Paul Bergrin: 'Baddest Lawyer In The History Of New Jersey' On Trial Again

Paul Bergrin trial

By Rebecca Baird-Remba


New Jersey's most infamous defender of drug lords, gang members, and pimps, Paul Bergrin, was back in Newark federal court on Tuesday and facing a laundry list of charges from drug trafficking to racketeering. The man dubbed by New York magazine as "the baddest lawyer in the history of New Jersey" is on trial for the second time, after a hung jury failed to convict him in November 2011, Reuters reports.

He's accused of using his law practice to promote prostitution, orchestrate the 2004 murder of federal informant Kemo DeShawn McCray, and plot to kill witnesses, along with 24 other counts.

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Bergrin, who has been in federal custody since his arrest in 2009, claims the government's case is shaky because it relies on the testimony of career criminals trying to reduce their prison sentences.

"You'll find in this case conclusively that you can't trust any of the witnesses against me," Bergrin, who is representing himself, told the jury during opening arguments on Tuesday, according to Reuters. The Bentley-driving attorney also represented himself in 2011 when he was tried the first time.

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The first presiding judge in the case wouldn't allow the government to introduce evidence about two murders in which Bergrin had allegedly been involved. Then the prosecution team asked the case to be reheard, accusing the judge in the first trial of favoring Bergrin, WSJ Law Blog reported.

Federal prosecutors say they have a smoking gun that will make the murder and conspiracy charges stick -- a tape of Bergrin allegedly ordering a "hit" on a witness who would testify against his client, drug trafficker Vicente Esteves, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

"We gotta make it look like a robbery. It cannot under any circumstances look like a hit," he says on the tape, according to a recent legal opinion issued by U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh cited by the Star-Ledger.




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16 Comments

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jcollins1142

Well his biggest mistake to date yet is representing himself, nly a foll does that. No matter how competent an attorney he is, he needs to have a second set of eyes and ears to assist him.

January 28 2013 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
porkmcjuicy

the law was "supposed" to be sacred. But now its being practiced by a den of thieves. Then again, same can be said about religions, sports, etc etc. I guess the world is dominated by the corrupt, the "superstars" like Armstrong who build a miracle worker reputation on the back of unethical and illegal behavior. ANd society lets them enrich themselves from it, almost every time. Sure they catch a small percent, and make a show of it, but for the large part, the enforcers look the other way. Wheres JUDGE DREDD when ya need him?

January 28 2013 at 2:30 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
teecee656

A friend of mine, who is an excellent trial lawyer, was literally run out of the state because he successfully defended an accused drunk driver, who killed a deputy sheriff in a traffic accident. On one hand, every law enforcement officer in the state would have loved to give him a ticket or worse. While on the other hand, if any law enforcement officer's kids were in trouble with the law, he was the first attorney they called. Attorneys are advocates for their clients in an adversarial proceeding. A defense attorney has only to establish a reasonable doubt. Most importantly, very few defense attorneys get paid if their client ends up with a long prison sentence so they are always more motivated than prosecutors.

January 28 2013 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sgantiques52

3 to 1 against. Takers?

January 28 2013 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
andrewdfirst1

The US courts are some of the most corrupt there is. The DA will do and say anything to win a case. They will make this man the biggest everything and they will even inject lies from people who are not there just to put thoughts into the heads of the jury. If they don't have a case, they will make one threw lies. KIf you are not for them they will try to destroy you.

January 28 2013 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to andrewdfirst1's comment
RJM

"make one threw lies"???????

Educate yourself before you start lambasting others. While I tend to agree that DAs can be driven by wins versus finding the truth - don't category every prosecutor. How would you like it if people categorized you based on your illiteracy?

January 28 2013 at 2:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rrarizona

"Baddest lawyer" is redundant.

January 28 2013 at 12:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rkeeeballs

...Paul will look good in stripes.....really, really good. Don't you think ?

January 28 2013 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
patpumphrey

lawyers are professional liars and distorters of the truth.......

January 28 2013 at 11:59 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
morphiss7

Nice- you have a bunch of scummy prosectors prosecuting a scummy lawyer.

Put them all in jail. Hes a scum bag and the prosectors are trying to frame the guy !!

January 28 2013 at 10:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to morphiss7's comment
jcollins1142

Why do you say they are trying to frame him? Where's your facts?

January 28 2013 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

what do you call 100 lawyers on the bottom of the ocean? A good start

January 28 2013 at 10:11 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dave's comment
trconsulting

What do you call it when a tour bus full of lawyers visiting the desert gets buried nearly to the top in sand due to a wind storm? Not enough sand.

January 28 2013 at 10:51 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
ebernotus

why dont sharks eat lawyer?.......professional courtesy

January 28 2013 at 11:13 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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