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Shark Tales By Ron Liebman (Simon & Schuster; 279 pages; $25) Like most lawyers, partner Ron Liebman of D.C.-based Patton Boggs has always enjoyed swapping war stories with fellow bar members. To compile “Shark Tales,” Liebman wrote to lawyers nationwide asking for “your best story, the one you love to tell over and over.” About 100 lawyers and judges responded with their favorite anecdotes. Consider this one from Great Falls, Mont.’s Dirk Larsen: “The witness had finished his final statement by saying with great passion, ‘So help me, if that isn’t the truth, may God strike me down!’ Just then a large, ornately carved cornice from our aging courthouse broke from the ceiling and smashed to the floor directly behind the witness. In the stunned silence that followed, the judge dismissed the witness, who hurriedly left the courtroom several shades paler than when he arrived.” Bankruptcy Crimes By Stephanie Wickouski (Beard Books; 465 pages; $125) In Bankruptcy Crimes, D.C.-based Reed Smith Shaw & McClay partner Stephanie Wickouski details the criminalization of the nation’s overwhelmed bankruptcy system and explores why the U.S. bankruptcy system is praised by foreign legal scholars but scorned by the American public, who often see debtors discharge huge liabilities and emerge wealthy. Distance Haze By Jamil Nasir (Bantam Books; 279 pages; $5.99) Jamil Nasir, counsel in the D.C. office of Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, has garnered plaudits for his three previous science fiction novels. In fact, his third novel, “Tower of Dreams,” was runner-up for the 1999 Philip K. Dick Award for best science fiction paperback of the year. Nasir’s latest fiction effort, “Distance Haze,” follows sci-fi writer Wayne Dolan as he pays a visit to the Deriwelle Institute, a very unusual think tank.

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