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After nearly three decades of enforcing class action security laws, Brian Felgoise is no stranger to corruption. Now he gives a glimpse into the amoral underworld of law in a new satirical novel, Filthy Rich Lawyers: The Education of Ryan Coleman. “What I want to do is pull back the curtains a little bit and shed some light on the lawyers and the bullshit I’ve been dealing with,” said Felgoise, who collaborated with writer David Tabatsky.
“Filthy Rich Lawyers” tells the story of a young, ambitious Philadelphia lawyer who discovers that his stand-up values violate the underbelly of the law. As he deals with increasingly powerful and wealthy lawyers who use their wealth from class action lawsuits to start a hedge fund, Ryan is exposed to a life of luxury like he’s never experienced before. But with private jets comes the realization that he is up to his ears. “None of these other attorneys operate alone,” Tabatsky says. “They have a network of other, badly behaved people.”
In what the authors describe as a “moral story,” Ryan navigates the legal underground and struggles to keep his principles intact. “It creates a real moral conflict,” Tabatsky says. “He’s a very down-to-earth guy, but suddenly he’s in a completely different universe. He has to steer his moral compass through it all, but at the same time he’s really hungry for ‘success’ and acquiring some version of wealth.”
Felgoise, a Philadelphia native and father of two, says the story is loosely based on himself. For example, the book begins with Ryan in hot water in a Dallas courtroom. “It’s a real situation that happened to me. I got up for my turn and the judge really ripped me in,” Felgoise recalled. But while many of the stories in “Filthy Rich Lawyers” take the drama to the satirical level, the authors made sure to keep the book grounded in reality. “It’s true to the world,” Tabatsky says. “That’s what good satire is – there’s a fine line between truth and fiction.”
The pair are already working on a sequel and hope to bring the story to the big screen one day. In the meantime, they’re excited that the first episode of “Filthy Rich Lawyers” will expose corruption and be a reprieve at the same time.
“I hope the readers will just have a good time and have a laugh,” Tabatsky says. “Their heads will spin a little, because it’s just simple, good entertainment.”
In class action novel the law is down and dirty – The US Express News
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