In a week I am going to be posting a review of Murder One on my blog, Mysteries and More from
I found it a very good legal thriller.
I am a lawyer whose practice includes civil and criminal litigation.
There was an ethical issue that troubled me in the book.
In Saskatchewan David Sloane would have been in deep trouble with the Law Society had he taken on the representation of a client with whom he was having a sexual relationship.
To represent her on a criminal charge while publicly having an affair just could not happen here.
Can it be in
that lawyers can sleep with their clients? Washington
If not, I would be interested in knowing why you set up the plot for them to be sexually involved while he represented her.
I may write a post about the issue but it would be subsequent to the review and state that it may contain spoilers for readers.
….. (I am omitting a portion of my email as it contains a spoiler directly about the ending) …..
If you would like to respond to this email and have your response in the post please let me know. If you would prefer to respond but not have the response posted I would not put up the reply.
I am glad to have found a “new” legal writer to read from
Thanks for the email. Yes, this was a potential conundrum. Here in
Professional Rule 1.8 (j) provides that the attorney
cannot represent a client unless the sexual relationship pre-dated the date he
is asked to represent the client. That is one of the reasons why, in Murder One, I had to establish the
relationship before the request for representation. While I don’t
advocate an attorney representing a client he is sleeping with, for the
purposes of the story I needed that bond. You will note that after the point in
the book where Sloane figures out Barclay is guilty (not announced to the reader
until the end) he manages not to sleep with her. For a while I considered not
granting Barclay bail for this reason also. It is important to my readers that
Sloane’s moral compass point north. Washington
A second conundrum was whether a court would let Sloane represent her at all given his lack of criminal defense background. I debated having John Kannon stay involved and represent her but that would have been a different book. I needed Sloane to be the main focal point. Again my criminal defense and prosecutor friends told me it was more probable he could represent her so long as the State was not seeking the Death Penalty.
….. (I omit a portion of the email related to the ending that I consider too much a spoiler.) …
My current novel involves an interest legal issue as well. A Post Conviction Relief Hearing for a convicted murderer. I’m having a lot of fun with it and with Blackstone’s Maxim about the guilty going free being better than one innocent being convicted.
Thank you for taking the time to write and the mentions. I always enjoy hearing from readers, especially lawyer. I don’t always get things right, but I still work at it.
My best to you. I visit your country every year for the Surrey Writer’s Conference