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Book Review: Spinning the Law: Trying Cases in the Court of Public Opinion
By Kendall Coffey
By Kendall CoffeyPrometheus (2010)Reviewed by William R. Terpening
“Criminal defense lawyers are the law’s ultimate underdogs,” writes Kendall Coffey, but “while underdogs at sporting events have fans in the stands rooting for them against the big dogs, for the defense lawyer there may be few cheerleaders.” Thus, he repeatedly argues throughout Spinning the Law, our role in highly publicized cases includes taking measures to neutralize a news media that is quick to rush to judgment and vilify our clients. As a prominent Miami criminal defense attorney, Coffey has been at the center of some media-frenzied trials. Spinning the Law distills experiences from those cases into lessons on how lawyers should handle the press.
Not content to draw upon his formidable personal experience, Coffey devotes many pages to a survey of media management insights from, seemingly, every popular criminal trial from the past two millennia. The legal plights of Oscar Wilde, Martha Stewa
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