As a native Mississippian, I am immensely proud of our literary heritage. No matter where I travel throughout our state, the people and places remind me of stories by William Faulkner, Shelby Foote, John Grisham, Willie Morris, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, and other greats.
Like many of you reading this, my travels are often for the purpose of appearing in court, sometimes in a faraway county and town where I have never been before. Those trips are, for me, when our state's literary reminders are strongest: when I exit my car and step into a courthouse square in an unfamiliar place, and enter a courtroom full of local lawyers who welcome me and show me around. The reason these moments are so evocative of Mississippi literature is that some of our state's most enduring stories — both fiction and non-fiction — leverage the inherent drama, and sometimes comedy, of the legal system to their full advantage. The intersections between Mississippi law and literature are numerous and, I think, especially rewarding for lawyers.
The complete article, "Law and Literature: What The Ponder Heart Reminds Us About Evidence and Legal Ethics," was originally published in the Winter 2016 Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association Quarterly and can be found on the MDLA website (login required).