The challenges of a break from Twitter and Instagram

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Maybe it was all the ads on Twitter. Maybe I was tired of seeing every complex issue reduced to a heated binary conflict. In any event, a few weeks ago, I set a screen time limit on my phone for Twitter…


A Q&A with Jessica DuLong, the freelance editor and writer who was instrumental to the editing of Bad Medicine. This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Author Photo by Hank Gans

Charlotte: Jessica, you’re not just an incredible editor, but also a boat engineer and author. Which one came first, and how do your professions relate to one another?

Jessica: I was always going to be a writer, but I never thought it was something I could actually [do] — and…


Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know what sends me over the moon: public library mentions and emails from readers. …


My trial partner and friend Peter Kougasian cared deeply about his work — he agonized daily during the four-month trial we conducted together.

The first time I visited Peter in the hospital, I brought a plant. A nurse called out to me from her desk, near his room. “Is that real?” She banned the gift. I left it on a cart outside his room. “Put on a gown,” she ordered. Was it for…


Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

“Mommy,” my six-year-old announced from the back seat of the car, “I think that when people die, they start their life over again.”

My six-year-old gets philosophical when she’s in trouble. In this case, we’d just spent the morning wading and playing in a clear country stream, with her little…


Resisting Misdirection in the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy

There will be an elephant in the Zoom during the Purdue Pharma confirmation hearing.

When I was a baby lawyer, working at a big private law firm, a senior associate taught me the most important rule about legal writing: control the narrative; always be clear about what you are not doing.

And so began every legal memo…


A Mom’s Scream Into the Delta Variant Void.

Photo by Juan Encalada on Unsplash

Hi. I’m just wondering, what’s the plan for the little kids? I mean, do we have one? If we have a plan, could someone please share it with me?

You know, the little kids — the ones under age 12, who aren’t eligible for vaccination yet. The ones who don’t…


THIS IS US

Finding the truth in my parents’ words, one reading at a time

My grandfather used to say it all the time — actually, my mother used to say, all the time, that this was what my grandfather said: If you have an education, you’ll always have it with you. It’s a familiar saying to the children of immigrants — we’ve all heard…


The words don’t matter, as long as they are kind

You should write a love letter today.

If you’re carrying unspoken feelings, write a love letter. Be prepared for major anxiety about whether you used the right postage, had the right address, or chose the right words. Be prepared not to know when they’ll receive it or whether you’ll receive…


A dog, a newt, two nightmares and a writing lesson

Photo by Jacob Dyer on Unsplash

A few days ago, as my two littlest girls ate breakfast, I dug through the six-year-old’s backpack, checking for spare clothes. Shorts? Check. Socks? Check. T-shirt? Check? Dead newt? Check.

It was no longer a vibrant shade of orange but tiny, gnarled — a dry red. Dessicated. So small that…

Charlotte Bismuth

Author of “Bad Medicine: Catching New York’s Deadliest Pill Pusher,” former Manhattan ADA , Columbia Law School grad, occasional legal cartoonist.

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