Cost of Arrogance


A New Legal Thriller From


H. Mitchell Caldwell

A complex courtroom drama, anchored by sharply drawn characters. In Caldwell’s legal thriller, a law professor decides to represent an inmate on death row and finds it to be a daunting case. Caldwell’s work shines in his ability to make the intricacies of the law accessible to laypeople while still satisfying those with legal experience. — Kirkus Reviews

This book is a must-read for any fan of courtroom thrillers. There is no stone left unturned when Jake Clearwater takes on a case. Author Caldwell certainly knows his subject matter and I look forward to reading more courtroom fiction by this author.

Kristi Elizabeth
San Francisco Book Review

To Be Released October 21, 2021

Cost of Arrogance

By H. Mitchell Caldwell

Duane Durgeon a is huge, hulking, hardboiled bad-ass, who against the advice of his counsel (in fact, he threatened to kill one of them), demanded to address the jury during the sentencing phase of his trial. He had been convicted of a double murder. Getting his wish, he insults the judge, his lawyers, the prosecutors, and the jury in a profanity-laced rant that ends with him asking for the death penalty. Naturally, he is sentenced to death.

Jake Clearwater, a law professor, and a former prosecutor is urged by the Death Penalty Project to help stem the tide of wrongful death penalty convictions in California by agreeing to represent Duane in appealing his conviction, despite Duane’s despicable persona and indifference to his fate. Jake convinces the reluctant Duane to appeal and wins a retrial where he is pitted against his former boss and bitter foe, prosecutor John Tice. Not to mention the lovely, mysterious juror that turns Jake’s head. What follows is a riveting tale of courtroom drama, suspense, and the exquisite workings of Law and ultimately…of justice.

Praise for the Book

“As a former prosecutor myself, I appreciated how the book accurately portrays trial proceedings, including a realistic approach to cross-examination and an insightful view of the different ways prosecutors and defense attorneys approach a case and present their evidence.”—Darren ShulmanOhio Lawyer, Ohio state bar association—

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“Pepperdine/Caruso law professor H. Mitchell Caldwell has written a chilling legal thriller around the retrial of a convicted murderer facing the death penalty. “ —Norm Goldman,

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“A gripping novel about a former top prosecutor turned esteemed law professor who takes on a case to challenge the death sentence for a vicious, confessed, and convicted murderer. The trial details are accurate and dramatic, reflecting the author’s real-life experience as a prosecutor who now teaches law. I lost a night’s sleep—I couldn’t put it down.“ —John Sharer, trial lawyer, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, member of the American Board of Trial Advocates

“H. Mitchell Caldwell makes his debut as a novelist with the first in a promising new series of legal thrillers. A former prosecutor turned law professor, Caldwell sounds like the perfect person to write a legal thriller, and with this novel, he proves to be just that.

His strong and charismatic protagonist Jake Clearwater is the new Perry Mason, and I can’t wait to read the next entry in the series. Highly recommended!“ —Eric PetersenThe Internet Review of Books- Read the review Here→

“Law professor Caldwell knows whereof he writes and it blazes through every page. He does so in this novel with pinpoint legal prose, a razor-sharp wit, and perceptive asides that turn humdrum courtroom battles into edge of the seat drama.” —Ivor Davis, Author of Manson Exposed: A Reporter’s 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder

About the Author

H. Mitchell Caldwell is a law professor at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. He teaches criminal procedure and trial advocacy. Professor Caldwell routinely represents death row inmates appealing their convictions before the California Supreme Court. 

He has co-authored several trial advocate textbooks as well as the critically acclaimed Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury series of books. COST OF ARROGANCE is the first in his new series of legal thrillers.

He resides in Southern California.

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Media Contact

Kathleen Kaiser