A Southfield attorney
combines law and fiction
to create a thrilling brew.
JULIE EDGAR STAFF WRITER
. hen Richard Greer
was accused of the
cold-blooded killing of
a colleague, attorney
David Gordon went to
He had no doubt that
Greer was insane when he
picked up a .12-gauge shotgun
and, at point-blank range, blast-
ed a man whom he thought
threatened his family. Gordon
was confident in his case; his
client had a history of mental ill-
ness and needed anti-psychotic
medication to stay in balance. Af-
ter the shooting, Greer was found
wandering aimlessly around his
Juries rarely buy an insanity
argument, but the defendant's
mental deterioration was plain
to see. Still, not leaving anything
to chance, Gordon spent days
and nights preparing his argu-
ments and recruited plenty of ex-
pert witnesses to testify.
After an arduous trial in Oak-
land County Circuit Court in
1991, the jury convicted Greer of
first-degree murder, sending him
to prison for life.
What if Gordon had been will-
ing to bribe a juror? What if he
ordered Greer to lie, saying that
the victim had attacked him be-
fore the shooting? To what ex-
tremes should an attorney go to
win an acquittal for his client?
That dilemma is at the heart
of Gordon's first novel, NT-
GILTY, a potboiler that involves
the execution-style slaying of
three victims of a relatively be-
nign crime. The killer: an attor-
ney known in the community as
a top-notch trial lawyer with
crack cross-examination skills
and a great courtroom de-
meanor, to boot.
It is chock-full of good stuff —
wealth, greed, sex and fast cars
— and it is set in and around the
Detroit area. Our characters dri-
ve along Woodward, drink coffee
in Royal Oak and shop at the
`There are several underlying
themes of the book. One of them,
killing witnesses to a crime, is
a logical extreme of an attorney
out to win for a client. That's
what society has come to expect
from attorneys," said Gordon, a
56-year-old Southfield resident
who has tried three murder cas-
es in his 25-year career, in- David G ordon: Keene at a party and men-
Attorne y and tioned the novel.
Even though the
theme is that the book is really Keenes, former Detcoiters, didn't
anti-violence, because I tried to handle fiction, they liked what
show that when people are so they saw.
"It was sent to us and was
dedicated to the law, it some-
times dehumanizes them. It sep- unique in terms of the approach,"
arates them from family and said Mary Keene. "I liked the
friends — the time demands, the way it moved. There's so much
thought demands. When I was interest in the legal profession.
married, there were times I We believe it will stir up contro-
wasn't with (my family). I was versy."
The Keenes' agent is trying to
spending weekends preparing
for trial instead of spending time drum up interest in the story in
with them. Something had to Hollywood.
Friends and family who've
suffer," he said.
the book tell him they liked
Gordon's marriage did. He got
custody of his daughter, Sarah, it, but, he said, it is "about 10 per-
and years later, when she was cent of where I'll be someday." 0
grown up, he decided to devote
/It David Gordon will read
himself to writing. He has been
from NT-GILTY and sign
working as a paralegal in Wa-
copies of the book at 7:30 p.m.
terford Township since the fall,
finishing the first draft of the se- Wednesday, Jan. 10, at Borders
Book Shop, 31150 Southfield
quel to NT-GILTY.
Road in Birmingham. The next
Without a literary agent, it
night, he will appear at Borders
was nearly impossible for Gor-
don to connect with a publisher Book Shop in Dearborn. To or-
der a copy of the book from
for NT-GILTY. He found Glen-
Glenbridge Publishing, call 1-
bridge Publishing Ltd. in Col-
orado after he met the nephew
of owners James and Mary