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Special Circumstances introduced an exciting new voice in legal fiction — a talent so original, it drew comparisons with the very top tier of courtroom thriller writers.
Now Sheldon Siegel delivers a new challenge for defense attorney Mike Daley — ex-priest, ex-husband, ex—public defender — and it’s a high-profile zinger: a case he doesn’t think he can win for a client he can’t stand.
It starts with a phone call Mike Daley never expected to get, from District Attorney Prentice Marshall Gates III, San Francisco’s chief law enforcement officer and front-runner candidate for California attorney general. Friends they’re not; Skipper Gates had led the charge to get Mike fired from his job as a partner in a prestigious law firm.
But Gates needs Daley now — and needs him badly. He’s just been arrested. It seems that a couple of hours earlier he woke up in an armchair in his hotel room and found the dead body of a young male prostitute in the bed.
The details that continue to emerge from the crime scene are tabloid heaven. The SFPD is certain Gates did it. The prosecutors are already talking the death penalty, and there’s nothing in the mounting evidence, and certainly not in Gates’s unpersuasive denials, to convince Daley and his partner (and ex-wife) Rosie of his innocence. But even if he’s lying, it’s their job to defend him, and that means finding out what really happened.
Sure enough, the deeper they dig, the seamier their findings. An array of influential power brokers is all too ready to cover questionable activities that may — or may not — connect with the victim. There’s a campaign manager with his own dirty secrets, a shady Internet entrepreneur who trades flesh for cash, a prominent businessman who uses muscle to keep his enterprise prospering.
Mike and Rosie chase down trails that take them from the lowest depths of the Mission District, where drugs and bodies are always for sale, to the gated mansions of Pacific Heights, all the while contending with a trial that gets under way even as they are frantically trying to piece together what is really at stake in the case against Gates.
Its riveting blend of inside knowledge, powerful suspense, courtroom intrigue, and ironic humor makes Incriminating Evidence an edge-of-the-seat novel that will hold readers from the very first page to its startling denouement.
appropriate since most of our attorneys and clients are white, male and Republican. Even in the evening of the customarily quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s, our reception area is buzzing with a higher level of activity than most businesses see in the middle of the day. Then again, most businesses aren’t the largest and most profitable law firm on the West Coast. Tomorrow is my last day with the firm and I am trying to shove my way through three hundred attorneys, clients, politicians
than ecstatic to see me. I dart a glance at my law partner and ex-wife, Rosita Fernandez, who is sitting in the front row of the otherwise empty gallery. Rosie stopped by to offer moral support after she’d finished a DUI case next door. I suspect she’d rather be spending her forty-fifth birthday in more elegant surroundings. I’ll make it up to her over the weekend. I turn back to Judge McDaniel and try to strike an appropriately deferential note. “Ms. Fernandez and I took a year off to teach
African American man sitting to my left has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Show time. I give young Andy a patronizing look and begin the usual defensive maneuvers. “My client has been accused of a felony,” I say. “Whether he’s guilty is a matter for a jury to decide.” Welcome to the practice of law, Andy. And you’re right: I am trying to minimize the seriousness of this case. That’s my job. My client, Terrence Love, is a soft-spoken, good-natured thug who makes ends meet by
exhales with melodramatic disdain. The Presiding Judge of the San Francisco Superior Court–Civil Division can feign exasperation as convincingly as any jurist in Northern California. “Mr. Daley,” he bellows, “why are you wasting this court’s time on a beautiful Friday afternoon?” As if I had anything to do with the scheduling of this hearing. I summon an appropriately deferential tone. “Your Honor,” I say, “we are here to contest the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.” The three-hundred
the world safe for panhandlers.” “Something like that, Your Honor.” A couple of years ago, I filed a civil suit for false arrest on behalf of a homeless man on the theory that the cops had violated his constitutional right of free speech. It wasn’t precisely what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the Bill of Rights, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Not surprisingly, Judge Chandler ruled against me. That case is still working its way up the appellate ladder. He points