Please join us when well-know criminal defense attorney Mike Fawer presents and signs his new memoir, FROM THE BRONX TO THE BAYOU.
Over nearly six decades, Fawer’s prolific career as trial attorney led him to defend a charismatic Louisiana governor, a pioneering Mississippi mayor, and a wrongfully convicted man who spent more than a decade on death row, among many others. In his defense of those clients — Edwin Edwards, Charles Evers, and Curtis Kyles and all the others — Fawer was well known as an aggressive advocate who tangled with prosecutors and judges alike. Fawer’s skilled and enthusiastic cross-examinations disarmed opponents and persuaded jurors.
But behind his courtroom bravado Fawer’s intense trial preparation — including his famously attentive approach to jury selection — culminated, inevitably, with his ability to humanize his clients through believable defense narratives. His impressive acumen in the courtroom was bookended in each of his biggest trials with opening and closing arguments — handwritten, as was Fawer’s custom — that captivated news media, the public and most importantly, members of the jury.
In his memoir, Fawer gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at his wins, losses, and acrimonious relationships with judges that have fascinated colleagues and opponents for years. Meet characters from Fawer's criminal-defense career including a murderer who danced on his mother's grave, a detective who wrote crime novels sprinkled with all-too-familiar police antics, a well-known businessman charged with his wife's murder, and a doctor accused of injecting his mistress with HIV. Beyond work, Fawer offers tales of his sometimes-contentious family life and his side ventures as a boxing and Broadway- show promoter.
Fawer’s story goes beyond legal yarns at a time when the criminal justice system is being called to account for over-incarceration and institutional discrimination. Fawer’s unapologetic challenges to overzealous prosecutors and arrogant judges proves time and again that injustice is best combatted with a fierce defense of the accused.
Born in 1936, Mike Fawer was raised in the Bronx. He attended Cornell University and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1960. Then, Fawer was hired by the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked to prosecute organized crime leaders under Bobby Kennedy before joining the vaunted U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York headed by Bob Morgenthau.
Fawer worked as a defense attorney for five decades and successfully served clients that included Louisiana’s top elected officials, innocent death-row inmates, millionaires blamed for the savings and loan crisis, accused murderers and tax evaders, and prescription drug-pushers. Since 1971 he has lived in New Orleans, near his four grown children and four grandchildren.
"Fawer goes for the jugular…."
"Fawer weaves a colorful tapestry of underworld characters, crooked politicians, murderers and pompous jurists into his professional life story."
"Had Portia been bred with a pit bull, Mike Fawer could have been their whelp. He came down out of the Bronx as a young lawyer, hellbent to save the Deep South."