With a nod to Shakespeare, William Deverell has chosen a provocative title for his latest novel, Kill All the Lawyers, a bitingly funny whodunit revolving around the serial murders of Vancouver legal eagles. But the 57-year-old author does not stop there. Many of the characters—philandering and cocaine-snorting attorneys, corrupt judges—are drawn from his own three decades on the bar in Vancouver. “I’m waiting for lawyers to get outraged and sue me or seek injunctions,” says Deverell, who quit law in 1989. “I’ll just wear a bulletproof vest for a while.” Now based in Toronto as chair of the Writer’s Union of Canada, Deverell is already working on his next novel, a look back at the characters he developed for the CBC TV series Street Legal. Although he created the show, writing the pilot and the first episode, Deverell says that it did not turn out as planned. “My idea, as you can tell by the title, was a
storefront firm with legal-aid type lawyers, not the glitz and yuppiness of what turned out,” he says. But in the upcoming book—“Street Legal: The Beginning,” he calls it—the cast will be more down-to-earth. “They fart and they swear and they spit,” he says. “They’re even allowed to smoke.”
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