On Sept. 10, locally-famous attorney Richard Schwartz hosted a book signing at USM’s campus bookstore for his 2015 novel “Two Dead and Counting” and saw a turnout of more than 20 people.
Known for his slogan, “One Call, That’s All,” the law practitioner owns a firm called Richard Schwartz and Associates and currently has 13 lawyers working under him. His firm specializes in personal injury and car accident cases, serving every city in the state.
“When I was six,” Schwartz said, “I wrote a list of everything I wanted to do. One of those things was writing a book.”
Schwartz was raised in Jackson and now lives in Hattiesburg. He attended and graduated from Millsaps College and the University of Mississippi’s law school.
“When people think of lawyers, they think of all the bad things,” Schwartz said. “But people have to make decisions during tough times, and lawyers help make those decisions. I became a lawyer because I enjoy helping.”
Schwartz’s “Two Dead and Counting” is a mystery novel chronicling a murder investigation led by detective Jack Kendall.
“The cover is Lady Justice,” Schwartz said. “You know, she is supposed to be blind and impartial. I thought she fit the cover because the characters try to swindle the justice system.”
Schwartz’s idea for the cover is his own, but he hired a professional graphic artist to complete it.
“It took me five years to get this story published,” Schwartz said. “It is time consuming, but that was because I was learning. Now that I know what I am doing, it is definitely easier.”
Schwartz’s second book, “Pearl River Mansion,” is set to be released in March 2017.
“I found the novel to be a refreshing treat,” wrote reader Glen Stripling on goodreads.com. “It has a bit of a complex plot with various characters that are noble in some ways but also have their own selfish agendas.” Other reviews ranged from “great read” to detailed analyses of certain characters.
John Grisham is another attorney- turned-author.
“John Grisham was in my law class,” Schwartz said. “I can’t remember any of the names of his books, but I do know they follow the same genre as mine.”
Grisham graduated from Ole Miss law school in 1981. He practiced law for 10 years before becoming a full-time author. John Grisham’s “The Firm” was a best-seller in 1991.
“I think everyone has a good book in them,” Schwartz said. “You don’t understand how good it feels to have it out there.”