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The Cooperating Witness

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Suffolk Law student Susan Sorella is tending tables at her father’s restaurant in Boston’s North End when the head of the local mob pays her a surprise visit. What he tells her sends her on a mission to save an innocent man accused of gunning down the mob’s accountant.

Susan’s also an intern for Bobby Coughlin, a burned-out defense attorney who cops his clients out faster than they can sign his retainer agreement. The judge, having dropped the accused trigger man in Bobby’s lap, is pushing for a quick guilty plea. Bobby wants to supply it before he has a nervous breakdown.

Susan has to battle Bobby’s fear of failure, his sexism, the State’s Attorney, crooked FBI agents, their homicidal informants, and a cooperating witness to get to the truth. She’s not a lawyer yet, but with her knack for digging up evidence and the wise guys on her side, can she get to the truth before an innocent man goes to jail?

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Starting on a fast track as an ACLU staff lawyer during the Black Panther murder trial in New Haven in 1970, Mike Avery enjoyed an exciting career as a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer. As a civil rights lawyer, he represented the victims of police abuse and racial and sexual discrimination. In criminal cases, he defended people charged with everything from peaceful protesting to murder. In San Juan he represented the Puerto Rican novelist Pedro Juan Soto to get justice for the murder of his son by police officers in the infamous Cerro Maravilla case. In Los Angeles, he represented a young Armenian-American charged in a plot to bomb the Turkish Consulate in Philadelphia. In Boston in 2007, working with a team of lawyers, he obtained the largest judgment ever awarded against the FBI, $101.7 million, for the wrongful conviction of four innocent men for murder. His client, Peter Limone, had spent 33 years in prison for a murder of which he was innocent. The crime was actually committed by an FBI informant.

Avery knows the law and the people who break it, including those who are supposed to enforce it. Politically active as well, he has served as the President of the National Lawyers Guild and was one of the founders of the National Police Accountability Project.

Avery also enjoyed a 16-year career as a law professor at Suffolk Law School in Boston. He has published several non-fiction books, including The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back from Liberals, and We Dissent, Talking Back to the Rehnquist Court. He is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School and spent a year as an exchange student in the former Soviet Union at the University of Moscow. After retiring as a professor of law, he obtained a Master of Fine Arts from Bennington College. He now makes his home in New Orleans. Literary Wanderlust will release his first novel, The Cooperating Witness, on July 1, 2020.

July 1, 2020.

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E-book, Print book