October 2004 Issue
Chances are you know Todd Melnik, if not by name then certainly by reputation. Melnik is the Los Angeles lawyer who helped get his client exonerated through a television show.
Well, sort of.
Melnik’s client, Juan Catalan, stood accused of a particularly heinous revenge murder. He said he didn’t do it, and had the alibi: He was at a Dodgers game with his daughter. He even had the ticket stubs to prove it--but the LAPD wasn’t buying it. The police department claimed to have eyewitnesses placing Catalan at the scene of the crime, finger on the trigger. What’s a lawyer to do? Go to the videotape.
Catalan, you see, was a Dodger Stadium regular and remembered seeing a crew in his section at the game that night filming the comedic actor Bob Einstein, best known for his bumbling stuntman character Super Dave Osborne. Maybe, just maybe, he had been captured on film.
The 2000 presidential election campaign was the closest in U.S. history. It went unresolved for weeks until the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Florida vote count made Republican George W. Bush the winner. If the polls to date are any indication, this year’s race between President Bush and his Democratic challenger, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, is shaping up to be another close call.
The government means business. Companies across the United States have come to appreciate government as an important purchaser of goods and services. The federal government alone spends more than $250 billion a year--about a quarter of its discretionary spending--to purchase goods and services.