Author Caroline Leavitt on Literature and Litigation: “My Life in Lawsuits”

Read Her Like an Open Book

caroline leavitt

Everyone knows the lawsuit story about The Help, right? Kathryn Stockett was sued by a family housekeeper, more than a year after Stockett gave her the book to read. The housekeeper claimed that despite the fact that this was fiction, her likeness, image and stories were used without her permission. Because the housekeeper had known about the book, and because her right to sue was past the statute of limitations, the court threw the case out.

But still, there’s that question: Who was right? Who really owns a life?  No one lives in a vacuum. We are all bumping up against and being impacted by other people all the time, and to really tell our stories, sometimes we have to tell a little of theirs, as well.

Fiction, of course, is safer than non, but still, it can’t save you from threats. My very first novel was my very…

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About Jane Wilson

Jane Wilson graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, was a trial attorney for 25 years and has served on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy on numerous occasions. She was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland State University for several years and served as an Interim Associate Professor of Law in the clinical program at Case Law School. In 2009, she returned to the small southwestern Michigan community where she was raised, and wrote a novel.
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