Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

10 Famous Defense Attorneys

It seems like no matter what the current case or arrest scandal on the headline news is about, we hear the same attorney’s names being thrown around. Whether it’s a probation violation, drug charge, or something as serious as a murder, it seems that the same attorneys dominate the criminal justice-plagued headlines. The following attorneys are no strangers to the spotlight:

1. Johnnie Cochran
Probably best known for his leadership role as a defense attorney for O. J. Simpson in the murder trials of Simpson’s ex-wife and her friend, Johnnie Cochran was a well known and determined attorney. Cochran successfully represented Simpson in his acquittal of the murders and also represented Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Rosa Parks, and Micheal Jackson, amongst many others and was also known for his successful cases against police brutality and civil rights victories. Cochran, famously remembered for his “if it does not fit, you must acquit” phrase, died in March 2005 after a battle with a brain tumor.

2. Mark Geragos
Considered a “celebrity lawyer” who has represented Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder, Chris Brown, and politician Gary Condit, Mark Geragos is a well known defense attorney. Geragos first recieved national attention by representing Whitewater figure Susan McDougal in which she was later pardoned by President Clinton in 2001. Geragos later successfully represented McDougal in a 12-count embezzlement trial. Geragos also represented Scott Peterson in the murder trial of Peterson’s wife and unborn baby, a trial that garnered widespread media attention.

3. Alan Dershowitz
Also known for his role in part of the large defense team in the successful trial against O.J. Simpson, Alan Dershowitz is another high-profile attorney. Dershowitz has successfully defended 13 of 15 of the attempted murder and murder cases he has been involved with. Dershowitz, who has had clients such as Mike Tyson, Micheal Milken, and Kirtanananda Swami is also well known for representing Claus von Bulow, in the attempted murder of his wife, in which his conviction in the first murder trial was reversed and he was found not guilty in the retrial.

4. Gloria Allred
Known for taking mainly high-profile and mostly controversial cases, Gloria Allred is a famous attorney, who frequently makes her rounds on TV. Allred has famously represented Amber Frey, the key witness in the murder trial against Scott Peterson and several of Tiger Wood’s alleged mistresses in the media whirlwind that followed the public lineup of the pro golfer’s infidelities. Allred became well known in the late 70’s, after successfully representing a woman in a lawsuit against an all male club in Beverly Hills for denying the women’s application solely based on her sex.

5. Leslie Abramson
Leslie Abramson is probably best known for defending the Melendez brothers, Lyle and Erik, against their charges for the murder of their wealthy parents in their Beverly Hills home. Abramson was also known for representing Phil Spector in the murder trial of actress Lana Clarkson, who was found dead in Spector’s home. Abramson, who later resigned as Spector’s attorney is known to defend high profile clients accused of murder.

6. Anne Bremner
Known for covering the child molestation charges against Michael Jackson, Anne Bremner, is a well known Seattle trial attorney. Bremner, who was recently in the spotlight for a DUI arrest in June of 2010, is well known for defending Amanda Knox, an American student accused of killing a British student in Italy in 2007. Bremner, who has won every civil case she was ever involved in, has also brought civil actions against her attorney general and defended the Des Moines Police Department in the Mary Kay Letourneau case.

7. F. Lee Bailey
Known also for being on the defense side of the O. J. Simpson trial, F. Lee Bailey was also well known for representing Dr. Sam Sheppard, accused of killing his wife. Bailey also worked with the attorney that represented Captain Ernest Medina for the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War and represented Dr. Carl Coppolino accused of murdering his wife and neighbor.

8. Shawn Holley Chapman
Most recently known for defending celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and the Kardashian sisters, Shawn Holley Chapman worked closely with Johnnie Cohran on several cases. Chapman has appeared on a number of morning shows and was the on-air legal analyst for an eyewitness news segment for several years in Los Angeles.

9. Dick Deguerin
Known for representing House Majority Leader Tom Delay in his money laundering and conspiracy charges and for representing several of the bankers involved in the Enron empire collapse, Dick DeGuerin is a Texas attorney. DeGuerin is also known for having high profile clients such as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and representing David Koresh, who garnered media attention during his standoff with the FBI and several other law enforcements in Waco, Texas.

10. Robert Shapiro
Also known as a “celebrity lawyer”, Robert Shapiro is best known for being part of the defense team which successfully defended O. J. Simpson in the murder charges he faced in 1995. Shapiro has also defended the likes of Darryl Strawberry, Jose Conseco, Linda Lovelace and the Kardashian family. Most recently, Shapiro was hired by Lindsay Lohan in her recent drug related arrests, but resigned shortly after due to differences between him and Lohan.