This is a biography of the early years of a somewhat successful legal career. It lacks the aphrodisiac of star quality, but what it provides is closer to common ground, and in that sense more valuable. Within these pages I have portrayed my sometimes painful, sometimes exhilarating coming of age as a trial lawyer in post mid-century Nashville, Tennessee. There is plenty of drama, much ridiculousness, and most of all an abiding sense of humanity, created by the collision of an earnest, young lawyer on the lower rungs of the American System of Justice with the system itself. The comedy, tragedy, carelessness, and sometimes good lawyering chronicled here have been experienced from time immemorial by fledgling lawyers, whose energy and idealism temporarily overcomes the cynicism that so often dominates our legal system. If these stories seem to validate our system of justice, this old lawyer's judgment of that system will have been accurately conveyed. The stories tend to demonstrate that a system which ultimately rests upon the judgment of twelve people, while far from perfect, is superior to anything else the world has managed to devise for resolving society's disputes. Even an awkward young lawyer, battered as he sometimes was by the system, perceived that basic truth and carried it with him for the rest of his professional life.