Public defender to read from ‘Foresthill Tales’

Come and meet David Brooks, El Dorado County Public Defender, Saturday evening, Aug. 13, from 4 to 5 at the El Dorado Arts Council ArtSpace, 459 Main St. in Placerville. He will be reading short stories from his newly published “Foresthill Tales: A Public Defender’s Bedtime Stories.”

For more than 20 years Brooks has defended the rights of residents of Placer and El Dorado counties in cases ranging from murder to drunk in public.

He remains a wily, compassionate, if slightly bemused believer in the rights of the individual and the principles of the legal system “innocent until proven guilty” and “reasonable doubt.”

His stories of the defendants he has represented began as tales for his motorcycle club pals and to entertain his kids. They tell of crime and punishment in the foothills and are entertaining, insightful and compassionate.

The stories are diverse and include recounts about kids that are left behind in courtrooms, what happens to a large man in a dress at a rural truck stop, a killer pony ride, a mass poisoning, and a knife throwing league led by a warlock … and then there are the off-beat topics.

Foresthill is a colorful, off the beaten path little town, like many other old Sierra foothills communities. An assortment of unique characters has gathered there because it suits their personal needs and lifestyles.

Among them are modern day miners, aging Viet Nam vets, marijuana growers, meth labs, just plain eccentrics who want out of mainstream America. Joining them recently is a sprinkling of urban yuppies and developers.

This is a “live and let live community” which leads to some unusual, poignant, often funny, minor crimes and their legal resolution.

Brooks has been a public defender in Placer and El Dorado counties for more than 20 years. He has captured the essence of this community, the people who live there, their lives and misdeeds, how the legal system works, or may not work, and how he has defended their rights.

He writes and reads his stories with humor and a compassion that the listener will enjoy.

Books will be available for purchase at the event, or may be found online at YourBookPlace.com/Foresthill/. The book is also available at Placerville News and the El Dorado Arts Council.

For more information call 530-295-3496.