Removing the shadow of suspicion

StewartCan Martha Stewart regain the trust of her customers or could Enron’s former chief Ken Lay get a new job under the clouds of suspicion left in the wake of their legal problems? It depends upon the match between how they respond to the allegations and the extent to which the alleged offense is perceived to involve their integrity or their competence, according to a recent study by Washington University in St. Louis professor Kurt T. Dirks and three colleagues.

High-profile celebrity trials test lawyers’ skills with ‘unique set of challenges’

Photo courtesy of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s DepartmentJury selection will be at issue in the Jackson trial.From Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart and Phil Spector to Kobe Bryant and Jayson Williams, celebrity criminal trials continue to be top news items. But as the spotlight on these trials intensifies, attorneys representing celebrities are presented with a unique set of challenges, says Christopher Bracey, an expert in the fields of criminal rights and criminal process and an associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “Instead of focusing solely on preparing a strong legal defense, these attorneys are dealing with issues such as client management, tainted jury pools and misinformation.”