Criminal Procedure

Blagojevich Defense Team Brings Color and Charisma to Court


While in-your-face showmanship from lawyers is common at the Criminal Courts Building in Chicago, two prominent defense attorneys will bring their unabashedly colorful and unorthodox style to federal court Thursday.

Prominent defense lawyer Sam Adam Sr., along with his attorney son of the same name, are expected to enact a defense plan that flies in the face of convention for handling public corruption cases as they argue on behalf of indicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Blagojevich faces a bevy of public corruption charges that range from swapping appointments for campaign cash to trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

The father-son duo, renowned for their magnetic personalities, aggressive courtroom style and flamboyant wardrobes, are respectively known for their defenses of former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds and R&B artist R. Kelly, according to the Tribune.

While critics question the duo’s eccentric pretrial strategy—instead of lying low, Blagojevich was sent on a coast-to-coast publicity blitz to loudly proclaim his innocence on TV and radio talk shows—the elder Adam’s deep knowledge of the law combined with Adam Jr.’s charisma could resonate with potential jurors.

“Sam Sr. will outthink anyone around him, and Sam Jr. will out-persuade anyone around him,” lawyer Richard Dvorak, who has handled cases at both courthouses and once shared an office building with the younger Adam, said to the newspaper. “The combination of someone who’s an intellectual thinker like Sam Sr. and his son, who’s a truly charismatic figure, can really be lethal.”

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