Danger! A True History of a Great City's Wiles and Temptations
Abraham H. Hummel
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This book was an American trial lawyer with the New York firm Howe and Hummel. Abraham Henry Hummel (1849-1926), was a former clerk, renowned for his ability to spot loopholes in the law. Howe handled most of the firm's criminal work, participating in more than 600 murder trials in the course of his fifty-year career and winning a large but unstated proportion of them. The less extrovert but more intelligent Hummel specialized in civil law and ran the firm's thriving blackmail racket, representing chorus girls and thwarted lovers, threatening married men with exposure and well-off young bachelors with suits for breach of promise of marriage. Howe and Hummel kept no records, actively courted publicity, and were much discussed in their day among the members of the legal profession. As such, many of the stories told about them have the aura of tall tales. Nevertheless, their decades of effective practice suggest that the partners were among the most effective and innovative attorneys to practice in the United States during the nineteenth century.