Tuesday, May 4, 2010

10 INFAMOUS LAWYERS - From - www.criminaljusticeuniversity.net/blog

A lot of public officials have law degrees but aren’t thought of as lawyers in the traditional sense; for example, President Clinton earned a law degree at Yale University, but he’s not placed in the same category as litigators or other legal crusaders. Yet that’s just further proof that lawyers are more than just stereotypical litigators. This list is about those men and women who practiced law in a variety of ways, and whose skill and career took them to a prominence that transcended individual cases. These are the lawyers that, for better or worse, everyone knows about:

1. Johnnie Cochran
One of the country’s best-known defene attorneys, Johnnie Cochran’s career spanned decades. However, he’s probably best known for leading the defense team that helpd O.J. Simpson be acquitted on murder charges in the 1995 case about the murder of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and Ronald Goldman. Other notable clients included Michael Jackson, Todd Bridges, former NFL star Jim Brown, and Snoop Dogg. Cochran’s reputation was built on his colorful work in the courtroom and his hounding work for victims of brutality by police. He even served as a source of comic inspiration for “Seinfeld,” becoming the basis of the character Jackie Chiles

2. F. Lee Bailey
Criminal defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey rose to prominence defending Sam Sheppard in Shepppard’s re-trial in 1966 for the murder of his pregnant wife. Sheppard had already served ten years of his earlier sentence, and his release helped elevate Bailey’s reputation as a defense counselor. He suffered a notable defeat in his defense of Patty Hearst, but he was one of the members of O.J. Simpson’s defense team that helped him earn an acquittal in his criminal trial for murder.

3. Alan Dershowitz
I swear this list isn’t just a rundown of people who worked with O.J. Simpson. If anything, their presence should come as a reminder of that case’s profile and the way it attracted some of the most powerful lawyers in the nation.
Alan Dershowitz currently holds the position of Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, the institution where’s spent most of his professional career. (He became a full professor of law there at 28, the youngest in the school’s history.) He’s known as a crusader for many issues, including defending the First Amendment rights of porn producers. One of his most famous cases includes the successful overturning of the conviction of Claus von Bulow on the charge that von Bulow killed his wife. Dershowitz recounted the story of the von Bulow trial in his book 
Reversal of Fortune, later made into a film that earned Jeremy Irons an Academy Award.

4. Thurgood Marshall
The first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall’s career was marked by successful civil rights battles in the courtroom. His first major case in this vein was 1936’s 
Murray v. Pearson, which was one of the first cases to attack the “separate but equal” ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson. He later became chief counsel for the NAACP, successfully arguing more cases before the Supreme Court, winning 29 of the 32 he argued there. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Johnson in 1967, and served on the bench until retirement in 1991, two years before his death.

5. Gloria Allred
Gloria Allred’s name is a lightning-rod for controversy thanks to the contentious nature of her high-profile case work. She represented the family of Nicole Brown Simpson during O.J. Simpson’s murder trial; she represented Amber Frey when the woman acted as a witness in the Scott Peterson criminal case; and most recently was retained by nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel and porn star Joslyn James in cases dealing with Tiger Woods’ infidelity.

6. Vincent Bugliosi
Vincent Bugliosi worked for years an assistant district attorney for Los Angeles County, winning all but one of the 106 felony cases he tried there as a prosecutor. He was also responsible for successfully trying Charles Manson and members of the Manson Family in the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders. His book with Curt Gentry about that trial, 
Helter Skelter, became the best-selling true crime book in history. After a pair of failed runs for L.A. County District Attorney in the 1970s, Bugliosi grew more critical of the legal system, penning diatribes like Outrage, attacking the O.J. Simpson verdict, and The Betrayal of America, arguing that the Supreme Court acted illegally when it declared George W. Bush the winner of the 2000 presidential election. He’s also written what he calls his “magnum opus,” a book about the Kennedy assassination and the danger of conspiracy theories titled Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

7-8. Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan
These two men were titans in the legal field in the early 20th century. Clarence Darrow, member of the American Civil Liberties Union, was renowned for defending Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb and using the case to attack capital punishment. William Jennings Bryan was a former secretary of state and leader of the religious fundamentalist movement. They went head to head in 
Scopes v. The State of Tennessee, a case that became a landmark for the way it pitted science and creationists against each other in the courtroom.
Tennessee law made it illegal to teach evolution, so the ACLU sponsored a test case in the form of teacher John Scopes, who was charged with the crime. The trial became about the cultural divide between opposing cultural forces, with Darrow defending Scopes and siding with evolutionist concerns while Bryan served as special prosecutor. The trial was already a publicity stunt but gained more notoriety when Darrow called Bryan to the stand to examine him, though the judge halted the process the following morning, robbing Bryan of the chance to question Darrow. Scopes was found guilty on the original charge and fined $100, though the verdict was eventually set aside on a technicality. The trial inspired the play 
Inherit the Wind, which was subsequently turned into several film versions and helped cement the status of Darrow and Bryan.

9. Sarah Weddington
Considered one of the youngest people to win a case before the Supreme Court, if not the youngest ever, Sarah Weddington gained fame for representing Norma McCorvey, better known as Jane Roe, in the landmark case 
Roe v. Wade, in which the Court ruled in favor of abortion rights. Ironically, McCorvey converted to Christianity later in life and now recants her earlier pro-choice opinions. Weddington went on to serve in the Texas House of Representatives and later as a counselor and legal advisor to President Carter.

10. Gerry SpenceTrial lawyer Gerry Spence has been practicing law since the mid-1950s, but it was the Karen Silkwood case of the 1970s that brought him national attention. Silkwood, a whistle-blower at a chemical plant, died in a car crash under suspicious circumstances, and Spence represented her family in the case charging that the company exposed her dangerous levels of radiation. He won a $10.5 million verdict, and from there moved on to other high-profile cases defending Randy Weaver, Ed Cantrell, and Imelda Marcos. He succeeded in all three.

Source - http://www.criminaljusticeuniversity.net/blog/2010/10-infamous-lawyers-that-transcend-their-cases/

1 comment:

Dinah said...

Nice site, very informative. I like to read this.,it is very helpful in my part for my criminal law studies.