Why I (Reluctantly) Wrote a Legal Thriller

The question I most get asked as a criminal defense attorney is not "How do you defend those people?"Which is, let's be honest, what everybody thinks when they hear about what I do. The question I most get asked is "Why don't you write a legal thriller!"

I'll tell you why.

I hate them.

I spend nearly eight hours a day in the courtroom. Most of my job is going through metal detectors, racing from court to court, and getting yelled at by judges for being late. I've been writing for fifteen years and I love it. It's what I look forward to every day. Why would I possibly want to work in a courtroom all day and then write about it, too?

But, I finally caved with my first legal thriller, The Neon Lawyer. The fact is, criminal defense attorneys and cops have the best stories and I wanted to get some of these stories down.

The thing that most seems to puzzle people about the book is that it's somewhere around 80 to 90% true. Even the whacko characters that seem made up are people I actually worked with. But, of course, I have to protect people's identities so certain key things about the cases and locations and dates have been changed.

And now, the book has gone on and become successful and dang it if I don't have to write another one.

But, for those of you considering a career in law, I probably wouldn't recommend it unless it's something you really want to do. I've been very, very lucky. I was a prosecutor first and myself and another prosecutor jumped ship and opened our own firm at exactly the right time. We mastered internet marketing and are doing really well at a time when most law firms are failing.

The fact is, law practice has completely changed and will continue to change. Companies have realized how much they pay for legal services and they've begun outsourcing. As such, law firms have cut staff or switched to contract attorneys. But law schools are still pumping out lawyers by the tens of thousands with no jobs for them once they graduate. The market is adjusting a little (law school applications are down nearly 30% this year) but not enough to make a difference. A law degree just doesn't do what it used to.

Then again, if it's what you know you want to do, then jump in. Life's too short to go into a career you hate. As I've always advocated, I'd rather fail at something I love than be successful in something I hate.

But, getting back to the book, yes, it's based on a true story and most of the stories in there happened to me. Hope you enjoy it, and drop me a line and let me know what you think.

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  1. Loved both books in this series. I am a retired deputy sheriff and I spent 8 years as a bailiff. You are spot on your description of the court scene.

  2. Great entertainment! Thank you for describing with such detail what goes on in the courtroom. Other than in my divorce hearing, I haven't had a chance to be in once and I feel bless about it. Great book. Thanks again

  3. WOW!!! The honesty...what a treat. My new favorite author, can't wait to read all your books. I was called for jury duty a year or so ago. What a disgustingly corrupt system the criminal injustice system is. Had a sit down with the judge, sat through voir dire...haven't been able to get the nasty taste out of my mouth since.

  4. I just finished the first book, it's a great read. I'm the type of person if the book doesn't grab me from the first line, I find another book. I was into the characters, I like the fact it was based on a true story. My late husband was a Sgt.at an A & R prison, he had some stories. So knowing this book was factual even made it more appealing to me. Thank You! My next book shall be #2 in the series.


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