The Rainmaker, by John Grishman


Rudy signs has two clients of his own, his elderly landlady, who needs a revised will and a poor family, Dot and Buddy Black, whose insurance bad faith case could be worth several million dollars in damages.

He nets Deck Shifflet, a former insurance assessor who received a law degree but doesn't practice law, having failed to pass the bar exam six times. Bruiser Stones firm is in trouble with the FBI so Rudy and Deck form their own firm. With the Black case Rudy really could be the rainmaker for this new firm.

The Black’s leukemia-stricken son, Donny Ray, could have been saved by a bone marrow transplant procedure that should have been covered and paid for by their insurance carrier but the claim was instead denied.

Donny Ray dies just before the case goes to trial and when the trial ends Rudy has a plaintiff's judgment of $50.2 million but the insurance company quickly declares itself bankrupt, thus allowing it to avoid paying the judgment.

The plot isn’t the big draw for this book but the characters, especially Rudy, seem to grow on you. Grisham brings a cynicism for the legal profession that is convincing in the plot. Every law firm has it’s rainmakers but Grishman shows that the right case is a rainmaker.


“Don't compromise yourself - you're all you have.” 

“Some people have more guts than brains”

“I'm alone and outgunned, scared and inexperienced, but I'm right.” 

“Please give me fifty more years of work and fun, then an instant death when I'm sleeping.”