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Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Doesn’t Need to Be Loved

When you are looking for a criminal defense attorney, especially in a case where there is likely media coverage, whether or not the attorney is lovable just isn’t important. A criminal defense attorney should be commanding, fearless and experienced. That works better for a criminal defendant than being loved.

Consider Joe Tacopina. The New York Post has called him “the most hated lawyer in New York.”

As Dick Cheney said recently in the Showtime documentary The World According to Dick Cheney, “If you want to be loved, go be a movie star.”

Being the most hated lawyer in New York is a gold medal commendation from federal and state prosecutors who have jousted with Tacopina in the courtroom while he defended crime bosses, murders, and cops accused of everything from murder to rape and corruption.

In last year’s interview in Connecticut Magazine, Joe explained why he represents criminal defendants. Through all of the bravado and fancy suits, Tacopina cares deeply about the Constitution and the role of a defense attorney in the criminal prosecution process. “Listen, there’s the evidence, and I will challenge it — the Constitution demands that I challenge it. If there’s a conviction based on the evidence and the jury finds ‘Guilty,’ I can live with that. That means the system is working. But if there’s an acquittal because the evidence isn’t there, or a juror had a reasonable doubt, or if we start cutting corners for those that we ‘think’ are guilty, then the system starts to bend. Then what happens is that innocent people start to get hurt. Anyone can be critical of what I do — until they’re falsely accused. Then they want the most vigorous, best defense that they can find.”

Joe’s style is flamboyant and unique, so much so that CBS modeled the attorney in its series The Guardian after him. When an attorney engenders this kind of attention, he’s very, very good. Joe Tacopina knows how to protect the rights of — and successfully defend — those accused of committing a crime.

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