Wrongfully locked up for a crime he didn’t commit, the wheelchair-bound Elton Cribbs immediate situation soon goes from bad to tragic. Could it have happened that, while in custody and being transported with less than suitable care in a police van he suffered the injuries which rendered him a paraplegic? Certainly, ever since then—for the past decade—he’s led the life of an aggrieved victim, seeking justice while rejecting pity. Retained now to litigate Elton’s case even as the clock’s ticking, Tug finds himself caught in the unlikeliest of conflicts. After all, what’s he supposed to think when the defendant, otherwise known as the City of New York, begins offering him millions to settle while at the same time maintaining its allegation that Elton’s case is a phony one?

Elton’s Case, Tug Wyler & Me

Every so often a potential client will enter my law office . . . and I find myself unable to believe a word they’re saying. Sure, sitting on the other side of my desk is an individual with an obvious, even horrific, injury. No argument there. Yet, when I listen to the story being told me, the part I’m not buying is the reason they offer for what caused it.

Experience counts in every profession. And I trust the acuteness of my veteran’s ear when it tells me an attempt to commit insurance fraud is what I’m hearing. For more men and women than you might imagine, such a shot at easy money is always tempting. Where I come into their scheme would be as a mule and facilitator in their attempt to unjustly bilk the civil justice system.

Yet they’ve picked the wrong guy. Big time. No way is this how I choose to practice my profession. Ever.

But Tug, in Elton’s Case, finds himself in the most peculiar of situations: the defendant—the City of New York—is telling Tug that his client, Elton Cribbs, is a faker, while at the same time offering Tug a settlement of millions. You tell me: what’s an attorney to do when he can’t make sense of what he’s caught up in and is forced, simultaneously, to improvise and strategize?

Used to operating with his wits always on full alert, even Tug Wyler’s stretched here nearly to the breaking point.