James Bostwick was interviewed by Pat Rullo on her Speak Up Talk Radio podcast to discuss his award-winning novel Acts of Omission and his career as a civil trial lawyer.
Acts of Omission, Bostwick’s fictional legal thriller inspired by a high-profile medical malpractice trial he handled as a young attorney in San Francisco, received Speak Up Talk Radio’s 2021 Firebird Book Award in four categories: Courtroom Drama, Legal Fiction, Legal Thriller, and Best Audiobook.
During his interview, Bostwick discusses his journey to becoming an author and the case that inspired his book, which received national attention and was featured on Walter Cronkite’s 6 o’clock news. He also talks about his incredible career as a plaintiffs’ trial attorney working on medical malpractice and other personal injury cases.
Speak Up Talk Radio is a nationally syndicated radio show available on iHeart, Sirius, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more. You can listen to the full interview with Mr. Bostwick here.
James Bostwickis founder and partner at Bostwick & Peterson. As one of the nation’s most respected civil trial lawyers, Bostwick has secured numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements for clients across the country. Acts of Omission was nominated for the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and is currently being made into a movie, which Bostwick is co-producing. Purchase Acts of Omission here.
Author James Bostwick’s debut novel Acts of Omission won the prestigious 2021 Firebird Book Award, receiving top honors in four categories, including:
Courtroom Drama, First Place
Legal Fiction, First Place
Legal Thriller, First Place
Audiobook, First Place
Hundreds of titles from around the world were read and scored by a panel of judges comprised of professionals in the literary industry. Scoring criteria evaluated the literary merit, content, and production to name the top three category winners across a wide variety of audiences, subject areas, and genres. The Firebird Book Awards, sponsored by Speak Up Talk Radio, charitably benefits homeless women and children living in shelters.
The trial drama, Acts of Omission, has received many accolades since its publication, recognizing Bostwick’s in-depth understanding of the law, first-hand knowledge of litigation proceedings, and adept storytelling ability.
In 2020 Jim was nominated for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, in what he calls “an honor as a lawyer and as an author because they recognize works of fiction that best illuminate the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.”
Bostwick’s decades of first-hand experience as one of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the country inspired his award-winning novel; his complex and high-stakes cases providing many of the details and nuances that drove the plot and characters he developed.
James Bostwick will be interviewed by Pat Rullo of Speak Up Talk Radio to further discuss his accomplishments as both an attorney and an author, and how his professional and personal successes in each field have intertwined over the last few years.
Acts of Omission is an elaborate tale of fact and fiction inspired by a lawsuit that Bostwick filed against Melvin Belli, a famous Bay-Area attorney known for representing celebrities and well-known defendants. Bostwick’s decades of experience as a trial lawyer provided intimate details of the inner workings of legal proceedings, case progression, and a dark side of the courtroom.
Bostwick stated in the interview,
“The agony and the passion that occur in a case is all real. Actual lawsuits that tell the truth about what happens can be the basis of an excellent novel.”
An avid reader, Bostwick had considered writing a novel for a long time, and finally found the inspiration he needed from a creative writing course he took with his wife at the University of San Francisco. After nearly a decade of developing characters, plot, and storyline, Acts of Omission was published in 2019 by Post Hill Press.
Since the launch of its publication, the novel found its way into the hands of Hollywood producer, Jeff Apple, who paralleled Bostwick’s work to that of Barry Reed’s The Verdict. In collaboration with screenwriter Michael Shiffer, Bostwick and Apple are working towards developing the novel into a film.
After over 40 plus as a trial lawyer, Jim Bostwick’s decision to become an author and film producer is a good reminder that it’s never too late to learn and try something new.
James Bostwick shares insight into becoming an author and penning his novel Acts of Omission during an interview with Authority Magazine.
As a voracious reader of legal fiction, Bostwick decided it was time to write his own novel, one that realistically depicts the difficult choices, high risk, ethical dilemmas, anguish and euphoria of everyday life for civil trial lawyers. Bostwick believes there are a lot of works that reinforce “ambulance chasing” personal injury lawyer stereotypes and present skewed or false views of the selection and preparation of trials, so after years of pondering writing a novel, he finally wrote Acts of Omission to correct that deficiency.
When asked about the biggest challenge he faced in becoming an author and how he overcame that, Jim answered:
“…The most significant was overcoming my innate desire to make everything I wrote sound like I knew what I was doing. I wanted it to be lyrical, the prose to resonate and inspire, the dialogue to be real and the descriptions to leap off the page. What I learned was those goals are extremely difficult to accomplish — especially in a first draft. The more I tried for perfection in each paragraph, the less paragraphs got written. I quickly learned that you must spit it out. You are better off just vomiting your ideas out on to the page, if you will, rather than creating a masterpiece with every sentence. Once the juices start flowing the images will write themselves, the story will develop a life of its own. You can always go back and edit, smooth it out and improve it later.”
Jim was asked what 5 things you need to know to become a great author. Based on his experience with writing his novel Acts of Omission, he answered with the following advice:
Write concerning something you are passionate about.
