I started Saving Sandoval back in 2007 by taking notes while still in Iraq after I represented Specialist Sandoval in his court-martial. In the back of my mind, I knew that the case had been a game-changer for me both personally and professionally. Sandoval’s case was the first time that I represented someone wrongly accused of a serious crime. In his case, the most serious of crimes, murder.
I also knew that time was not on my side if I was going to recount everything that had transpired the six months before. Fortunately, I realized that I needed to make some notes and put all the documents from the casefile together in one location. I was not sure then that I would write a book, I only knew that I wanted to capture my thoughts and collect all the documents about the case.
Around 2009, two years after the trial, I decided that the best way to tell the story would be through a book. Thereafter, for literally years I would occasionally pull out the banker’s box full of papers and the thumb drive with miscellaneous notes, drafts and transcripts and sit down to piece everything together. Life kept getting in the way and after leaving the Army in 2010 and starting my own law firm it seems that life has been on overdrive ever since.
Realizing that the pace of life was not going to slow, I decided to make it a priority to finish the book. With the help of family, friends, and some professional input, the book has taken shape into what is now a final product. As the editors at WildBlue Press and I continue to go back and forth with edits I also find myself making additional min or changes here and there. Time had allowed me to focus on some of the lessons that can be learned from Sandoval’s story and I began to highlight those lessons and commit then to paper.
I realize now that it was not and needed considerable “assistance” to make it something good, something that I, and hopefully Sandoval himself, will be proud of. It is almost funny that I thought the book was “finished” a year ago and ready for publication.