The San Francisco lawyer was a crusader in the field of personal-injury law who won his clients big payoffs with unorthodox courtroom tactics. Most widely known for his failed representation of Jack Ruby, Belli pioneered many legal strategies and wrote or co-wrote more than seventy books on law—one for every year of his decades-long career. Dubbed "King of Torts" by Life magazine, Belli represented the likes of Lana Turner, George Foreman, gangster Mickey Cohen, and the Rolling Stones. But outside the legal arena, Belli was a lady's man with an explosive temper who married six times and didn't think twice about affairs. He counted actor Errol Flynn among his closest friends and fed his pet parrot a diet of Jim Beam. Belli rubbed elbows with Donald Trump, Arthur Ashe, and Bill Clinton. His dog was listed in the phone book, and his six children barely saw him.

In Melvin Belli: King of the Courtroom, author Mark Shaw shows every side of this legal maverick, from his childhood in Sonora, California, to his involvement in San Francisco's Zodiac murders, to the demise of his health and finances. Here, as Shaw writes, is Melvin Belli "warts and all."