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Advice, Trials, and Tribulations of a Country Lawyer: Calistoga California 1973-1983

Advice, Trials, and Tribulations of a Country Lawyer: Calistoga California 1973-1983


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"Advice, Trials and Tribulations of a Country Lawyer: Calistoga, California 1973-1983," by Peter Kagel, follows an ill-prepared, newly-minted lawyer starting a law practice from scratch in Napa Valley, in the heart of California's wine country, who ropes himself into nasty small-town politics and gets elected mayor, which provides the context for his many tribulations. The book was written to help the general public understand and handle every day legal problems which are dissected and illustrated by his trial experiences. Although he came to the Napa Valley for peace and quiet, author Kagel had a number of startling experiences - including the connections between the other lawyer in town, who was his main antagonist, and the famed "Zodiac Killer," a life-threatening, middle-of-the-night encounter with a knife-bearing intruder and a black widow spider dropped through his mail slot in an open test tube. Kagel overcomes a number of other antagonists and situations, including a sadistic local newspaper publisher, a bullying deputy district attorney, an obese psychiatrist without a clue, how two of his clients were shot to death, and a lying double-crosser Kagel mistakenly helped elect to the city council. He also survives a failed recall effort - the stuff of a crime novel. Adding to the drama, his law-associate-employee gets convicted for selling cocaine (without his knowledge), and a friend commits suicide by flying a glider straight into the ground, taking pictures throughout the entire descent. Through these and many other entertaining ordeals and circumstances which would probably ring a few bells with small-town-America-dwellers, Kagel, for the most part, maintains his cool along with his mischievous sense of humor. "The book is an entertaining ride through the eyes of a young lawyer who became the mayor and went through several scandals as a result of holding his ground," says Kagel. "It is also a very good education about the legal system. It's a helpful guide to getting through everyday legal problems without realizing you're getting a very practical legal education." Intended to entertain and inform, the book combines anecdotes and wonderful small town memories with advice on what to expect, along with guidance in handling the most common legal situations. This book is a fun, educational, an easy and entertaining read.

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