Lawyer Pens Legal Hurtin' Music
November 13: When he's not working to
settle family feuds for his clients, a
Canadian lawyer writes songs about them
-- and his CD is getting airplay from
Toronto to San Francisco.
Kotzer, a 49-year-old Toronto lawyer who
specializes in wills and estate law, claims
inspiration from the adult children of
baby boomers, squabbling over inheritances
left to them by parents who didn't write
has released a CD of sentimental songs
that describe fights over "mother's
rugs and rings," as one lyric goes.
see so much tragedy in my practice: brother
against brother, sister against sister,"
Kotzer said in an interview on Thursday.
"I use my songwriting ability and
my legal knowledge and put that into music."
Kotzer wrote the lyrics, fellow Canadian
Lewis Manne composed the music and sang
the songs. Kotzer sent his self-released
CD, "A Family United, A Family Divided",
to AM radio stations across Canada and
the United States in September -- not
expecting how strongly listeners would
Gamble, a host and programmer at the Toronto
station Foxy 88.5, has been playing the
song "Photos in a Drawer", twice
a day for the past six weeks. Its message
is that siblings can rise above inheritance
disputes by looking at childhood photos
that remind them of happier times.
popular here because it's got some meaning
not just another relationship song."
said Gamble. "Plus, it's not too
often you would get something like that
from a lawyer, so that made it unique."
San Francisco radio host went so far as
to pen the endorsement that appears on
the CD's back cover, part of which reads,
"Les Kotzer's knowledge of the law
has always been exceptional, but his music
the past couple of weeks, Kotzer said,
listeners have written and called to tell
him that his music has given them courage
to contact estranged siblings.
caller said I was practising 'emotional
law'," he said, adding: "I hope
to put out another CD very soon.