Everyone’s writing wants to explain/tell the reader what is going on — don’t. Show them and let the reader figure it out. When the reader can use their imagination, the story comes alive. In other words, don’t tell them what your character is thinking, show it with their actions or mannerisms.
Don’t use an outline or, if you do, don’t follow it too closely. Characters and storylines must have the freedom to go where the winds may blow them. When your characters start doing things you never had imagined they would do, that’s when the story begins to resonate. Your novel has then developed a life of its own.
Listen to the ideas of friends and family but rely primarily on your own instincts. Writing is a creative process like art — not everyone is going to like the product of your efforts. Every good author is going to have a few one- or two-star reviews. You must give birth to what is inside you and not worry about pleasing everyone.
Editing is key. When you have your 500-page masterpiece completed, remember that it probably has 100 pages of fat that don’t need to be there. When it has been pruned of chapters or vignettes you thought were fun/great at the time but upon cold-blooded reflection aren’t truly necessary, the story will move much faster, won’t have dead spots and will keep the reader more engaged.
James also discusses his biggest influences and habits that helped during his writing process. Read the full Authority Magazine article on medium.com.
Acts of Omission is celebrating the 12 days of Giftmas by sharing some great gift ideas for the lawyers and law students in your life.
For the 1st day, get the lawyer in your life someLawyer Socks from Hot Sox. These ultimate stocking stuffers can be worn while suited up for trial or while relaxing, working, or studying on a Sunday afternoon.
For the 2nd day of Lawyer Giftmas, help the lawyer in your life see clearly (and look hip) inCaddis blue light blocking glasses and readers. These stylish glasses, which come in several styles and colors, help block 45% of harmful blue light.
On the 3rd day of Lawyer Giftmas, gift the lawyer in your life the UbeesizeVideo Conference Lighting Kit. In our new normal we have turned to webcams and video conferencing for school, meetings, and depositions and perfect lighting can make all the difference in looking your best.
For the 4th day of Lawyer Giftmas, send a personalized handcraftedwooden door sign from Mad Tree Woodcrafts. Mad Tree Woodcrafts creates custom keepsake boxes and mindfully made signs to help us slow down and cherish life’s memories.
On the 5th day of Lawyer Giftmas, purchase the best-selling legal thrillerActs of Omission. This debut novel written by top 100 trial lawyer, James Bostwick, has readers saying “move over Grisham.”
On the 7th day of Lawyer Giftmas, send the lawyer in your life the latest version of Apple Airpods Pro. These new versions of AirPods have active noise cancellation with transparency mode, sweat and water resistance, and a customizable fit.
For the 8th day of Lawyer Giftmas, give the lawyer in your life aRuth Bader Ginsburg “tRuth” keepsake tea towel in honor of the late RBG. RBG was a tireless champion for equality and justice whose legal brilliance, integrity and perseverance changed America for the better.
On the 9th day of Lawyer Giftmas, send a gift that will support local bookstores with amembership to Librofm. You choose the membership (1, 3, 6, or 12 months/credits), your gift recipient picks their own audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.
On the 10th day of Lawyer Giftmas, gift the lawyer in your life a Friends inspired lawyer tee from Etsy. “I’ll be there for you” is the perfect slogan for the time lawyers spend trying to help others through complex and difficult waters.
The 12 days of Lawyer Giftmas comes to an end with a great gift for all the lawyers and law students in your life – the New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons. A good laugh is needed more than ever this year, and what better way than by reading a collection of eighty-five cartoons about the legal profession by critically acclaimed cartoonists including Addams, Steig, Arno, Shanahan, and Leo Cullum.
We hope you all enjoy gifting to the lawyers and law students in your life, and that they feel the appreciation for the hard work and dedication they put into helping people at their greatest time of need.
This holiday season it’s more important than ever that we support our local independent bookstores.
Independent bookstores are not just stores, they are the anchor to a community where friends gather and out of towners come to visit. They spur ideas and creativity and range from quiet places where perusing is a day well spent to lively performance spaces.
There are many ways to support your local bookstore:
Shop Online: Use this handy bookstore finder from IndieBound.org to find a local bookstore to support. You can also shop online at Bookshop.org, an online bookstore that financially supports local, independent bookstores. Acts of Omission is available in paperback, and you can choose which independent bookstore you’d like to support.
Buy Gift Cards: You can’t go wrong buying a bookstore gift card for someone you care about! Call or go online and purchase gift cards from your local bookstore.
Enjoy Audiobooks through Libro.fm: One of the best ways to get audiobooks is through Libro.fm because each purchase directly supports an independent bookstore of your choice! And, of course, if you enjoy legal thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and courtroom drama, Acts of Omission is available as an audiobook!
Pre-order, Pre-order, Pre-order: Pre-ordering a book helps bookstores know what you want to read so that they can order it, have it in stock, and in your hot hands as soon as it’s released. When you pre-order, it also lets publishers know that there is a demand for an author’s work – a win, win all around!
