Law and Literature: Star-Crossed Lovers?

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What is it about law and literature? One function of law is to bring order out of chaos. Sometimes literature has the opposite goal—bringing chaos out of order. We create stories to upend the law, for excitement and tension. Then see if it gets resolved.

Literature and law have been partners throughout history. Witness the Bible, a compendium of law intertwined with stories that still resonate today. Classics such as Dickens’ Bleak House, anything by Scott Turow, and every police procedural or murder mystery ever written. Our lives are governed by law; it affects us from birth to death.

As a lawyer and writer, I have been fascinated by the confluence of the two. What particularly interests me are some of the more arcane aspects of the law, not just the big picture items. These areas aren’t irrelevant in everyday life. In fact, they may be pervasive, just not as splashy as a sensational crime. They upend life, nonetheless.

Land ownership and inheritance intersecting with human drama? That’s a theme of Fee Simple Conditional. Can other, less flashy areas of the law affect people’s lives? Yes, they can, profoundly, by placing individuals in untenable situations, where they may emerge ruined or unscathed. Stay tuned.

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