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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Trump is Having a Hard Time Finding a Capable Criminal Defense Attorney

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

By Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on June 14, 2023

IMAGE: Inside the courtroom at Donald Trump's arraignment in Miami on June 13, 2023. Courtesy of CNN.

An Editorial Opinion

Yesterday, Donald Trump attended his arraignment in a Miami federal courthouse without a lead trial attorney. Trump spent the day before the arraignment interviewing criminal defense attorneys.

Donald Trump is having a hard time finding a qualified and capable Miami-based criminal defense attorney to lead his defense team because lawyers in this specialty area rarely try cases anymore. They typically encourage their clients to plead "guilty," something that Trump will never do. This "guilty plea" trend has gotten much worse in the last 20 years.

As a result, very few criminal defense attorneys in Miami and/or America have significant trial experience. None of them has a substantial or impressive win-loss record in trials that resulted in "Not Guilty" verdicts.

For the most part, their professional reputations are built on PR hype, not real courtroom performance.

Just because a lawyer is a talking-head on a TV news show does not mean he/she has substantial trial experience. In fact, I do not know of any of the TV lawyers/commentators who has an impressive win-loss record in trials.

Because they have no trial experience, the overwhelming majority of criminal defense attorneys simply surrender their clients, rather than fight for them in the “gladiator pit.” This is why federal prosecutors win 99% of their criminal cases.

Today, I only know of one lawyer in America who is capable of winning Donald Trump’s case and his name is David S. Shankman. I featured Shankman in an article I published on June 10, 2023.

Shankman, a Tampa-based lawyer, is the only attorney I know who possesses the knowledge, courtroom skills, litigation abilities, and trial experience needed to win Trump’s criminal case – a case where losing is not an acceptable option.

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