The Law: Spadework Specialists

TV lawyers like Mason, Hawkins and Preston routinely best prosecutors and private attorneys alike by dint of imaginative research and brilliant courtroom tactics. Without the aid of the TV scriptwriters, though, a lone practitioner or a small firm is rarely a match for a large adversary backed by a platoon of associates in the firm and a big reference library. Nor can small outfits usually afford the high annual fees electronics firms charge for use of computers that can search their prodigious memories in seconds and spew out legal precedents.

One way for the small firm to have a fighting chance, at...

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