Edward Pontacoloni has been practicing law for 30 years and has many stories to tell.
He has put many of them in a self-published book aimed at young lawyers. But this isn’t your normal autobiography.
You can tell that from the title: The Adventures of Firstyr the Younger: Bed Time Stories for First Year Lawyers. (Published by Xlibris Publishing Co.)
The cover looks like a children’s adventure book. And the contents include fairy tales, with some poems thrown in for “compositional balance,” Pontacoloni said.
The stories are set in the Land of Cort where, according to promotional materials, readers are invited to “join the valiant young knight, Firstyr, and the magician, Pandolphe, whose wizardry confounds the evil forces of the monstrous Legalese…
“Bravely exposing a ruse, artfully decoding a mystery, to rescue a damsel in distress, using guile to save a companion’s head from the executioner’s blade, these are the fables of the young at heart.”
The fables are used to make points about the legal profession, with wisdom drawn from Pontacoloni’s 30 years of national and international transactional and litigation experience.
The tales, he said, “are the kind of stories that contain some small nugget of a moral, if not of truth.”
The truth, he said, is not pretty. “I’m here to declare the king is truly naked,” said Pontacoloni, 57, who practices in Hartford. “Our legal system is an abysmal failure and after 200 years we can’t get it right.”
But he insists that the book is not pessimistic. “The stories may expose some flaws in the system, but in the end the young knight, and justice, triumph so that everyone lives happily ever after.”
Asked how long he has been working on the book, Pontacoloni replied: “Since I’ve been practicing… It’s autobiographical. It took a long time to get it formulated.”It’s not Pontacoloni’s first venture outside the legal profession. He’s an avid fisherman and inventor of a patented board game called “Tournafish.” He is also a contributing editor of Versatile Hunting Dog Magazine.
Still, he considers the law his primary profession. “The writing just comes naturally from time to time,” he said.
The soft-cover “Firstyr” is a quick read. Even with illustrations by Robert Place, it’s only 35 pages long. Still, Pontacoloni believes readers will like what they read if they order the book from www.xlibris.com/bookstore.
“The hope is that the storiesblow some of the dust off of musty old law booksand that they lift the spirit just enough tohelp the young lawyer get out from under their weight,” Pontacoloni said.