Legal Thriller “Acts of Omission” Wins 2021 Firebird Book Award

Acts of Omission, Articles, Honors and Awards, James S. Bostwick

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. 

What Inspired Trial Lawyer Jim Bostwick to Become an Author

Acts of Omission, Articles, Interviews, James S. Bostwick

Jim Bostwick is featured in Marin Magazine, a regional publication in the Bay Area, titled, “Why It’s Never Too Late: 4 Marin Locals Who Changed Careers Later in Life, and How They Did It.” In the article, he discusses the journey he has made as a trial lawyer to author of Acts of Omission.

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.

Read the full article here

How Jim Bostwick Grew His Brand By Writing A Book

Interviews, James S. Bostwick

James Bostwick, author of Acts of Omission, is a multiple award-winning trial attorney of catastrophic personal injury cases and partner at Bostwick & Peterson. He was interviewed by Authority Magazine, “On How To Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing a Book.” 

In his interview, he discusses his background, what it was like writing the book, and the exciting events that have transpired from his success with Acts of Omission, and more.

According to Jim, one of the most significant benefits of becoming an author was that he got to engage with people that he may otherwise never had a chance to meet, from young, aspiring lawyers to established, experienced lawyers – to Hollywood screenwriters and producers.

 “You never know who you might meet or what lucrative opportunities may present themselves once you become an author.”

In fact, his book is now being made into a movie that he is co-producing. In addition, Acts of Omission has become recommended reading in law schools throughout the country.

When asked about how to grow a business or brand by writing a book, Bostwick talks about the benefits of name recognition that authoring a book provides. He now gets calls from lawyers from all over the country about cases, and he enjoys many new speaking opportunities. 

The increased exposure and new opportunities are the amazing results that have come from writing his book, which was nominated for the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Referrals are essential for new business and writing a book can help tremendously with that. He is currently working on the sequel.

You can read the full article here.

The Art of Writing

Acts of Omission, Interviews, James S. Bostwick

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:

  1. Write concerning something you are passionate about.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

James Bostwick – Nationally Recognized Personal Injury Lawyer

Author Talks, James S. Bostwick, Personal Injury Lawyer

James Bostwick has been a San Francisco trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries for more than 50 years and has set the bar for litigating some of the most complex and high-stakes cases in the country. He is recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the U.S. and is one of the most experienced attorneys for plaintiff’s medical malpractice and personal injury litigation with a legacy of record-setting results.

His first novel, Acts of Omission, is loosely based on a real case James Bostwick tried when he went up against the most famous and powerful attorney in the country to fight for justice for a devastatingly injured teenager.

Here he answers some questions about being a lawyer, writing a novel, and finding that work/life balance:

What do you like best about being a lawyer?

There is so much – probably the opportunity to make a real difference in the life of someone with a devastating injury to themselves or a loved one. We can’t fix injured people, unfortunately, but we can make life a bit easier, get them the help they need and provide some economic security for their future. Also, of course, the challenge of preparing and trying a case against really talented adversaries that you really want to beat but can still respect highly!

Are there similarities between presenting a case and writing a novel?

Oh, yes. Perhaps the greatest similarity is the fact both are an artistic presentation of the facts – done in a way that is interesting, compelling, and tells an important story. Both start with a blank “canvas” and you as the author/trial lawyer are responsible for creating a cohesive, understandable and persuasive vision of what needs to be conveyed to the viewer/jury/reader.

How do you find work/life balance?

You have to set your priorities and then MAKE yourself adhere to them. Family, health, exercise, friendships, and fun pursuits must not take a back seat to your work even if you love it.  It is awfully easy to rationalize a few extra hours, time and time again – and then, before you know it, you have lost critical moments and some important events are history. Things/important elements of your life that you can never regain are gone forever.

What are your top 5 favorite authors/novels?

Seabiscuit and Unbroken by Hillenbrand; Educated by Westover; The Lewis Trilogy about the Hebrides by Peter May; Go Tell It on the Mountain, Baldwin; Deerslayer, Cooper; The Sun Also Rises etc, etc geez – where to stop?!

To read more about the nationally recognized trial lawyer and author James Bostwick click here.

James Bostwick Featured on Walter Cronkite’s 6 O’Clock News in 1978

Interviews, James S. Bostwick

Acts of Omission author, James Bostwick, was featured on Walter Cronkite’s 6 o’clock news in 1978 for securing a $7.6 million jury verdict, the highest jury verdict in the country at that time that received worldwide media coverage.

The medical malpractice case was tried in San Francisco involving an 18-year-old woman who had been rendered quadriplegic during radiation treatment for cancer she had suffered as a child. This was an extremely difficult liability case against two major local hospitals and a nationally recognized radiation therapist. The 1978 jury verdict of $7.6 million received worldwide media coverage.

