When I was a young boy growing up in Northwest Florida, I used the money I made cutting my neighbors’ grass to buy Earle Stanley Gardner’s entire series about Perry Mason, the dashing criminal defense lawyer. My mother also loved to read mysteries and thrillers, and would pass them on to me after she had finished them. We shared a particular love for one book, To Kill a Mockingbird, which remains my favorite book to this day. The noble lawyer Atticus Finch was yet another role model. It was the first book I read to my children. We have dogs named Atti and Boo Radley, and an independent cat named Scout. My daughter’s pets are Calpurnia and Miss Maudie.
After law school, I began my legal career as a state court prosecutor, handling all sorts of felony prosecutions, including first degree murder, drug trafficking, etc. Eventually, I moved to criminal defense work, defending felony cases, and even defended a high-profile homicide case in a military court martial. I’ve been a trial lawyer for almost thirty-five years now, twenty-five of which as a nationally board-certified civil trial attorney, and still maintain my practice as a Fellow of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association. I am a member of several national mediation and arbitration panels. I currently serve as one of thirteen appeal panelists in a quasi-judicial capacity, resolving appeals filed regarding the BP oil spill.
I think most passionate readers harbor a desire to write, and I am no exception. I had a story bouncing around in my head for years about an idealistic young lawyer named Rian Coulter, who was struggling with an ethical crisis, and eventually committed myself to writing it down. The result is my first novel, The Judas Dilemma, published this year. I plan to publish a series, with more stories about Rian to come.
While I still practice law, my enthusiasm for writing has never been higher. I don’t know where the road that I’m on will lead, but it’s a journey that I have to make. I hope that you will join me, and I thank you for stopping by.