Justice attorneys are people who defend the rights of the defendants and plaintiffs in a court case. They work privately or are paid by state funds in the case when a person has no financial means to cover legal fees. In these situations, the court will appoint justice attorneys to represent the person.
The first forms of judicial practice were traced in ancient Greece and Rome where orators were used in public discourses and debates. Towards the Middle Ages, law as a profession was institutionalized requiring people who wish to become lawyers to complete courses on law and justice. Titles were conferred to those who successfully completed the requirements and exams. These days, lawyers are known by different titles depending on the rules and regulations of the country where they practice. They are also referred as justice attorneys.
Justice attorneys get in the spotlight because of several reasons. One of these reasons is the popularity of their clients. They can be celebrities, high profile politicians or corporate bankers. In other situations, they might be defending or fighting controversial issues such as racial discrimination, rape, heinous crimes (murder), or grand larceny.
Inevitably, justice attorneys receive a lot of attention from the media and the public because the fate of their clients depend on how well or badly they organize and present the defense, in the case of an accusation.
Here are a few of the top justice attorneys hugging the newspapers, radio, and television:
- William Kunstler: The son of a Jewish family, Kunstler was a prominent civil rights activist. He is one of the top justice attorneys when he defended the constitutional rights of an American correspondent in 1957 who violated a U.S. travel ban to communist countries enforced by the Justice Department. His last high profile case was the defense of Omar Abdel Raman for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Kunstler died in 1995.
- Robert Leslie Shapiro: Shapiro served as one of the justice attorneys for several celebrities and athletes. Perhaps the most famous case was the 1994 murder of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman where O.J. Simpson, a celebrity, was accused of the crime. Shapiro was part of the defense team of Simpson which lead to an acquittal.
- Johnnie Cochran: Cochran was also a member of O.J. Simpson's defense team. He served as the main attorney of Mr. Simpson which as everyone knows lead to an acquittal. Apart from this, he was also the lawyer of several other celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogs to name a few. Cochran is best known for defending civil rights.
- Leslie Abramson: A criminal defense attorney, Abramson is best known for her role in the case against the Melendez brothers. The siblings were accused of the brutal murders of their parents. The 2 were convicted of life imprisonment with no parole. Abramson made further news when she was hired by song producer Phil Spector who was accused of shooting Lana Clarkson (actress).
- Anne Bremner: Bremner was in the news for defending the deceased superstar, Michael Jackson. He was accused of child molestation. In 2007, the Seattle-based attorney was in the spotlight again when she defended an American student who was accused of murdering a British student in Italy. Ms. Bremner won every civil case she defended.
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There are other famous justice attorneys such as Shawn Holley Chapman, Marsha Clark and Dick Degeurin. A judicial figure worth mentioning is the former U.S. Attorney General and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Robert H. Jackson who served as the prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.