Jacket by John Hartmann
The Trials of a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney

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"John Hartmann paints a vivid picture of the 'New Jersey Way' of prosecuting and defending persons accused of crimes. ... Jacket is a raucous ride through the New Jersey criminal court system."
—Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

This engaging, irreverent, and most unusual memoir by Trenton attorney John Hartmann puts a human face on dysfunctional Jersey justice. Hartmann's self-deprecating wit and keen eye for all things absurd and ironic reveal him as an equal-opportunity ridiculer—from supercilious lawyers and judges to cocky cops, clueless clients, pretentious politicians, and a raft of hapless dealers, deadbeats, prisoners, and prostitutes.

Central to Jacket is the story of Hartmann's client Nate Smith—wrongly identified in a robbery and locked up for a crime he probably didn't commit. As Hartmann recalls Nate's case, he dishes out amusing anecdotes, shares Garden State trivia, admits to various personal quirks and shortcomings, and offers a treasure trove of advice on how to start a legal practice, prepare clients for trial, cross examine witnesses, pick juries, and make prison hooch.

Jacket is a must-read for aspiring lawyers, lawbreakers, and Law and Order fans. (And, of course, for all you practicing New Jersey criminal defense attorneys out there.)

"A candid, colorful, and penetrating exposé of the gritty realities in our criminal justice system. As a criminal defense lawyer raised in New Jersey, I strongly recommend it."
—Thomas Mesereau, the lawyer who acquitted Michael Jackson

About John Hartmann

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Hartmann received his BA from Georgetown University and his J.D. from Seton Hall University. In 1991 he was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly where he served for two years. He is a member of the New Jersey State Archives Commission, and manages his law practice in Princeton Junction, New Jersey.
Published November 1, 2012 by Plexus Publishing, Inc.. 200 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Describing the “misconception that prosecutors are great cross-examiners,” he observes: “[I]f you can say the words, ‘And then what happened?’, then you can prosecute a double homicide....Most prosecutors couldn’t get their own three-year-old to admit to taking the cookie out of the cookie jar, e...

Nov 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Jacket: The Trials of a New J...

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George called Jacket “a raucous ride through the New Jersey criminal court system.” Central to Jacket is the case of a man who has spent three years behind bars for a robbery he obviously didn’t commit.

Oct 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Jacket: The Trials of a New J...

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