Foreword by Alan Dershowitz, professor of law, Harvard Law School
and author of Trials of Zion
"You’ll never again watch a courtroom drama the same way after reading this book. This is a fascinating look at some of the most high-profile cases of our time through the eyes of a man who took part in many of them. Kendall Coffey provides a stellar look at why lawyers not only concentrate on what’s going on in the courtroom, but also what’s being fed to the court of public opinion. Fans of courtroom drama and law students alike: here is your teacher."
- Robin Meade, bestselling author and anchor of “Morning Express with Robin Meade” on HLN
"If your profession requires you to convince ANYONE of ANYTHING, this book is a must read. Kendall Coffey, master of persuasion, takes us through the backstage plays of strategic puppeteering that all high-press cases engage in, and had better engage in, if they know what's good for them."
- Judge Marilyn Milian, The People’s Court
"Most books and analysis by pundits lack the perspective of someone who has been through the eye of the hurricane. Kendall's book may be the first in a while that truly is written from the experience of having lived it and lived through it. If you want to know the truth about how big cases are really won or lost, this is a must read. This intriguing book exposes how the media is artfully used as a critical tool in the dynamic realm of American law and justice."
- Mark Geragos, trial lawyer
High-profile courtroom dramas fascinate our nation, especially when they concern the rich and famous. And while the American public has come to realize that the spin factor is a prime ingredient in political tactics and marketing campaigns, many are unaware of the strategies for shaping public opinion when it comes to major courtroom battles.
This behind-the-scenes analysis of media strategies presents an intriguing, often entertaining curriculum that they do not teach in law school or journalism classes. As the lead counsel in some of the country’s most notable cases and a savvy legal commentator with hundreds of television appearances, author Kendall Coffey brings a distinctive combination of depth as a legal practitioner and experience as a media analyst to this insightful, provocative, and practical book.
He begins with an historic election fraud trial, relying on his personal experience with the basics of law spin. He then guides the reader through an abbreviated, engrossing tour of spinning cases through the ages—including Socrates and Joan of Arc, as well as the Charles Lindbergh kidnapping case. Modern cases include the O. J. Simpson trial, the author’s own experiences in the international Elian Gonzalez controversy—and his thoughts on the possible overwhelming effect that that controversy had on Florida in the 2000 presidential election between Gore and Bush.
Coffey also examines the most famous cases of recent times—those of Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Martha Stewart, Scott Peterson, Gordon “Scooter” Libby, and the shenanigans of impeached former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Along the way, the author exposes many of the myths associated with the law, debunking assumptions about legal concepts ranging from circumstantial evidence and cooperating witnesses to so-called prosecutors’ vendettas.
Coffey’s many entertaining examples and explanations make this book ideal reading for everyone fascinated by celebrity legal problems but must reading for lawyers, public relations professionals, journalists, and media students.
MORE PRAISE FOR SPINNING THE LAW:
"Spinning the Law provides an unprecedented and comprehensive account of the unique role of today's lawyer litigating in the court of public opinion. Coffey's examination of the highest profile cases in recent years teaches all of us - whether experienced lawyer or average citizen - sobering and fascinating lessons about the contemporary, multidimensional life of the law. This book is a rare (and perhaps the solitary) combination of autobiography, gripping journalism, legal analysis, and a how-to-manual that will fascinate both those who live to litigate such cases, as well as the many who simply cannot look away when courtroom drama spills into popular consciousness."
- Nathaniel Persily, Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law and Political Science, Columbia Law School, coeditor of Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy
"I have read and savored every page of this book. It is truly a fresh, original, and fun piece of work."
- Hugo Black, Jr., courtroom attorney for sixty years
“For more than a decade, Kendall has been my go-to guy for all quick, concise, and accurate legal analysis. His breadth of legal knowledge and acumen has been a valuable resource for many of us in network news. It stands to reason that he would write the definitive guide to navigate us through the legal spin zone!”
- Ashleigh Banfield, ABC News and formerly Court TV
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. Attorney who headed up the largest federal prosecutors’ office in America, is the founding member of and a partner at Coffey Burlington, PL. Following his service as a U.S. Attorney, he was closely involved with the Elian Gonzalez case and the 2000 presidential election recount. A leading media commentator on high-profile cases, he has appeared on the Today Show, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper’s 360, CNN Headline News, as well as hundreds of other nationally televised programs.