James Bostwick has been a San Francisco trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries for more than 50 years and has set the bar for litigating some of the most complex and high-stakes cases in the country. He is recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the U.S. and is one of the most experienced attorneys for plaintiff’s medical malpractice and personal injury litigation with a legacy of record-setting results.

Read about more of Bostwick’s record-setting verdicts here.

James Bostwick’s Talk with the Commonwealth Club Available Online

Acts of Omission, Author Talks, Interviews, James S. Bostwick

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.

Acts of Omission is available in hardcover (almost sold out), paperback, e-book, and as an audiobook. Order from your local bookstore or on, Barnes & Noble or For audiobooks, you can find it on and Audible.

For updates on the novel, giveaways, and sequels, please follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Veteran Trial Lawyer and Author James Bostwick to Speak at the Commonwealth Club

Acts of Omission, Author Talks, James S. Bostwick

On Tuesday, September 8th at 2:30 pm PDT, trial lawyer and author James Boswtick will speak with Commonwealth Club members and the public about his legal thriller, Acts of Omission, and what it was like to take on a San Francisco icon.

The live-streamed event is free and the public can register here.

The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum. Every year, the Commonwealth Club Club presents more than 450 forums on topics ranging across politics, culture, society, and the economy.

Bostwick will outline the story and what it was like as a young, struggling attorney who took on one of the most famous lawyers in the country to seek justice for a devastatingly injured teenager. It is a tale of love, friendship, sex, and betrayal that also paints an authentic picture of the risk, dilemmas, and tactics involved in high stakes litigation.

Bostwick will provide insights into this complex and competitive arena. He will also discuss the genesis and inspiration for his novel, as well as the writing process and how to get published—what works and what doesn’t.

James Bostwick has been a San Francisco trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries for more than 40 years. He obtained the largest medical malpractice verdict in U.S. history and is recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the U.S. His first novel, Acts of Omission, was nominated for the 2020 Harper Lee Legal Fiction Award and is under contract to soon be a movie.

Acts of Omission is available in hardcover (almost sold out), paperback, e-book and as an audiobook. Order from your local bookstore or on, Barnes & Noble or For audiobooks, you can find it on and Audible.

For updates on the novel, giveaways and sequels, please follow Facebook and Instagram.

Ways to Support Your Local Bookstores on Independent Bookstore Day!

Acts of Omission, Independent Bookstore Day, James S. Bostwick, Shop Local

To celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, August 29, 2020, James Bostwick, author of Acts of Omission, is sharing 6 Ways To Support Your Local Bookstore.

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.

While Covid-19 has made it difficult for many local bookstores to keep their doors open, there are still simple ways you can support them:

Find Your Local Bookstores: There are over 2,300 independent bookstores across the U.S. and your local bookstores need support! If you don’t know where your local bookstore is located or want to explore new ones, use this handy bookstore finder from

Shop by Phone or Online: Most bookstores are standing by their phones, email, and online ready to help you find a book and take your order! They will either ship the books to you or most offer curbside pick-up. Some even have their doors open depending on the location. You can also shop online at, an online bookstore that financially supports local, independent bookstores.

Enjoy Audiobooks through Audiobooks are all the rage right now. Listening to an audiobook helps time fly while road tripping, walking, jogging, biking, washing dishes, cleaning the house, or simply relaxing. One of the best ways to get audiobooks is through 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 now 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!

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.

Follow on Social Media: Stay in the know, get updates on book releases, author talks, giveaways, and more. Most have Facebook and Instagram, so start following your favorite local bookstores today!

To honor Independent Bookstore Day, author James Bostwick will be purchasing gift cards to some of his favorite local San Francisco Bay Area independent bookstores, including Book Passage, City Lights, Green Apple Books, and Sausalito Books by the Bay.

Be sure to follow Acts of Omission on Facebook and Instagram for news and updates.

Silent Book Club Chat with James Bostwick

Acts of Omission, Author Talks, Interviews, James S. Bostwick

James Bostwick joined Laura Gluhanich and Guinevere de la Mare for a virtual author chat with Silent Book Club. During the chat, James discussed bringing the novel to publication and future plans for a sequel and movie deal.  They also discussed the impact the pandemic has had on the legal system, and how a jury trial can work in the new normal.

Silent Book Club was started in 2012 on the foundation that reading with friends enriches lives and makes people happy.  Silent Book Club is about community. Everyone is welcome, and anyone can join or launch a chapter. They have more than 240 active chapters around the world in cities of all sizes, and new chapters are being launched by volunteers every week.

Watch the full video here: Silent Book Club with James Bostwick.

Bostwick, founder of Bostwick & Peterson, is rated among the Top 4 Trial Lawyers by the California Bar Journal. He is also featured in Newsweek, Town and Country, and Forbes as one of America’s top trial lawyers. In his novel, Acts of Omission, he uses his vast experience to provide a rare glimpse into the world of civil trial lawyers, what motivates them, the enormous risks they take, and the choices that define them professionally and personally.