Law in Popular Culture

Lawyer with Tics Gives Book Character Same Symptoms, Gets Advice from Mom on Sex Scenes

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When attorney Joel Goldman developed tics, a neurological disorder similar to Tourette’s syndrome, and was eventually forced to give up his trial law practice, he made lemonade.

An author of several acclaimed legal thrillers, he focuses on a central character whose involuntary movements are like his own, according to Gatehouse News Service and his own Joel Goldman website.

“Although we often can’t choose what happens to us, we can always choose what we do about it,” says Goldman in the Gatehouse article.

As Goldman explains on his website, “I started writing thrillers when one of my former law partners complained to me about another partner. I told him we should write a murder mystery, kill the son-of-a-bitch off in the first chapter and spend the rest of the book figuring out who did it. So I did, and I never looked back. That was in 1992.”

He published his first book a decade later and retired from law practice in 2006. His most recent, No Way Out, was published earlier this year.

And, his short story, Knife Fight, has been optioned for a television series, notes the Hollywood Reporter. The tale features a female public defender who switches sides to pursue the truth.

As the Gatehouse article points out, Goldman gets advice from his mother about how to write sex scenes. He didn’t ask for her help, but when she volunteered it he was smart enough to listen, he says.

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