Veron, J. Michael
Veron, J. Michael
Born in Lake Charles, LA; son of Earl (an attorney and judge) and Verdy Veron; married; wife's name Melinda; children: five. Education: Tulane University, B.A., J.D.; Harvard University, graduate law degree. Hobbies and other interests: Golf.
Home—Lake Charles, LA.
Attorney, 1976—; Scofield, Gerard, Veron, Singletary & Pohorelsky (law firm), Lake Charles, LA, currently a partner; Louisiana State University, member of law faculty. Committee member, U.S. Golf Association.
Lake Charles Country Club (president).
Inducted into the Law Center Hall of Fame, Louisiana State University.
The Greatest Player Who Never Lived: A Golf Story (novel), Sleeping Bear Press (Chelsea, MI), 2000.
The Greatest Course That Never Was: The Secret of Augusta National's Lost Course (novel), Sleeping Bear Press (Chelsea, MI), 2001.
The Caddie (novel), Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Shell Game: One Family's Long Battle against Big Oil (nonfiction), Lyons (Guilford, CT), 2007.
Also author of Litigation Handbook: A Method of Trial Practice. Contributor to law journals; also author of articles on golf.
J. Michael Veron is a respected attorney and law firm partner with a passion for the game of golf. He combined his professional and avocational interests to create a fiction trilogy that includes the novels The Greatest Player Who Never Lived: A Golf Story, The Greatest Course That Never Was: The Secret of Augusta National's Lost Course, and The Caddie. Honoring the game with a blend of love for its history and an air of mysticism reminiscent of The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield, the books find a common thread in Bobby Jones. Jones was a real-life golf legend who won thirteen national championships during the 1920s and 1930s and later designed the course for the Augusta National. He, like Veron, was also an attorney.
In The Greatest Player Who Never Lived, Jones helps the fictional Beau Steadman achieve greatness on the course, until Beau has to go into hiding when he is accused of murder. But Beau occasionally comes out of hiding to play golf anyway. The remarkable story is discovered by a law student named Charley Hunter, who finds the correspondence between Beau and Bobby among Jones's legal files. In the sequel, The Greatest Course That Never Was, Hunter is a practicing lawyer when he comes across another mystery. This one is about a course that Jones designed that is even more remarkable than the one at Augusta. However, nobody seems to know about it except the rare golfer who is allowed the chance to play there. The last book in the trilogy, The Caddie, features yet another troubled but talented golfer. Bobby Reeves is bailed out of jail by Jones, who sees potential in the young man if only he can get his mind more on the game. "This is Veron's third mystical-toned golf novel and should have no trouble attracting duffing fans," predicted Gilbert Taylor in Booklist.
Abandoning fiction for nonfiction, Veron drew on his own family history to write Shell Game: One Family's Long Battle against Big Oil. From the 1960s until 1981, Veron's family leased land to Shell Oil for drilling. Part of the contract included the condition that Shell clean up its mess after the end of the lease. When the company abandoned the land, leaving machinery and pollution behind, Veron pursued the company for a year, trying to get them to clean the site. After repeated failures, he finally took them to court. Facing a hostile judge and corporate attorneys backed by a wealthy company, Veron managed to win the case using his skills, excellent witnesses, and the fact that truth was on his side. Comparing Veron's account to the novel A Civil Action, by Jonathan Harr, a Publishers Weekly contributor considered Shell Game to be more "biased" against big business, but added that "this simpler good-versus-evil tale is a cracking good read." Library Journal contributor Ilse Heidmann concluded that the "engaging plot, colorful characters, well-written narration, and an ultimately happy ending make this a satisfying work."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 1, 2004, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Caddie, p. 1350.
Library Journal, March 1, 2007, Ilse Heidmann, review of Shell Game: One Family's Long Battle against Big Oil, p. 103.
Publishers Weekly, January 29, 2007, review of Shell Game, p. 54.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (October 27, 2007), Stuart Shiffman, review of The Caddie.
J. Michael Veron Home Page,http://www.jmichaelveron.com (October 27, 2007).