Friday, August 21, 2015

New Thaddeus Murfee Book: The Lawyer's Lawyer

I love writing about court cases where the target is moving. Where things are not what they seem. Because, in truth, that is the human condition: that things are never what they seem. We think we know our spouses or our children or our best friends, but do we really? The same thing is true with what happens in court. A guy gets arrested for something. Lawyer A, who has been paid $100,000 to defend the guy, pulls out all the stops. There is scientific evidence, there is a human factors expert, there is an economist, a treating physician, DNA testing and etc. Lawyer B, who has been paid $10,000 to defend the guy, shows up for court in a new suit and a recent haircut. There are no experts, no paid witnesses, no DNA testing experts and evidence, and no stops are pulled out. Lawyer C, the public defender, is paid $0 and immediately starts looking to plead the guy guilty to something. No offense meant; this is a budgetary matter. PD's are damn good lawyers, many, many of them even better than private lawyers, but, alas, they have no money to work with.

What's this all mean to me? That a lawsuit in my novel can have many different faces, depending on the motivation and expertise of the attorneys involved. So my main guy, Thaddeus Murfee, has money to burn. Why? Because that's how most all of us lawyers would like to handle our cases: ones where resources are unlimited. What a different world that would be.

In my latest Thaddeus adventure, due to be released in about 5-6 weeks, Thaddeus is defending a man with multiple motives to murder his wife, opportunity, and means. But there are other possible suspects as well. They also have motive[s], opportunity, and means. Are things as the client says they are? That's the rub: they never are. Which is the great thing about fiction: you can have two legitimate narrators in one book and they can both report the exact same scene differently--even vastly differently. So my client tells me one thing in the office, the police say something entirely different in court, and then the judge comes along and decides out of all of it what parts the jury gets to hear and what parts they won't access.

This is courtroom fiction at its best, this latest Thaddeus book. Be sure and preorder on Amazon. A good one-half of the book is taken up with the trial, my most ambitious yet.


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