Writers are different kinds of creatures. You cannot understand what and how they are thinking. You can just assume, never be sure. They get inspired by random things, people, or even situations. But portraying them in their work is more difficult than one can imagine. Did you know that even though Michael Connelly‘s main character, The Lincoln Lawyer, is fictional, it has a background story to it?
What is the story behind The Lincoln Lawyer?
As explained earlier, the writers are weird as they are constantly thinking about their story, plot, characters, and whatnot! Mike (Connelly) is no exception. His main character, The Lincoln Lawyer, is inspired by the two real-life lawyers. Yes, you read it correctly. David Ogden, a Los Angeles attorney, who unfortunately passed away in 2022, was the initial inspiration behind the main character of Mike’s popular novel, which is made into a Netflix show.
While David Ogden was the original spark, a Florida-based lawyer, Dan Daly, became the fuel for Mike. Dan and Mike had worked together at the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Dan left the job and went to a law school to become a defense lawyer. Our beloved Mickey has way more similarities to Dan. Dan Daly and Mickey are almost alike. It surprised Dan himself when he saw the character.
Dan’s Reactions to the character
Spending this much time with Dan, Micheal has really captured the essence of the profession as well as Dan, the man himself. Dan Daly astonishingly said that “What I am most impressed by is how accurate Mickey describes why defense lawyers do what we do.” The resemblance is so accurate that Dan could sympathize with the character and appreciated Connelly for portraying the character strikingly and strongly.
Dan also says that Mike was very smart. He explains how carefully Mike developed his character by looking at these actual lawyers. He says that when he and Connelly moved to Tampa, Dan, along with his partner, Roger Mills, invited Connelly regularly for cocktails after work. Dan explains what did Mike do there. He says, “Roger and I and other lawyers who joined us would tell war stories about cases we handled because that’s what lawyers do when they get together. Mike paid attention and took notes on napkins.”
Connelly has picked up minor details carefully and accurately. For example, although Dan didn’t work in his car the way Mickey does, he used to listen to the recorded tapes and audio statements of the ongoing cases. In fact, Dan was always on some or the other case, thus he would be busy just like Mickey.
The inner psyche and thinking patterns of the character are also very much similar to Dan and he thanks Micheal for capturing the smallest details distinctly.
Although he doesn’t drive Lincoln as Mickey, Dan says he still drives his 15-year-old Nisan Frontier with a manual transmission. Until he owns a Lincoln, he is ‘The Nisan Lawyer!’
It takes a lot of obversions and concentration to create such a dynamic and compelling character thoroughly inspired by the real-life characters. Michael Connelly has done a stupendous job!