Huntingdon Valley native and current Fort Washington resident Brian Felgoise has been practicing class-action law for more than 25 years, and he draws upon his real-world interactions with lawyers, judges and plaintiffs to inform his new, satirical legal thriller, Filthy Rich Lawyers, Book One:The Education of Ryan Coleman.
“I tell people that it reads like a John Grisham novel, except mine’s probably rated R,” Felgoise said. “It’s an easy read, it flows. I wanted to create an escape for people in the crazy world we live in.”
The story begins in a Texas courtroom, where Ryan Coleman, a young, ambitious lawyer from Philadelphia, is chasing his share of a class-action lawsuit involving a multi-national defense contractor. After getting reprimanded by the judge for speaking out of turn, Coleman meets Robert Smalley, a brilliant attorney and borderline criminal who boasts that, “I have the greatest practice of law in the world because I have no clients.”
And with that, Coleman is drawn into a hedonistic world of wealth and power at the core of Filthy Rich Lawyers, Book One: The Education of Ryan Coleman, the new legal thriller from Brian Felgoise and David Tabatsky.
Coleman is loosely based on Felgoise, and the storyline is drawn upon the author’s experiences as a securities class action lawyer.
Included in the cast of colorful characters is Eugenia “Gene” Cauley, a female shark in the male-dominated legal world whose life spirals tragically out of control, and Randy Hollis, an insanely successful lawyer turned multi-billionaire, who is pursuing his ultimate American dream: buying a professional football team. Coleman becomes Hollis’ “errand boy,” but as Hollis is investigated by journalists, law associations and government agents, Coleman must decide if he wants to remain in this sordid circle.
Federal prosecutor Patrick Coyle wants to take Hollis down because of an old grudge. He aligns with Dick Dickey, former Secretary of Defense and CEO of a military contractor, to ruin Hollis and Coleman. When an escort mysteriously dies in Hollis’ penthouse, Coleman becomes an unwitting accomplice and must choose between protecting his boss and saving his marriage, or telling the truth and risk going to prison.
Filthy Rich Lawyers reveals the surprising ways in which our system of class-action law enables (mostly) men to get ridiculously wealthy and behave like sophomoric frat boys.
“I laughed out loud at the salty wise cracks on most every page,” said Matt Flynn, author of Milwaukee Jihad. “But underneath the lightning paced humor is a serious message about corruption in class action litigation. Filthy Rich Lawyers is a hilarious satire about a very real problem.”
“How they use their money and power will shock, amuse and entertain readers,” Felgoise said. “As media billionaire Mortimer Zuckerman once said, referring to some lawyer’s self-indulgence and unbridled hubris, ‘Practicing law is the exact opposite of sex. Even when it’s good, it’s bad.’”
Felgoise graduated from Lower Moreland High School where he competed in football, basketball, and track and field. He and his family have lived in Fort Washington for the past 18 years. His wife, Lori, is the vice principal at Cheltenham High School, a district she has served since 1992.
You can pre-order a copy of Filthy Rich Lawyers on Amazon here.