When Darkness Reigns, by Philip R. Dunn
A couple months ago I rented a new office in the Conejo Valley in order to better serve my Ventura County clients. The office is located near the Thousand Oaks Auto Center at 141 Duesenberg Drive, Suite 10, in Westlake Village. I had the opportunity to rent space from a veteran criminal defense lawyer named Philip Dunn. Like many of the great defense attorneys, Phil started his career as a public defender in Ventura County with the likes of Tim Quinn and others great defenders of the Constitution.
When I started talking to Phil about renting the office, he talked a lot about a book he had written and published and was trying to promote. Great, I thought: another lawyer looking for a way out of the law practice. As it turns out, Phil isn’t looking for a way out of the law practice. Rather, he is on a continued quest to promote justice in the legal system, humanity in prisons, and compassion amongst humans. If this is starting to sound like lawyer fluff to you, read the book he wrote. If you still don’t believe me, visit his site for more details about Phil’s life, charity and opinions.
After agreeing to rent the office, Phil gave me a copy of his book. I had heard about the story over the years. A guy was wrongly convicted of murder in Santa Barbara court and a group of people including Phil, Kevin DeNoce and Len Newcomb and Bill Haney came to his rescue…at their own financial expense and professional peril. What I didn’t know before reading the book was how much time, effort and emotion was put into saving the life of this young man from Oxnard, California. I am only sorry that the story took so long to get told. The fact is that this is a story that continues to happen in our country, year after year. This is the reason that people like Phil Dunn and Kevin and the others on his team, and I keep defending people who are charged with crimes and keep trying to further the ends of justice.
Yes, we do make a living at this, but that is not what keeps us coming back day after day, banging our heads against the proverbial walls making sure that we do everything we can do to prevent our clients from being wrongly convicted of crimes, from being railroaded by unethical prosecutors, from being “dump trucked” by lazy or unscrupulous defense lawyers and to keep our clients from having to serve an hour more in jail than they should.
Again, if this sound like propaganda from a defense attorney, I beg of you, please read, When Darkness Reigns by Philip Dunn. It’s all true and it all happened right here in Southern California, not somewhere in the deep, dark south.
If you have questions about any criminal defense matter, including post-conviction relief call me:
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (805) 230-3651 or (888) 7664-4340
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