Lawyer Profile

Outspoken Lawyer Geoffrey Fieger Challenges Prosecution Motives

Michigan lawyer Geoffrey Fieger tells the ABA Journal that the indictment accusing him of violating campaign finance laws was part of a Bush administration effort to hurt Democrats.

“The intent now is to destroy the firm,” Fieger said, referring to his 18-lawyer personal injury firm, Fieger, Fieger, Kenney, Johnson & Giroux.

The outspoken lawyer is charged with using straw donors to give more money than the law allows to the John Edwards 2004 presidential campaign. It’s not the first big fight for Fieger. He has sued the state attorney general for investigating another campaign contribution. And he has sued four Michigan supreme court justices to keep them from deciding a disciplinary case stemming from comments in which he compared justices who struck down one of his verdicts to Nazis.

“When he’s not playing offense, he can be simply offensive,” the Journal story says, “as in the schoolyard taunts and insults he heaps on opponents—much like the motormouthed boxer Muhammad Ali, with whom Fieger has compared himself.”

Fieger has enlisted another famous trial lawyer to represent him in the campaign contributions case: Gerry Spence, who casts the prosecution as selective and vindictive in a motion to dismiss (PDF).

Spence is pursuing his theory with a discovery request for documents and depositions from former and current Justice Department employees, the Journal says in its December profile of Fieger.

“I’m going to put them on trial,” Fieger said of the prosecutors. “I don’t relish the opportunity of putting my life on the line, but sometimes people have to do that, I guess. It doesn’t mean I’m not frightened.”

A Justice Department spokesman responds that the allegations are grandstanding. “This is nothing more than a bunch of allegations they are throwing against the wall to see if anything sticks,” Bryan Sierra said.

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