Engage with bookstores on Social Media: Follow independent bookstores on social media and sign up for their newsletters. Get updates on book releases, virtual events, giveaways, and more. Then recommend that others shop at their local store as well. Tag independent bookstores in your Instagram Story, share virtual events on Facebook and Twitter, and revisit bookstore events you’ve loved by sharing photos are all great ways to show your support.
Donate to Binc Foundation: The Book Industry Charitable Foundation helps booksellers impacted by financial emergencies and is currently helping booksellers affected by COVID-19. If you’re able to, consider donating to the foundation to support booksellers during this difficult time.
It’s never too early to start shopping for the holidays. If you have a lawyer or law student on your holiday list this year, we’ve gathered 12 “lawyer tested” gift ideas that are sure to please those honorable, hard-working loved ones of yours.
Elevate attire with Women and Men’s Lawyer Socks from Hot Sox. The ultimate stocking stuffer can be worn while suited up for trial or while relaxing, working, or studying on a Sunday afternoon. Price: $7-12
See clearly (and look hip!) with Caddis blue light blocking glasses and readers. These stylish glasses, which come in several styles, help block 45% of harmful blue light. Something we can all use while staring at screens. Price: $60-115
Enhance the Zoom Room with a Video Conference Lighting Kit. In our new normal of the Covid-19 era, many have turned to webcams and video conferencing for school, meetings, and depositions and perfect lighting can make all the difference in looking your best. Price: $65
Escape with the best-selling legal thriller Acts of Omission. The debut novel written by one of the top 100 trial lawyers, James Bostwick, has readers saying “move over Grisham.” A must-read for lawyers and aspiring lawyers, the story is based on a case Bostwick tried and authentically depicts the risks and rewards of being a trial lawyer. Price: $9.99-16.99
Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg by displaying this “tRuth” keepsake tea towel. RBG was a tireless champion for equality and justice whose legal brilliance, integrity, and perseverance changed America for the better.
Acts of Omission, the legal thriller written by nationally recognized trial attorney James Bostwick, is available for purchase in eBook format.
The Acts of Omission eBook is an excellent addition to your digital library if you enjoy legal thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and courtroom drama!
In addition to being easier to transport, an eReader allows you to change the font size as well as the background color which is helpful for nighttime reading.
Acts of Omission is loosely based on a San Francisco case James Bostwick tried in 1984 when he went up against one of the country’s most famous attorneys to seek justice for a devastatingly injured teenager.
At its heart, this legal thriller is a soul-searching exploration of the meaning of friendship, love, and loyalty set in the maelstrom of a stunning courtroom battle. Fast-paced, with surprises at every turn, this is a compelling page-turner filled with duplicity, sacrifice, heartache, and bare-knuckle legal brinkmanship. It is a searing tale of a legal system gone awry, where greed and power fight an unending battle against a young lawyer’s willingness to risk everything in his quest for justice.
“Captivating depiction of the triumphs and falls of a trial lawyer. Fascinating story of a complex civil trial, love, scandal, betrayal, and discovering the meaning of success. Highly recommend, one you cannot put down.”
See for yourself why this novel has sold out multiple times, received rave reviews, and was nominated for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Don’t wait any longer, purchase Acts of Omission eBook at any of these sites: Amazon Kindle, Nook by Barnes & Noble, or Google Play eBookstore.
If you didn’t catch veteran trial lawyer James Bostwick’s live-stream discussion with the Commonwealth Club of California on September 8th, don’t worry…it’s available as a podcast or through Commonwealth Club’s YouTube channel.
Listen to the podcast here or watch the hour-long talk titled “A Legal Thriller: Taking on a San Francisco Icon” here:
Moderated by Commonwealth’s Grownups Forum Chair, Denise Michaud, the talk had over 345 views in less than 24 hours on YouTube. Bostwick discusses his novel Acts of Omission, which was inspired by a high-profile San Francisco case Bostwick tried in the 1980s. The novel was recently nominated for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and is in contract with a major movie producer to bring the San Francisco story to life.
Bostwick outlines his story about a young, struggling attorney who took on one of the most famous lawyers (a San Francisco icon) to seek justice for a devastatingly injured teenager. He provides insights into the complex and competitive area of medical malpractice and also opens up about the writing process and how to get published – what works and what doesn’t work.
Congratulations to the following Acts of Omissions Libro.fm audiobook winners:
Pat Fayo – the top winner, also receiving the 12-month membership to Libro.fm
Sandra Christine Lopez
Make sure to check your emails for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Message us on Facebook if you did not receive the email and we will send you the one-time use code.
Libro.fm is a site that makes it possible for you to purchase audiobooks from your local bookstore. You can purchase books à la carte if you are an occasional listener, or become a member at the same monthly cost as others and your first audiobook is free.
Enjoy listening to the legal thriller narrated by award-winner Roger Wayne!
When you are finished listening to (or reading) Acts of Omission, please leave a review at any of the following sites, as James Bostwick loves to hear from all the readers: Amazon, Audible, and Goodreads.
For updates on the novel, giveaways, sequels, and more follow us on our social media channels Facebook and Instagram.