The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal

Grant Justice

by Judge Robert G. Fegers Book Reviews

Who can defend the indefensible as well as a criminal defense attorney representing folks accused of murdering high-profile officials or loved ones in crimes of passion? Perhaps the answer lies in Grant B. Cooper, who is most famously known for representing the man who murdered Robert F. Kennedy.

But the story of Cooper contained within Grant Justice: The Untold Story of the Finest Attorney of a Generation, is also intertwined with the story of Robert Gregory Fegers, the book’s author, who always dreamt of writing a book and shared that dream with his father. The father-son duo practiced law together and shared their war stories. Fegers achieved that dream and ultimately his father got to witness the completed manuscript of Grant Justice shortly before passing away.

Fegers’ debut is a comprehensive and thoroughly researched biography of Cooper, chock full of stories told in a way that makes the reader feel as if they knew Cooper himself. Cooper is much more complex than his complicated legacy within the seminal murder case he is known for being lead counsel on; Fegers paints a fuller picture of his subject beginning with Cooper’s childhood and family history before being transported to the initial television cover of Kennedy’s assassination (Cooper’s wife, Phyllis, was afraid her husband would get the case) and ultimately placing us inside the courtroom when he defended Sirhan Sirhan — with a detail so exquisite that the reader may well be observing the trial from the gallery.

Grant Justice is a testament to what happens when the dreams of two different families collide: the author’s shared dream with his father to write a book, and the dream of lawyer Grant B. Cooper’s children to have a book written about their father. A true delight for anyone invested in the influence of the stories lawyers have to tell and their influence in history, imbued with an undercurrent of love connecting the author, his subject’s descendants, and their larger-than-life fathers.

Haley Moss is a member of The Florida Bar.