Thursday, April 12, 2012

If You Must Go, Then Go Quietly: George Zimmerman's Former Attorneys

There's been a lot of bizarre behavior with the Treyvon Martin case, but special mention should be made of George Zimmerman's now-former attorneys, who made a big show of resigning from the case the day before Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder: 

The lawyers for George Zimmerman, the member of a neighborhood watch group who killed an unarmed teenager, said they were withdrawing as his legal counsel, a surprise twist in a case that has riveted the nation. 
"We've lost contact with him," attorney Craig Sonner said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. "He's gone on his own." Mr. Sonner said the last time he had communicated with his client was on Sunday. Since then, Mr. Zimmerman hadn't returned phone calls, text messages or emails, he said. 
Mr. Zimmerman fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., in February and later told police he acted in self-defense. Mr. Martin's family, however, says Mr. Zimmerman was the aggressor. State and federal investigations are under way. Mr. Zimmerman hasn't been charged with any crime. 
The attorneys cited a number of purported actions on Mr. Zimmerman's part that they said they found troubling, including his contacting media and the special prosecutor investigating his case without alerting them.
The lawyers also said they had received information that Mr. Zimmerman had spoken off the record to Sean Hannity of Fox News, without alerting them. They were unaware of what their client discussed with the news anchor, they said. Fox News is owned by News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal....The "final straw," said Hal Uhrig, Mr. Zimmerman's other attorney, was that Mr. Zimmerman contacted Ms. Corey's office, also without notifying the lawyers. Mr. Uhrig said clients should never speak to anyone, let alone a prosecutor, about their case without an attorney present.The lawyers said they had gone to great lengths to set up a website where supporters could send donations to their client. Yet the lawyers said they learned on Monday that Mr. Zimmerman had set up his own website——without consulting them.

There's a lot of bad attorney behavior on display here. First of all, who calls a press conference to announce to the world that you are resigning from the case? If you are going to resign, then resign. More important, they trash their client as they head out the door, making him seem like a fugitive on the run, rather than what he is: someone who probably can't walk down the street in Central Florida without fearing death at the hands of a member of the mobs whipped up by the "civil rights" community. They even manage to hint at Zimmerman's location. Ridiculous. 

And, worst of all, this press conference was the first time I'd ever heard of these guys. Zimmerman's already been tried and convicted in the media. His desperate family and friends have taken to the airwaves to defend the man. Zimmerman himself has set up a website, one that (shudder) his former attorneys did not approve of. Uh, fellas, maybe Zimmerman and his few supporters are doing this because you guys aren't doing your damn job. The one thing a defense attorney is supposed to do is defend their client, and I have seen no indication that either of these guys has done so. Instead, it looks like they've been hiding under a desk, not wanting to be associated with this case, and took the first chance to noisily "resign" (I'd call it abandon) from the case on the eve of Zimmerman's indictment. 

Zimmerman has already retained new counsel, Mark O'Meira. You may have heard him on the news last night, as he gave a quick press conference in the wake of the newly filed 2nd degree murder charges. Hopefully, Zimmerman will be better represented this time around. 

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