Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

December 07, 2003|By Michael Pakenham

Lawyers, Judges and Journalists: The Corrupt and the Corruptors, by Robert B. Surrick. 1stBooks. 356 pages. $19.95 softbound.

Surrick, a Pennsylvania lawyer for more than 40 years, has spent more than 20 of them attacking judicial and lawyerly abuses of power and ethics. An activist on the state's Judicial Inquiry and Review Board, an occasional and unsuccessful candidate for appellate judgeships, he has long been honored by good government forces and vilified by political power exploiters and the plaintiff's trial bar, which has immense and lucrative influence in the state -- and nation. He has written a book that relates -- with white-hot energy -- many of the events that enraged him, naming names and citing corruptions both active and passive. (In the interest of full disclosure, I knew Surrick when I was an editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer until 19 years ago, and wrote many editorials and columns on some of the matters in this book.) This is a powerful, persuasive and deeply distressing exposure of public corruption and complacency at its worst.

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