James Grippando has won the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for Gone Again, the 12th book in his Jack Swyteck series. Lee authorized the award, sponsored by the ABA Journal and the University of Alabama School of Law, to be given to a novel that "best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change."
Grippando, who is counsel at the firm of Boies Schiller, told the ABA Journal: "I don't know who's happier, James Grippando the writer or James Grippando the lawyer. Winning the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction is easily the proudest moment of my dual career." He will receive the award September 14 at the University of Alabama School of Law--and receive a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird signed by Lee, who earned a law degree at the school.
Gone Again opens with Swyteck, a Miami criminal defense attorney, being approached to help stop the execution of a convicted murderer--by the mother of the purported victim, who believes her daughter may still be alive.
"Grippando's book does a masterful, entertaining job exploring the important topic of the death penalty and actual innocence," said Molly McDonough, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal.
Runners up were The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.