Book 1 of the Michael Gresham Series
One hard-hitting criminal lawyer surrounded by dysfunction…
Michael Gresham is a criminal attorney with a brother who won’t take his meds, an ex-wife who wants him to finance her fertility costs, and a client accused of murdering the wife of a judge. As the story progresses the brother is being hunted down by MexTel, a huge conglomerate that wants him dead, and the ex-wife’s new husband wants to borrow money, while the judge whose wife was murdered suddenly tries to hire Michael Gresham for himself. Can an attorney who feels like he’s slowing down with age (55) still succeed in court against younger, more aggressive lawyers? Can Michael Gresham turn the tables on those who would see him dead? And who is going to pay him for the injury and disfigurement they caused him?
One innocent client who looks guiltier with each new violent act…
Watch up close as a young defendant who many thought to be low IQ begins to emerge from his silence and withdrawal to become a powerful force that finally must be dealt with.
Read an Excerpt
Several months ago, I took a last look around my office before I walked out for the last time. I felt like a married person losing a spouse. This place was my home for thirty years, for better or worse, in sickness and health, in good times and in bad. It was the previous six months that had qualified for the bad: six months and a mere eight new clients. My partners voted me out of the law firm that I had founded when I was fresh out of law school. “Don’t take it personally,” managing partner Everett Evans told me, “it’s only business.” Yes, but until that moment it was my business and now you say it’s not? Just shove me out the door? “Article Eight—” he began, but I shut him off. I knew all about Article Eight of our Partnership Agreement: the right to vote out a non-producing partner, emphasis on non.
I had no explanation. New work had just vanished, and I was kicking myself every morning while I shaved and had to look into the eyes of the man who chose law over medicine and dentistry. If your customers have insurance, you’re golden. If they don’t have insurance—you’re a lawyer. A doctor wouldn’t dream of taking on a patient who has no insurance. Lawyers—lawyers do it every time a new case walks in.
Suzanne Strunk—my secretary—appeared with yet another cardboard box to hold the final artifacts that could prove I had once been a member of the firm. My framed certificate proving my good standing in Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice, my certificate for finishing Trial Lawyers College in Reno, my certificate of membership in Rotary. All three listed the name of my law firm. Plus the small stuff from the middle drawer in my Italian desk, including a stack of unused business cards with my law firm’s name in raised letters. It all went into my box and then I stood upright and clapped my hands together, scattering the imaginary dust my life had collected.
Suzanne closed the two steps between us and fiddled with my necktie. An old habit of hers, one that I allowed very rarely, for Suzanne was happily married, and married women shouldn’t be touching other men intimately like the necktie thing. I mean to me, it’s intimate. To someone else it’s housekeeping. The tears in her eyes overflowed and she touched my face with her hand. “I’m going to miss you, Michael.”
That was six months ago.
To everyone’s amazement, it turned around almost overnight and I have prospered.
I have prospered because I stumbled onto the case of the United States of America v. James Joseph Lamb. Suddenly, my name was in all the newspapers, I was seen on TV, and my phone started ringing off the hook.
Saved by the murder of a judge’s wife.
It’s a terrible thing to prosper off something like that. But nobody ever said the world was going to be Disneyland.
Because it isn’t.
Not where I work.
I’m a criminal lawyer.