Kendall Coffey draws from his years of experience with high-profile cases, both as a witness and game-changing participant in the art of spinning and winning in the court of public opinion and media influence. He offers a riveting analysis of the significance of media strategies and public relations in major courtroom battles through press conferences, media interviews, and online publicity efforts, and other tactics that have become a critical part of setting up a case to win. Kendall Coffey also provides an enthralling look at cases that were won and lost outside the courtroom throughout history long before the final verdict was made, including Socrates, Joan of Arc, Aaron Burr, Martha Stewart, and many more.
With high-profile clients like Al Gore and Elian Gonzalez, Kendall Coffey has walked the walk and talks the talk in this revealing expose of the part of the legal process that happens outside of the courtroom. He reveals how he and his legal team fought and lost the emotional and highly publicized battle to keep young Elian Gonzalez, a Cuban refugee in the US as a result of Janet Reno’s cunning approach to crafting a powerful message to the American public. As a major player in the 2000 presidential election ballot recount, he details how the legal teams for both sides made history with their efforts concentrated on swaying the American public and the media that influences them.
Kendall Coffey makes a compelling case for why lawyers must be PR savvy in a media obsessed world, especially in dealing with public figures, celebrities and high-profile cases. In order to win a case in a courtroom, a legal team must be able to win it outside the courtroom first, and dealing with media, effectively spinning a story and altering the public perception is a huge part of a successful case. In order to do this, a lawyer has to understand the new onslaught of media outlets and public platforms and the best way to approach it. He explains that PR tactics have become an important part of the construction of a case that wins over jurors, judges, and key members of the influential public of a defendant’s innocence or guilt. He includes winning media strategies such as filing press friendly pleadings, constructing polished quotes for clients, creating websites that help publicize the case and serve as a platform for their own news and many more.
Detailing the prevailing connection between pre-trial publicity a case receives and the public prejudice that occurs before the trial ever reaches the courtroom, Kendall Coffey, gives the readers the inside scoop on how some defense lawyers will sometimes leverage the media to put the alleged victim on trial in the court of public opinion in an effort to even the score, by digging up information unrelated to the case at hand that may be unfavorable in the eyes of the general public.
With a foreword by Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Fig School professor and respected author, Spinning the Law is an excellent book for readers who want a behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Legal system and who are interested in media influence, politics and our nation’s attitude toward news. Lawyers, law students, journalists, and pop-culture lovers alike will be enthralled by Kendall Coffey’s thoughtful dissection of history’s most famous cases including those of Michael Jackson, O.J. Simpson, Rod Blagojevich, Kobe Bryant, Scooter Libby, Martha Stewart, Scott Peterson, Miami Mayor Joe Carollo and more, detailing the less-than-favorable treatment and significant disadvantages that celebrities typically receive in legal trials from plea bargaining to the selection of unbiased jurors to final sentencing.
Spinning the Law: Winning in the Court of Public Opinion, is based on Kendall Coffey’s extensive experience leveraging and being subjected to the powerful influence of the media in the legal process and the final verdict. In addition to being a former leading U.S. Attorney, Kendall Coffey is the founding member and partner at Coffey Burlington, PL and has represented such high-profile clients as Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential Election recount in Florida, the family of young Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez, and Miami Mayor Joe Carollo in a highly-publicized election fraud trial. Kendall Coffey has been featured on major national television including The Today Show, Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper’s 360, Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and more. He is frequently sought after for his expert commentary on high-profile cases.