Kendall Coffey Spinning the Law

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If the Casey Anthony trial proves anything it's just how easy a defendant can win the battle yet lose the war.

Here we have a defendant who was declared innocent on almost all counts, but who is being sued for defamation as well as fraud and unjust enrichment (by the group who searched for Caylee not knowing she was already dead), is on the Florida Department of Children and Families radar in case she were to have any other children, and can barely interact in the public sphere after all the negative press.

What happens outside of the courtroom can sometimes be just as important as what happens inside. And no one knows that better than Kendall Coffey, former U.S. Attorney, founding member and partner of Coffey Burlington, PL, in Miami, and author of Spinning the Law: Trying Cases in the Court of Public Opinion.

Spinning the Law is an intimate look at the celebrity trials of the ages, from an author who understands that now, more than ever, advocates must fight for innocent verdicts for their clients from both sides of the courtroom door.

Coffey has worlds of experience to pull from and his personal experience in some of the biggest trials of modern times is a treat. He describes how he was tear gassed while representing the family of Elian Gonzalez in a losing case to Attorney General Janet Reno, or how he helped represent Presidential Candidate Al Gore in the Florida voter recount that elected George W. Bush.

One interesting observation that Coffey brings up, is just how much power prosecutors have in the court of public opinion.

€With all of the powers of government on their side the prosecutors need media support like an 800-pound gorilla needs a parakeet,€ he writes. His own experience backs up this supposition, as he explains how Reno's subordinates in the Elian Gonzalez case slipped information regularly to the press, and how the defense team only found out about the information when the media called to get their side of the story.

Throughout the book we are treated to insider glimpses like these as he walks us through high profile cases from history like those of Socrates or the Lindbergh kidnapping, and the modern ones of O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Scott Peterson, Martha Stewart, €Scooter€ Libby, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, and the Duke Lacrosse team- all the while illustrating how spin affected the results inside and out.

It's an interesting book for students of history and law, as well as those who simply want to better understand how justice really works in the modern world.

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