Pulse: Chatter: Books: The Devil Wears Robes

Former Philly law clerk-turned-New York City lawyer/novelist Saira Rao is currently doing press for her recently released Grove Press novel Chambermaid, a loose-lipped legal roman à clef that follows “Sheila Raj,” a new law clerk for the Third Circuit Court, as she attempts to navigate the Philadelphia office of “power-hungry sociopath” judge Helga Friedman. Law bloggers are buzzing that the bitchy, witchy Helga is a thinly veiled portrait of Third Circuit Judge Dolores Sloviter, whom Rao clerked for from 2002 to 2003. The book details Judge Friedman’s constant yelling, torturous ridicule of her clerks, and startling lack of political correctness, as well as her dislike for one “Judge Adams,” whose husband is running for reelection as mayor. (Cough. Midge Rendell. Cough.) Rao claims any similarities are merely coincidental, and that the book is, in fact, “fiction.” Fiction or not, it’s attracting attention: Paula Weinstein (Blood Diamond) is set to produce a TV series based on it. Will Meryl Streep play Friedman — or Midge?