Crooker, Constance Emerson 1946–

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CROOKER, Constance Emerson 1946–

PERSONAL: Born July 23, 1946, in Portland, ME; daughter of Charles W. (a Congregational minister) and Elizabeth (a tax consultant; maiden name, MacGregor; later surname, Bates) Crooker. Ethnicity: "Caucasian; adopted by Hispanic culture." Education: Reed College, B.A., 1969; Lewis and Clark College, J.D., 1977. Politics: "Democrat with Libertarian leanings." Religion: "Atheist, except when listening to Beethoven." Hobbies and other interests: Lindy Hop dancing, downhill skiing, playing electric guitar.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., P.O. Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Criminal defense lawyer in Portland, OR, 1977–2000; writer and teacher, 2000–. Tillamook Public Defender, Inc., founder and director, 1983–88; Mexican consulate, consulting attorney, 1984–2000; Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, member, 1990–; public speaker. Universidad Latina de América, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, member of adjunct faculty, 2003.

MEMBER: Oregon Defense Lawyers, Willamette Writers, Elizabeth Raintree's Writer's Consortium, Author's Lunch (chair).

WRITINGS:

Paint My Mailbox Blue: A Guide to Group Ownership and Use of Real Property, Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (Portland, OR), 1979.

The Art of Legal Interpretation: A Guide for Court Interpreters, Portland State University Continuing Education Press (Portland, OR), 1996.

Gun Control and Gun Rights, Greenwood Publishing Group (Westport, CT), 2003.

Contributor of articles and reviews to law journals and other periodicals, including High Times, Reed, AMC Outdoors, and Defense Attorney. Editor and publisher, Spanish Language Legal Network Directory, 1993–2000.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A text on comparative criminal law; State of the Union, a travel memoir; three novels, Quiet Desperation, a psychological mystery, Every Secret Thing, a murder mystery set in rural Oregon, and Journey of the Jaguar, an action novel set in the world of Mexican drug smugglers.

SIDELIGHTS: Constance Emerson Crooker told CA: "I write nonfiction in order to demystify legal areas where I am uniquely qualified to convey information not readily available to non-lawyers. My writing on the history of gun law stems from over twenty years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer, including the defense of firearms crimes. My writing on court interpretation was inspired by my many years of defending Spanish-speaking criminally accused clients and learning the importance of working with only highly qualified court interpreters.

"I retired early from the practice of criminal defense to write and teach. My three (as yet unpublished) novels all include legal themes and characters based on my colorful clients who, for myriad reasons, have found themselves on the light end of the scales of justice. The pleasure of hearing their raw colloquialisms and watching them play out their flawed humanity as they reveal themselves on the pages of my fiction is what keeps me writing."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

School Library Journal, February, 2004, Priscilla Bennett, review of Gun Control and Gun Rights, p. 88.