Deputy public defender Brooks pens book

By day, David Brooks is an El Dorado County deputy public defender who has spent more than 20 years fighting for the Constitutional rights of his clients.

But the affable attorney also moonlights as a soccer player (goalkeeper, in case you’re wondering), concert cellist, trivia guru, avid biker and now, a published author.

Of course, he might not necessarily consider himself a modern day Renaissance man, but Brooks has chronicled some of his more humorous, poignant, touching and random experiences with the judicial system in his first book, “Foresthill: A Public Defender’s Bedtime Reader.”

Although the book has been available only since May, Brooks said he’s been telling the stories for years, usually at the request of his fellow Buell motorcycle riders.

“These were originally written as bedtime stories for motorcycle enthusiast friends,” he explained. “We have a Website where we exchange information and make fun of each other. Someone once called for me to tell them a bedtime story, and one thing led to another.”

Brooks’ own children also proved to be a captive audience, he said.

“I guess when you’re a public defender, your kids don’t get regular bedtime stories,” he joked.

Indeed, there is nary a mention of Rumpelstiltskin or Billy Goats Gruff in “Foresthill.” Instead, Brooks has presented fictionalized recounts of his dealings as a public defender.

“You really couldn’t make this stuff up,” he said.

One story, as Brooks tells it, features two friends, just released from prison, on a fishing trip. At the end of the excursion, the men end up attacking one another with their freshly caught fishes after arguing over whose catch was the biggest.

Brooks eventually committed himself to penning a manuscript of the stories that proved to be crowd favorites. That document made its way to a Folsom publisher and is now available for purchase online.

But why, of all the communities in the region, did Brooks choose to name his first book after the Placer County community?

“Many of the stories take place in the town of Foresthill,” said Brooks. “It is a town that you would never see unless you intend to go there, and because the mix of people who live there makes this town unlike any place you’ve ever visited.”

Brooks has already planned a handful of book signings and said he has been tabbed to appear on SCA-TV2 to promote “Foresthill.”

The book has been met with open arms, for the most part. Placerville’s Brick Oven Pub keeps a copy of the manuscript at its bar. He was met with some resistance from the Foresthill Chamber of Commerce, but the has been invited to appear in the annual 4th of July parade.

Brooks hasn’t ruled out writing a second collection, but given everything on his plate, it’s understandable if he wants some down time.

“Foresthill: A Public Defender’s Bedtime Reader” is available for purchase at

by Jim Ratajczak – 6/15/2011 (via Mountain Democrat)
E-mail Jim Ratajczak at or call 530-344-5069.