Spectral Evidence: The Ramona Case: Incest, Memory, and Truth on Trial in Napa Valley

By Moira Johnston | Go to book overview
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7
A Mother Knows

Gary needed a good criminal lawyer. "If you really want the best, I know one," Eugenia Magowan advised him. He agreed. "They didn't just accuse me, they convicted me guilty and want the rope around my neck." Who knew what could happen? Steph was pushing: Was there something with Shawna? With Kelli? She might go for criminal charges. "If I have to go this route, I wanted to make sure I had the best." Magowan took him to a colleague, Ephraim Margolin.

Gary was "at probably the lowest I'll ever be in my life" as he entered Margolin's third-floor office overlooking the palm trees of San Francisco's Union Square. Margolin was the man to lift him up off the floor. A senior defense lawyer who had argued appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, he was considered an attorney's attorney by his peers in the defense bar. He had represented judges, seventy of them, before the Commission on Judicial Performance. His father, a Polish philosopher and Zionist, had sent his wife and son to Palestine in 1936, before he himself was sent to a concentration camp (where he wrote a book later published in seventeen languages). At fifteen an officer in the Israeli underground, Ephraim became secretary to Menachem Begin, then a parliamentary candidate, and read philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem before moving to the United States in 1950 to study constitutional law at Yale. He wrote articles for philatelists' journals, taught law at UC Berkeley's prestigious law school, Boalt Hall, and belonged to a men's group that discussed philosophy instead of their inner warrior selves. He had defended the underdog since heading the ACLU's legal committee in Northern California in the early sixties. With a thick head of gray hair

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