Long before he started work on his first Tex-Mex legal thriller, The Case Runner, CARLOS CISNEROS prosecuted cases with the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office. It was there that he gained trial experience by prosecuting cases ranging from DUI to drug trafficking, and even murder. After leaving the DA’s office, Cisneros opened his own law firm in 1997 where he pursued trial work and represented clients in matters involving criminal law, personal injury, and appeals.
Born in 1963 in Brownsville, Texas, Cisneros was raised on the Mexican side of the border by a father who tended the family farm and a mother who ran the once-famous Rancho Grande restaurant. Growing up in Matamoros, young Carlos dreamed of one day running his father’s farm and owning a chain of restaurants. But after Mexico’s peso devaluation wiped out the fortunes of thousands of Mexican citizens, including his family’s, Cisneros left home and started waiting tables to help pay for college, eventually earning a degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin. After finishing law school in Houston, he returned to South Texas where he continues to practice law.
Cisneros, having married into a family involved in South Texas politics, has also had an opportunity to become well-acquainted with the inner-workings of the legislative process. Every other year when the Texas legislature convenes, Cisneros works alongside his father-in-law, State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., and his brother-in-law, State Representative Eddie Lucio III, on border issues affecting South Texas.
Cisneros recalls that one day, while working at the courthouse, he overheard a young colleague ranting and raving after having a case stolen by another attorney. When the colleague threatened to sue and report the lawyer to the State Bar, the sleaze replied “the judges and the State Bar do my bidding!” Cisneros learned that his colleague had signed a potentially multi-million-dollar case involving the widow of a welder who had fallen off poorly constructed scaffolding, eighty feet to his death. Unfortunately, the crooked lawyer—after secretly paying the family thirty thousand dollars to switch firms—ended up with the case. And so the seed of an idea for his first novel was planted in Cisneros’ mind. He spent five years writing The Case Runner, staying up most nights until 3:00 a.m. While looking for publishers, Cisneros immediately started to work on a second legal thriller, entitled Nine Ways to Skin a Cat, scheduled to be released in the spring of 2009.
Carlos Cisneros lives with his wife and their three children in Brownsville. When he’s not working on cases, Cisneros spends time writing his weekly column, Clinica Legal, for a local Spanish newspaper. He writes articles of general interest explaining the latest legal developments in order to educate the Hispanic community.
On those rare occasions when he can get away from it all, Carlos Cisneros can be found smoking a cigar and surf fishing off Boca Chica beach, coaching his kids’ soccer team, or plotting the next novel.