Quarantine Reads from Cotter’s Corner

The CBA’s @theBar Blog has launched a new column entitled, “Quarantine Reads,”  featuring recommended reading lists from prominent members of Chicago’s legal community.  Reading is an excellent way for lawyers, judges and other legal professionals to stay entertained, distracted, and intellectually stimulated during this challenging time. Members looking for reading material while quarantined can enjoy book recommendations from Chicago’s best legal minds.

Former CBA Past President Dan Cotter provides his recommended reading list below:

“The Last Trial” by Scott Turow: The creator of the legal thriller genre presents the last trial of a character in all of Turow’s fiction, Sandy Stern. A page-turner about a doctor accused of insider trading, fraud and murder.

“The Chief Justices” by Daniel Cotter: The 230+ year history of the United States Supreme Court, seen through the eyes of the 17 men who have sat in the center seat. The author of this list knows this author well.

“The Great Influenza” by John M. Barry: Like a Stephen King novel, should not be read when in the house alone (but who is during the shelter in place)? Barry gives us the history of medicine and the research university, but also science and the history of the Great Influenza. Parallels aplenty fill the pages of this 2004 book, with even some prognostications of the potential impact of a future pandemic.

“Shortlisted” by Hannah Brenner Johnson and Renee Knake Jefferson: The authors describe the history of presidents shortlisting females for the Supreme Court but, until Sandra Day O’Connor, never formally nominating any. An excellent book about stereotyping and sexism and a good history of the Courts.

“Let the People Pick the President” by Jesse Wegman: This book makes the case for why the Electoral College needn’t be done the way it is, featuring Founding Father (and Supreme Court Justice) James Wilson and others. The book is timely, given the Court recently heard a case on the faithless electors who are named at the beginning of the book.

“The Rule of Five” by Richard J. Lazarus: Another timely book, this one explores “the most important environmental law case ever decided by the Court.” It is an excellent book that discusses not only the case but the strategy and approach to appeals and especially before the Court.

“Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin: First published in 1961, it tells the true story of the author who goes to the Deep South in 1959 disguised as a black man.

“Camino Winds” by John Grisham: Master storyteller brings us back to Camino Island, experiencing a major hurricane. A local thriller writer appears to have been murdered during the hurricane evacuation.

“Leonard DaVinci” by Walter Isaacson: DaVinci’s loves of art and science combined to the amazing innovation that DaVinci produced. Using DaVinci’s notebooks and other investigation, Isaacson gives us a seat at the table of incredible genius.

“Justinian’s Flea” by William Rosen: A book about the bubonic plague, the world’s first pandemic, but so much more. Lawyers will appreciate the discussion of the rule of law and the Justinian Code.

About Dan Cotter:

Dan CotterDan is an experienced attorney who has served in a variety of legal roles in his career, including as general counsel of a large life insurance company, as well as extensive experience in private practice. Dan’s mix of clients includes insurance companies and other financial institutions, IT and consulting companies, and nonprofits. He has been working on privacy and cybersecurity issues since 1996, including development of terms and conditions and disclaimers on Fortune 500 websites in the late 1990s. He has been the chief privacy officer of several companies and law firms, and has extensive experience as in-house counsel. Dan is experienced in dealing with complex insurance regulatory issues and transactions, and substantial reorganizations of holding company systems. Throughout his career, he has negotiated thousands of contracts from simple to complex, including outsourcing. He also has substantial experience with internal investigations and employment-related issues.

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