"The Fifth Witness" opens with Haller having it rough. "Criminal defense had virtually dried up in the down economy.
Of course crime wasn't down. In Los Angeles, crime marched through any economy. But paying customers were few and far between.
It seemed as though nobody had money to pay any lawyer," he tells us, explaining why with his bills to pay, an estranged wife, and a 14-year-old daughter who fancies going to USC he's been forced to mine one of the few growth industries in contemporary law: foreclosure defense. He's churning clients at "four or five grand a pop," helping people to hold onto their homes, at least for a little longer. One such small case blows up big, however, when Lisa Trammel, his very first foreclosure client, is charged with the murder of the banker who's trying to take away her home.