Monday, April 25, 2011

Mitch Malone Mondays - Douglas Corleone

Kevin Corvelli and I may share some interesting common traits. Okay, I’m not raking in the bucks as an attorney but neither is Kevin. He is the featured character in to two legal thrillers penned by Douglas Corleone, an attorney himself. Kevin’s first adventure, ONE MAN'S PARADISE, won the 2009 Minotaur Books / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award. His second book, NIGHT ON FIRE, continues the journey of discovery and redemption and comes out tomorrow. That’s right, you heard it here on Mitch Malone Mondays first. Let’s get to the gritty details. Kevin, you live and work in Hawaii. This can’t be a tough place to work? It’s all beaches and babes…How do you find time to work?

Well, Happy Hour doesn't start until 3 or 4 p.m., so that leaves me a solid six or seven hours a day to draft motions, make court appearances, and hustle up some new clients. That said, the surroundings -- the beaches, the palm trees, the sunsets -- they all disappear when I'm in a courtroom defending a client. And when I take on a high-profile case, I might as well be hunkered down in Tent City, Iowa, during a tornado. Turns out, where I am isn't nearly as important to me as who I am.

As I mentioned above, the babes and bikinis would be distracting. In NIGHT ON FIRE, your client is a woman on her honeymoon. Why do you decide to defend her when she is obviously guilty?

I'm a lawyer, Mitch. It's not my job to determine whether my clients are guilty; that's for a jury to decide. My job is to represent my client to the best of my ability, and in a criminal trial, that means doing whatever necessary within the bounds of the law to create a reasonable doubt in the minds of the twelve men and women in the jury box. If you're hinting that I had an ulterior motive in taking Erin Simms on as a client, well... Maybe you should find a gig with one of the tabloids, Mitch.

I understand. When I write a story, I’m unbiased. I just print the facts. You are an attorney. What makes you investigate your own cases? Don’t attorneys just sit in their office and look up case law? Couldn’t you just hire a PI? Or maybe fly a certain crime beat reporter like me out to Hawaii to help investigate (and get out of the snow in April)?

I have a full-time investigator named Ryan Flanagan. Flan and I work well together, but I'm not the kind of lawyer who can just sit back in an air-conditioned office barking orders. Once I left New York, I vowed I'd turnover every stone in every criminal case I took on, and that's just what I do, even if it occasionally puts me in harm's way. I owe that much to my clients. As for flying you out to Hawaii, Mitch, in case you haven't heard, reporters are not my favorite people in the world. Don't take it personally.

How can anyone not like reporters? That last comment doesn’t have anything to do with this question. My research tells me you left New York under some troubling circumstances. What were they? Have you been able to hide in paradise?

It's no secret that I fled New York after my client Brandon Glenn was murdered at Riker’s Island only a few days before he was vindicated. Was I able to hide? Well, I'm still talking about it, aren't I? I realize now what I should have realized then, that the media will never allow the public to forget the Brandon Glenn case. That fiasco will follow me every step of my career, it'll chase me during every high-profile case. I'll never be able to put it behind me; it'll follow me to my grave.

By media, he’s meaning those TV show news people. Thankfully, I’m not one of those. Thanks Kevin for joining me today and give my best Douglas Coreleone. Don’t forget you heard it here first. Buy NIGHT ON FIRE, hot of the press, by visiting Kevin’s author’s website:


  1. I'd love to be living in Hawaii, but do you ever get island sickness and need to get away from that little piece of land? Sounds like your life is very interesting..I'll check it out. Nice interview, Mitch. No wonder you are an ace reporter!!

  2. Thanks for stopping by. I bet it may be similar to Florida except without that little cold spell...