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The case that opened in the New York Surrogate's Court on 21 April 1947 had those rare features that rivet the eyes of a whole nation upon a courtroom.
A man was claiming a large fortune. To get it, he had to prove that he was the illegitimate son of Mabel Seymour Greer, whose death in 1946 had ended an era of respectable gracious living among New York's byegone social elite.
As witnesses memories fumbled the details of the distant past, the claimant's chances looked slight. But his brilliant counsel. Lester Friedman, was fully prepared for battle as tough, and an investigation as painstaking as any in modern legal history. The author of this absorbing account of the case was himself a U.S. Supreme Court Judge.