Civil Rights in My Bones: More Colorful Stories from a Lawyer's Life and Work, 2005-2015 is a memoir by Julian L. McPhillips Jr. In a career stretching over forty-plus years, the Montgomery, Alabama, attorney has earned a reputation as a determined advocate for the rights of consumers, victims of police abuse, falsely accused criminal defendants, the unborn, immigrants, and the environment. A previous book, The People’s Lawyer, covered his life and career up to 2005. Civil Rights in My Bones provides additional background about his family roots in Alabama, his parents’ political activism, his education and athletic competition as a champion amateur wrestler, his religious convictions, and his wife, children, and grandchildren.
But it also details many of the major cases he has handled in the past decade. These include defenses of consumers victimized by unfair compulsory arbitration clauses, victims of employment discrimination, fellow lawyers and even judges who were unfairly targeted for sanctions for reasons of race or gender, and church congregations at war within themselves over various issues. One fascinating section of the book discusses his and his wife Leslie’s leadership in establishing a new evangelical, healing-spirit Episcopal church and its struggles with the larger church hierarchy. While focused on the author’s life and work, the memoir is also a window into Alabama and Southern life, culture, and politics.
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