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SUMMER POTBOILER READING FOR LAWYER LOVERS “I’m going to call a lawyer for you. His name is McManis, Jim McManis,” purrs fictional detective Munch Mancini in the latest murder-mystery thriller “No Man Standing.” Apparently the fictional L.A. detective was dialing Silicon Valley: author Barbara Seranella’s inspiration for this piece of prose is San Jose attorney James McManis. So how did the well-known South Bay personality and litigator end up in the femme fatale detective’s little black book? Seranella’s brother David Shore is a financial adviser for McManis, Faulkner & Morgan, which does a mix of civil and criminal work, and hit it off with McManis. Shore relayed stories of McManis to his author sister who decided to give McManis a cameo in her book. “Someone once said they always knew I was a character,” McManis said. “No Man Standing” isn’t McManis’ first fictionalization. In 1999, author Scott Turow used McManis as the main protagonist in his best-seller “Personal Injuries.” McManis donated $7,000 to his alma maters Stanford University and UC-Berkeley for the honor. In “Personal Injuries” the character McManis is a plaintiffs lawyer who gets caught bribing judges. The lawyer then agrees to turn FBI informant and uncover the corruption. Turow introduces his McManis character as “one more middle-aged expendable cut adrift in another of the ruthless corporate downsizings familiar to recession America.” Dustin Hoffman has since purchased the movie rights to “Personal Injuries” and McManis is already musing about the casting. “I can think of nobody better to play me than me,” said McManis, but added that he feels Harrison Ford or George Clooney could also do him justice. — Shannon Lafferty YOU SAY YOU WANT MORE? If you want to know what Sheldon Siegel is thinking, check out the dialogue of his alter-ego, Mike Daley. Daley, a smart-alecky, miracle-working criminal defense lawyer with a no-strings-attached physical relationship with his ex-wife, is the main character in Siegel’s three novels. “Mike gets to say everything I never get the chance to say,” Siegel said. Siegel, a corporate of counsel at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, embarks on his third book-signing tour today at M is for Murder in San Mateo. He’s kicking off the launch of his newest novel, “Criminal Intent,” which hits stores today. “It’s a lot of fun,” Siegel said. “People come to bookstores to meet authors and to have a good time.” The signings are a friend fest as people he knows or worked with pop in to say hello, but they also tend to draw other lawyers who toy with the idea of putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard as it were. “I tell them, if I can do it, anyone can,” Siegel said. Siegel is already finishing the first draft of his fourth book, which like the previous three is set in San Francisco and follows the adventures of Daley and his ex-wife, Rosie Hernandez. — Renee Deger AND FOR OUR HIGHBROW READERS We all know there’s no shortage of lawyers penning legal thrillers. But Christian Mammen has tackled a much more sobering subject: legislative history versus legislative intent. The Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe associate has just gotten his first book published: “Using Legislative History in American Statutory Interpretation,” a 216-page treatise that argues the merits of relying on legislative history. The book, which is published by Kluwer Law International and available on Amazon.com, grew out of Mammen’s dissertation for his doctorate in law at Oxford University. “Most of the time when practitioners and judges talk about using legislative history, they don’t draw a distinction” from legislative intent, says Mammen. While legislative intent is an inherently tricky concept (that’s been derided by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia), legislative history has legitimate value, posits Mammen. It can prove useful in establishing the historical context and the linguistic usage context in which a statute was enacted, he explains. And since legislative history often represents some form of expertise developed by researchers, there’s reason to take advantage of it. While the book may not have the drama and suspense of a legal thriller, Mammen has high hopes for it. “When I have a spare moment I’ll see if I can persuade someone to review it.” — Alexei Oreskovic

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