“All Rise the Honorable Lourdes Vasquez presiding.”

Lourdes, the woman behind the robe and newly appointed to the bench, struggles with questions that change lives. Do the police have probable cause for a midnight search?  Should a minor be granted an abortion? Should children be sent to a religious school or stay in public school? Should the man standing before her be sent to prison? Should the defendant be allowed to remain in drug court after two relapses? 

Written by a judge Behind the Robe takes you into the daily life of a judge. Lourdes, a passionate public defender, applies to be a judge at the urging of her husband, Carlos, the boy she loved in high school—now a veteran with a chip on his shoulder. As a Latina she believes she has no chance and is shocked when the governor calls.

As a new judge she must deal with insecurity. “Can I do this job? Am I just a token? How can I deal with my friends? Can I be fair to the state? I’m longer a defender, but a decider.” 

She is more than a judge, she’s a wife and a friend. Things at home deteriorate. Carlos turns to drink to deal with his PTSD. Will her marriage survive? Molly, her best friend, sober for six months, has fallen on hard times. Will she keep her addiction to wine and bad men under control? 

Behind the Robe takes you into a world few know, what it’s like to be a judge. Before she was a judge the author, Barbara Sattler, was a criminal defense lawyer and is married to a law professor. Her prior novels deal with the lives of public defenders and lovers of dogs. ….. My Name is Molly,  Anne Levy’s Last Case and Dog Days.

If you like to read about courtroom drama, the life of lawyers and judges or women trying to succeed this novel is for you.

Available in Tucson at Antigone or Mostly Books bookstores. On-line at Bookbaby Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble (on-line.) Tip: If you want to get it quickly Bookbaby Bookstore is better than Amazon. Amazon can take up to 6 weeks.