The Funny Side of the Law

| September 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Mission Hills Books & Collectibles, 4054 Goldfinch Street, San Diego, CA 92103 (entry on Ft. Stockton Street) is having a book-signing at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, September 27 with

Charles Seville has been practicing law for over 30 years and feels humor makes it bearable.

Charles Seville has been practicing law for over 30 years and feels humor makes it bearable.

For more than 30 years, Sevilla, a widely respected San Diego defense attorney, has been collecting funny stories from the halls of justice — slips of the tongue, outrageous insults, moments of unintentional mirth.

The stories get published in a column Sevilla writes for a lawyer’s magazine called Forum. Every so often he collects a bunch of them in a book; the latest, “Law and Disorder.”

Sevilla, 69, once described the criminal-justice system as a “mindless, people-crushing institution” similar to a brothel. In both, people arrive seeking a fantasy — sexual satisfaction in the brothel, justice in the courthouse.

He’s best known for his work as an appellate lawyer. He handled former Mayor Roger Hedgecock’s successful appeal of conspiracy and perjury convictions. He represented Robert Alton Harris in a string of appeals that delayed but ultimately couldn’t prevent the convicted murderer of two San Diego teens from being the first executed in California in 25 years.

“Law and Disorder” includes illustrations by Lee Lorenz, a cartoonist whose work has been appearing in The New Yorker since 1958.
The book is divided into sections — defendants, lawyers, expert witnesses, cops, judges, jurors — but Sevilla doesn’t name names.

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