Our Policy on High-Profile Cases
The Defense Group is perfectly fine with accepting high-profile cases, as long as no lawyer is forced to violate the group’s policy on communication with the press. With rare exceptions, Once a case is filed, The Defense Group will not participate in any press conferences, and neither will their client. They will continue with their work, and anything that the press needs to see can be seen in the courtroom.
By way of example, when we were retained by George Zimmerman and his family to represent him in the shooting death of Trevon Martin, the national press engaged in a shameful exploitation of the race issue. They presented a narrative that we knew from the evidence was false and misleading. When we were retained, he had not yet been charged but the press coverage of the rallies and protests was pressuring the pro=section to file murder charges. Hal Uhrig accompanied co-counsel Craig Sonner to New York City where they appeared on virtually every network new show in town to discuss the events of the shooting. In a period of three days, we were able to change the notional polling on Zimmerman’s involvement dramatically. At this point in time he had not been charged and he was being prosecuted only in the “Court of Public Opinion.”
When Mr. Zimmerman stopped following our instructions about making statements to the press and the prosecution, we determined to terminate our representation. There was no case number in which to file any pleading announcing our withdrawal from representation. Accordingly, we held a very public press conference in front of the Seminole County Courteous (that press conference is still available on YouTube). Subsequent to our withdrawal, the Special Prosecutor filed murder charges against Mr. Zimmerman. He was subsequently acquitted with new counsel.
It is our core position that unless there is a clear and identifiable advantage that inures to our clients, we have no interest in satisfying the insatiable desire for incremental news by the media. We are trained to do our work in the courtroom. We are trained to prepare our cases to defend our clients. In our experience, not interaction with the media during the course of a criminal case is more designed to get the attorney face time than to improve the client’s chances of a favorable outcome.
Contact an attorney at The Defense Group through our online contact form or call us at 407-831-1956 or 352-742-9090 for a free consultation. In case of emergency, we are available 24 hours a day, and we are able to arrange appointments for nights or weekends if necessary.
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