The Name Partner
by Carlos Cisneros
Category: Fiction Drama
Published: 31 Mar 2010
In this legal thriller, a trial lawyer finds himself defending a pharmaceutical company accused of making a deadly new drugLook Inside
The son of migrant workers, Guillermo “Billy” Bravo is one of South Texas’ most successful attorneys, and he’s determined to see his name on his firm’s stationery. He can see it in his mind’s eye: Bates, Domani, Rockford, Lord & Bravo. But suddenly, his life starts spinning out of control. He learns that fifteen years ago, a month after getting married, a one-night stand led to a son he didn’t know he had. He’s sure his wife Yamilé will hand him his private parts on a platter, along with divorce papers, when she finds out. And he’ll never make name partner if there’s a contentious divorce.
Then Billy gets a new case, to defend BostonMagnifica Pharmaceuticals against a wrongful death suit. Tomas Ray’s widow contends that a new, powerful psychotropic drug, caused her husband—a successful attorney—to kill two innocent bystanders before killing himself. Billy quickly finds himself being pressured by both his boss and BM’s CEO to make the lawsuit go away. But he soon finds evidence confirming BM has something to hide.
Billy’s life takes another turn for the worse when his teenage daughter is diagnosed with leukemia. When doctors tell him that a BM-produced drug is all that can save her, Billy feels even more conflicted about defending the drug company. What if he loses the case and BM goes out of business, leaving his daughter without the medication she needs to survive?
In this hard-hitting and timely novel about a drug company that puts its shareholders’ profits over safety, Carlos Cisneros takes the reader on a whirlwind ride as his protagonist struggles with his responsibilities to his client, his family, and his own personal ethics.
Won First Place in the 2012 Latino Books into Movies Awards-Drama Category
Latino Books into Movies Award, First Place, Drama Category
Honorable Mention, 2011 International Latino Book Award for Best Popular Fiction-English
Included in the Texas Library Association’s 2011 Lariat Reading List: Best of 2010 Adult Fiction
“This follow-up to The Case Runner (2008), the author’s debut, continues his exploration of the ethical ambiguity of the legal profession. It’s not a sequel; Cisneros introduces a new protagonist, Guillermo “Billy” Bravo, an ambitious attorney whose goal of becoming a name partner seems easily within reach. All he has to do is defend a pharmaceutical company against a charge that their new psychotropic drug is responsible for a murder-suicide; for Billy, who’s never lost a case, this sort of thing is a walk in the park. But soon (experienced readers will see this coming) Billy learns that his superiors have their own reasons for wanting the case to go away and that the pharmaceutical company is keeping some nasty secrets. This thriller lands firmly in John Grisham territory: the up-and-coming lawyer, the big corporation, the conspiracy involving his own firm. But Cisneros, a practicing attorney in Texas, makes the material his own, mostly by playing up the themes of personal and corporate ethics. The novel isn’t merely a fast-paced legal thriller; it’s also a thoughtful rumination on the conflict between ambition and morality.”
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.
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.