Honoring John Grisham and the Law: Memphis Law Review Call for Papers

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Posted by Maggie McGowan, community karma 59

Rudy Baylor, a Memphis Law graduate, lost his new associate job before it even started when a bigger firm bought the firm that had hired him as a 3L.  Defeated, yet still determined to pursue a career in the law, Baylor accepted an associate job at an ambulance-chaser firm.  Little did young Baylor know that he would soon find himself litigating against a white-shoe law firm representing a health insurance monolith in an insurance claim—his very first case—that wound up being worth $50 million.

Of course, none of this actually happened in real life.  Twenty years ago, this tale unfolded on the silver screen in the 1997 major motion picture The Rainmaker, which brought to life author John Grisham’s novel of the same name. 

We hope you will join us in celebrating John Grisham’s contributions to the law by submitting your articles on legal topics that arise in Grisham’s stories to The University of Memphis Law Review.  An ideal submission will frame its content with specific reference(s) to Grisham’s work(s) and will offer a practical legal argument.  We aim to publish accepted manuscripts in Volume 48, Number 3 of The University of Memphis Law Review.  

John Grisham has repeatedly found ways to use his novels to offer incisive commentary on our profession and has popularized timeless themes of law and justice for the masses, in the South and elsewhere.  Topics could include, but are not limited to:  

The Runaway Jury 

  • Voir dire / jury tampering
  • Settlements and arbitration
  • Collateral estoppel

The Chamber

  • Death penalty and politics
  • Working with hostile clients
  • Ethical considerations when representing members of the same family

A Time to Kill

  • Race and the law
  • Law in the South
  • Vigilante justice
  • Hate crimes
  • Advocacy techniques
  • Right to a fair trial (venue, voir dire) 
  • Capital punishment

The Client

  • Fifth Amendment issues
  • Witness-protection program
  • Attorney-client privilege

The Firm

  • Mail fraud
  • Moral obligations when you know your client is guilty
  • Moral and professional conflicts arising for junior associates
  • Balancing the obligation to maintain clients’ confidentiality with the obligation to comply with law enforcement’s demands

The Rainmaker

  • Attorney-client relationships
  • Self-defense justifications
  • Refusal to pay insurance claims
  • Punitive damages 
  • Tort reform


Submission Protocol:  If you would like discuss a topic idea, have any questions regarding the call for papers, or would like to submit a manuscript for publication consideration, please contact Maggie McGowan, Senior Articles Editor at mwmcgwan@memphis.edu.     

almost 7 years ago