First through the Law & Fiction web site and now with her new book, BOOKS, CROOKS, AND COUNSELORS, lawyer Leslie Ann Budewitz helps fiction writers better incorporate the law into fiction.
As a lawyer who writes fiction, I’ve been answering other writers’ questions about using the law in their fiction for years. And I’ve been bothered by simple, avoidable mistakes about the law in novels and movies. Readers and viewers want to know that they are getting a realistic picture of the world portrayed on the page and screen, while also being entertained. I wrote this book to answer the most common questions and address recurrent problems, to help writers use the law accurately while telling a good story, and to give writers ideas on using legal issues to develop plots and subplots, backstory, character, and setting.
I graduated from Notre Dame Law School, and clerked for the Washington State Court of Appeals, researching all variety of criminal, civil, and constitutional issues and working closely with the judges. I practiced in Seattle until 1992, when I returned home to Montana. I’ve tried cases before judges and juries, resolved cases in mediation and arbitration, and served as an arbitrator. My firm’s clients have included individuals and businesses, from sole proprietorships to multi-million dollar corporations, including truck drivers, car dealers, builders, fishermen, doctors and patients, radio stations, insurance companies, manufacturers, retailers, interior designers, parents and children. I've worked on a wide range of civil cases including auto accidents, child abuse claims, property disputes, employment and discrimination matters, insurance coverage and claims handling disputes, and all variety of personal injury and business litigation. I’ve also worked on criminal defense and constitutional law issues. My current practice focuses on civil litigation.