Judyth Piazza Chats with J. Michael Veron, Author of Shell Game (Click here to Listen)
J. Michael Veron is the acclaimed author of The Greatest Player Who Never Lived and The Greatest Course That Never Was. His third novel, titled The Caddie, was released in early 2004.
Mike’s work earned him the title of “master of fiction” from USA Today, and Travel and Leisure Golf Magazine called him “The John Grisham of Golf.” In addition, after The Greatest Player, the New York Times hailed him as “Golf’s Literary Rookie of the Year,” and the Seattle Times ranked The Greatest Player as second on its all-time list of “Five Wonderful Golf Books.” At one time, The Greatest Player and The Greatest Course were the first and third best-selling sports fiction in the country. Now, his third book, The Caddie, is attracting major interest as a must-read for golfers of all levels because of the wonderful fountain of knowledge combined with a myriad of historical anecdotes that makes the book interesting and fun to read.
All of this is especially remarkable considering that Mike didn’t begin to write fiction until the age of 49. Born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Mike is the older son of Earl and Verdy Veron. His father was a self-made man who was the first person in his family ever to attend college, beginning McNeese State College as a freshman at the age of 32 and then completing LSU Law School in record time. After a few years as a practicing lawyer, Earl Veron was elected to the state bench and, in 1977, was appointed by President Carter to the federal bench, where he served until his death in 1990. His career as a trial judge was so distinguished that his obituary was published in The New York Times, as well as several other leading newspapers in the country.
Mike attended Tulane University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English literature as well as a law degree. After a year of clerking for a judge on the Louisiana Supreme Court, he then obtained a post-graduate law degree from Harvard Law School before returning to Lake Charles in 1976. Mike has practiced law there ever since and is now a senior partner in his law firm, Scofield, Gerard, Veron, Singletary & Pohorelsky (www.sgvsp.com).
Mike has compiled a remarkable string of courtroom victories in jury trials over the years while representing both plaintiffs and defendants. For instance, he successfully defended numerous claims against his business clients for alleged exposure to asbestos, phosgene, benzene, and pertussis, among other things, as well as maritime personal injury cases and product liability cases, securing a number of “zero” defense verdicts for his clients. In recent years, Mike began to represent plaintiffs as well, and has obtained several jury verdicts ranging from more than $1 million to more than $50 million on behalf of plaintiffs. He has also won acquittals for defendants in criminal cases before juries in federal courts both in Louisiana and Texas.
Through it all, Mike also found time to teach advanced trial practice to seniors at LSU Law School for a number of years, and his work there earned him a place in the LSU Law Center Hall of Fame. He also frequently lectures on trial practice to lawyers and judges at various conferences and meetings. In fact, Mike’s clients have included other lawyers and judges, as well as injured plaintiffs and Fortune 500 companies seeking his trial talents.
Before turning to fiction writing, Mike published a number of scholarly law review articles that prompted a noted federal appeals judge to call Mike “one of our most perceptive commentators on the judicial process” and to praise his scholarship and historical knowledge as “awesome.” He also completed a book entitled Litigation Handbook: A Method of Trial Practice, and used it as his course text at LSU and in other courses on trial practice he has taught to practicing lawyers.
Since 1986, Mike has served as a USGA Committee Member and occasional Rules Official. He has been a regular speaker at USGA conferences around the country, talking on such diverse subjects as legal issues pertaining to golf as well as his golf writing. As is evident from his books, Mike is passionate about golf and is a regular at the Lake Charles Country Club, his home course, where he has been both its president and its club champion.
Mike and his wife Melinda are the proud parents of five children and three grandchildren. Together, their children range in ages from 33 to 12 and remain a great source of joy to their parents.
For More Information: www.jmichaelveron.com