THE LAW: Plaintiff's Counsel

The handsome, gregarious "King of Torts" smiled benignly at the one-legged skeleton beside him and happily explained the secrets of his success. "The ingredients of a trial lawyer," said Melvin M. (for Mouron) Belli in San Francisco last week, "are imagination and initiative. You need a feeling for the plaintiff, the desire to do him some good and to stick with him through thick and thin, and the guts to do just that when everyone is criticizing you." Belli paused thoughtfully, added: "And a little law will help."

California's thrice-married, twice-divorced Melvin Belli (rhymes with dwell I), 51, knows exactly...

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