3 Of The Most Infamous Lawyers
by Arina Smith Legal 29 January 2021
Most lawyers don’t exactly chase infamy. A huge majority of legal advocates operate consistently within social and legal norms. They differentiate between right and wrong in their work and feel comfortable making moral judgments. Throughout legal history, however, there have been some lawyers that beggar belief with their practices. You might never want to encounter these characters in court, but they are compelled to learn about them.
Here are some of the most infamous lawyers ever to pass the bar
Stephen Glazer was the criminal defense lawyer assigned to Eileen Wuornos. It wasn’t an easy case by any stretch of the imagination. Wuornos was facing six separate death sentences for her roadside murders committed in 1989 and 1990. Regardless of how unlikely it was for Wuornos to be found innocent, Glazer was a very, very poor choice of attorney.
He was frequently found to be high during court proceedings, had almost no criminal defense experience, and took money from reporters hoping to get scoops on the case. All of these factors make him one of the most unprofessional lawyers to ever take part in a major legal case. Shockingly, he described himself as being a ‘euthanasia lawyer’ – his actions helping to speed up the death of his client upon her request. Because of his unprofessional behavior, officials argued that Wuornos deserved a full retrial with a more competent council.
You would think that hiring the right lawyer would be of paramount importance for a person as senior as the President of the United States. And yet, the US president that was perhaps the most vulnerable to legal challenge in history – Donald Trump – elected to hire former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani as his personal council.
Once hailed as ‘America’s Mayor’ after his response to the 9/11 attacks in New York, Giuliani had somewhat lost his groove by the time he represented the president. He was filmed touching himself inappropriately, engaged in an absurd and expensive series of lost cause legal battles after Trump lost the election, and did a great deal of sweating during public hearings. His time as America’s fool culminated in a press conference held at garden center, which staff had booked accidentally because its name resembled that of a nearby luxury hotel.
Lastly, there is no more infamous lawyer than Robert Shapiro. His most famous case was the double murder trial of football star O.J. Simpson. There was overwhelming evidence that Simpson had murdered his ex-wife and her friend. Shapiro and his ‘dream team’ of defense lawyers pushed the limits of the legal council. They eventually managed to muddy the waters of truth so much that the jury had no choice but to acquit Simpson. Importantly, they questioned the validity of the DNA evidence offered as conclusive by the prosecution. Shapiro’s tactics were slimy at best and bought the legal profession into disrepute among many members of the public.
Shapiro went on to represent other unsavory celebrities, including Phil Spector.