Ronald Motley: The Lawyer Who Beat Big Tobacco

If Ronald Lee Motley hadn’t existed, some novelist or screenwriter surely would have made him up: a high-powered, flamboyant attorney with a smooth-as-silk Southern drawl who fancied ostrich-skin cowboy boots and liked to sail on a 165-foot yacht named after Themis, the female Greek titan of law, whenever he wasn’t in a courtroom whacking corporate bigwigs around like so many piñatas. Motley, who died on Aug. 22 at age 68 in Charleston, S.C., was both so larger-than-life colorful and so effective …