Inspired to capture in a thrilling novel a moment in history in which “a sector of the disenfranchised was afforded access to the justice system in a meaningful way,” lawyer-turned-author David Lafaille publishes “In Harm's Way.” Lafaille’s crime thriller details one man’s attempt to level the playing field one person at a time in an arena where the mechanistic approach to justice dominates through a seamless blend the most controversial of issues related to sex, drugs, violence, spirituality, dedication and drama.
Set on the beach of Malibu, Venice and downtown Los Angeles, it follows the story of a young and idealistic spiritual seeker. Denny Martel, a young public defender is coming of age in the rapidly changing world of Superior Court felony trials, defines the generation while challenging the status quo by bringing dedication and passion to a dark corner of society-the criminal justice system. His story resonates well as it deals with personal responsibility and the need to contribute to society in a meaningful way while preserving personal freedom.
Fittingly, two intriguing women shape the protagonist’s precarious path. Celia Duveen, a beautiful and brilliant but damaged ex con and bestselling author whose appetites include drugs and dangerous men, plays to Denny’s sexual side while endangering his tentative relationship with his devotion to the law. Annie Mae Hollins, a typical client for a public defender, has killed her man Ernest in an existential fit when she discovers him in their bed with a man. Denny is trying to keep her out of a life in prison while entertaining Celia’s appetites.
Lafaille has creatively portrayed a time when a generation’s reaction to the Viet Nam War gave birth to a wave of idealism; a time when many new law school grads sought out ways to be relevant in protesting the status quo. With the Superior Court as its stage; spirituality, idealism, sexuality, individuality and equality as underlying themes; and a participant and insider within the justice system as the writer, “In Harm's Way” is one story that will linger in the audience’s hearts and minds long after the curtains have been closed.
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About the Author
David Lafaille graduated the UCLA school of Law in 1966. He tried civil defense cases for two years then spent nine years in the Los Angeles Public Defender's office. In 1976, he founded the firm of Lafaille, Chaleff & English. Continuing as a criminal lawyer, the practice was extended to art, business, intellectual property, entertainment and civil litigation. In 1981, he founded Charter Pacific Bank as chairman serving until 1995. In 1981, he was also President and CEO of Reliance Bancorp. He represented Robert Mitchum, De Wain Valentine, Chic, Higher Octave Records, the Hollywood Reporter, E-Entertainment Television, Steeplechase Media, Comspan, LA Louver Gallery. Starting in 1989, he and Howard Schickler made the definitive collection of photographs documenting the history of the Soviet Union. He served on the boards of the Los Angeles/St. Petersburg Sister City Committee, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (as chairman), the Otis College Board of Trustees and Board of Governors (as chairman), Samaya Foundation, Dharma Heritage Foundation and Eagle and Badge Foundation.