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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Common Pleas Lawyer

the Commons Pleas Lawyer

A Casey Cort Novella


Publisher: Penner

Publication Date: 9/20/2016

Format: e-book

My Rating: 4 Stars It’s spring in Cleveland, Ohio, but Casey Cort isn’t going to let rain and gray skies get her down. The last year of law school is a magical time. At any moment her long-time

boyfriend, Tom Brody is going to pop the question. She’s ready to finish a successful year as a senior editor on law review, and her dream job at Morrell Gates is right around the corner. The bar exam is her last hurdle and she’s more than ready to jump it.Or so she thinks.When Casey reports an honor code violation to the dean of the law school, her perfect future comes crashing down around her as friends and fellow students fail to come to her rescue. In this prequel novella of the Casey Cort series, Sylvie Fox—a former trial lawyer in Cleveland—weaves a tale that blends the best of today’s top legal thrillers with the heart and soul of women’s fiction, in a story ripped from real-world headlines.

Sylvie Fox now writing as Aime Austin (clever move) taking us back to the beginning to learn how it all began, with THE COMMON PLEAS LAWYER, one of my favorite sassy, smart, and witty lawyers, (sleuth) and legal series, Casey Cort. A prequel rewinding to the early days of Casey while awaiting #4 Conflict of Interest, coming. Oct 18. When introduced to Casey, in #1 Qualified Immunity, (2014) she was in her thirties. An ambitious young Caucasian law student, with a promising career. She made the mistake crossing a classmate from a prominent and influential family (she told the truth). She found herself blacklisted, jobless, no boyfriend, and rather than a successful law career she has worked so hard to attain—was left with hefty student loans, and an unfulfilled and poor struggling attorney working on a case by case basis as public defender, fighting a broken and injustice legal system, dealing with juvenile and family services. Since this time, she has found herself on a rollercoaster ride with her career and personal life. (Good luck and bad, mostly bad). Life is never dull for Cort, the Cleveland attorney. She has had a string of bad clients, complex cases, corruption, sex trafficking, politics, and seems to always be in the middle of trouble. Tom seems to be in and out of her life like a revolving door. #2 Under Color of Law #3 In Plain Sight Returning to 1996, Casey is in Cleveland, Ohio and in her last year of law school. She has waited for this day and also for her boyfriend, Tom Brody to pop the marriage proposal. She is sure there has to be some kind of family ring passed down through the generations of Brody’s. She could not wait for the dream job, the top tier white shoe firm like Morrell Gates. She already had the offer to start in the fall. However, as Senior Editor for Law Review, she is faced with the law school’s code of ethics. Plagiarizing. The rules do not apply to the rich. She has to turn it over to the dean. She cannot publish something that is someone’s else’s work. How was she going to explain why someone so privileged would bother stooping to plagiarism when he didn’t need to do it to graduate, or get a job, or achieve anything really? A moral dilemma. By coming forward, she will jeopardize her own future career. She can’t let them guilt her, for doing the right thing. Now she is being summoned before the Law Review Board of Editors. She had been blindsided. She had done a great job for almost the last year. Plus, she has been hearing rumors about Tom, and now she stands to lose prestige and honor of having served as an officer on law review. Her reputation was all she had but she knows if she wanted to be a Brody, her thoughts were best kept to herself. Of course, there is Judge Brody (future father in law), and Tom --she is so close to graduation. She stands to lose it all. Her job, her boyfriend, and her new job at the law firm. Her life had imploded. Blackballed Maybe it is time to open the Law Offices of Casey Cort. After all who can fire her from her own firm? It is time to hang out her shingle. Who would have thought when she entered law school, she would become a sole practitioner in private practice? A Common Pleas Lawyers. Guardian ad Litem Juvenile Court. She has student loans, bills and a girl has to eat. A huge Casey Cort Legal Fan! Casey reminds me of one of my favorite shows, The Guardian.(binge watch). Both find themselves in the middle of the most intense cases, mixed with humor and heart.

The novella is perfect for Casey Cort legal fans as well as new readers with a nice intro into this fascinating series. Sylvie/Aimee definitely knows her way around the courtroom with lots of wit and drama. Can’t wait for "Conflict of Interest" for the continuation of Casey and the last cliffhanger. Hope I can snag an early reading copy. The suspense is killing me! Welcome Aimee, please keep the series going. (I want TV series or at least Prime).

If you enjoy Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, Casey Cort could be her sidekick on the law side.

Review Links:



Casey Cort Series

Casey Cort Series

Aime Austin

Conflict of Interest

Casey Cort #4

ASIN: B01IQ534U8

Format: e-book

Coming 10/18/2016

Troy Duncan has just two worries on his mind: how he is going to give his two young children and fiancé a Christmas they deserve and whether his job at a struggling restaurant will last through the winter. As he leaves work early on another slow night, he runs into something that changes his life forever.

In this fourth installment of the Casey Cort series, Sylvie Fox—a former trial lawyer in Cleveland—weaves another tale that blends the best of today’s top legal thrillers with the heart and soul of women’s fiction, in a story ripped from real-world headlines. Read More

The Right To Life

Casey Cort #5

Coming: 3/1/2017

Coming next Spring . . .

Book 5 in the Casey Cort Series finds Casey in the middle of the most challenging dilemma of her career.

Casey Cort takes a pro bono adoption case—grateful for a break from headline making controversy. But her discovery of the baby girl’s origins thrusts her into the sordid underground of international child abduction.

About the Author

Sylvie Fox My characters have much more interesting lives than I do. They are far more daring, never have bad weather, and drive nicer cars. But, if you’re interested in the formative years of this author, here goes.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970s. My parents were divorced soon thereafter – and I spent many of my childhood years riding in cars or cabs across Brooklyn and Queens. When I was about ten, my mother and I moved to West Hartford, Connecticut. After high school, I went to Smith College where I earned a degree in English Language & Literature. That means that my parents paid a pretty penny for me to read all day in my pajamas. I then went to law school at Cornell. To this day, I’m not sure why I did that. The good news is that I met my husband there. Read More

Aime Austin is the author of smart women’s fiction. Her compelling stories are boldly told, designed to keep readers turning the pages.

Whether you’re reading romantic women’s fiction written as Sylvie Fox or The Casey Cort Series of legal thrillers, she wants you to enjoy the heroine’s journey.

Before turning to writing full time, Aime practiced law for nearly a decade. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Budapest, where she enjoys yoga, knitting, farm-to-table cooking, and life with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, her nose is stuck in a book. Read More







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