Trials & Litigation

Lawyer Sees His 'Mistrial' Nickname as a Blessing and a Curse

An Alabama lawyer has acquired a new nickname after an unusual record in the first 10 cases he tried.

He’s known as Larry “Mistrial” Marsili, reports. Marsili hung out a shingle in 2003 after law school and began taking court-appointed criminal defense work. His clients always reached plea deals, until last year. Then the Huntsville lawyer began getting assignments for cases likely to go to trial, and he has tried 10 in the last 18 months.

Mistrials occurred in four cases, the story says. In one case, jurors deadlocked and the defendant rejected a deal for time served. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison at the new trial. In a second case, jurors deadlocked even though the victim identified his cousin, the defendant, as the triggerman. In a third and fourth, the jury deadlocked and when the case was retried, a mistrial was declared because two jurors were discussing the case without others present.

Marsili has mixed feelings about his new reputation. “It is a blessing and curse,” he told the ABA Journal in an interview. “The blessing, of course, is the clients get the benefit of much better offers to resolve their cases. And there is a certain bit of notoriety that goes with that, obviously.”

The curse, he says, is that some potential clients expect he can deliver a similar result. “Of course I can’t make that promise to anybody,” he says. “You never know what a jury’s going to do.”

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