Saturday, September 26, 2009

ARC Arrival: Nibble & Kuhn by David Schmahmann

Nibble and Kuhn by David Schmahmann

Publisher: Academy of Chicago Publishers
Release Date: November 1, 2009

Two likeable newcomers learn the ropes of corporate law at Nibble & Kuhn - and fall in love - just as that most proper of Boston's venerable firms comically tries to 'rebrand' itself for the Google era. Pompous and arbitrary, the ruling junta of partners at N&K saddles Derek Dover with a high visibility lawsuit just weeks before trial. The diligent young attorney arranges things so that Maria Parma, his sassy aristocratic girl friend, also gets named to the case. Maria can't keep her hands off Derek...but it's complicated because she's engaged - and has been engaged - to another pedigreed European; it's painful because she will not consummate the relationship yet does nothing to discourage Derek's powerful attraction. As Derek prepares his arguments on behalf of seven young victims of industrial polluters, his anxieties about his career and his torments over Maria's mixed messages only increase. Have his eccentric WASP superiors handed Derek a 'toxic' case to ruin any shot at becoming a partner? How can he get his opponents to settle - the outcome the presiding judge all but demands - unless his unorthodox 'expert witnesses' perform with enough gravitas to match that of the other side with its Harvard Medical School scientist? Ultimately, Derek sets in motion a line of inquiry that spins events entirely out of the control of judge, jury, and any and all attorneys. "Nibble & Kuhn" presents a clever, eviscerating critique of lawyering and corporate politics at a self-important 'white shoe' firm, with its two appealing main characters trading repartee as they negotiate law and love.


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