Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Attorney Mark J. O'Brien

In a perfect world, no one, not even your best friends or closest family members, would ever find out you were arrested and charged with a crime. Unfortunately, if you are an athlete, a politician or a person of some sort of fame, this is not only a fanciful dream, it simply is not possible. I have years of experience handling high-profile, media cases. I know it is necessary to defend my clients in and out of the courthouse. In media cases, I create and implement a defense strategy that restores my clients’ reputations in the court of public opinion, while simultaneously not allowing law enforcement and/or prosecutors to poison the potential jury pool or inflame public interest against my clients.

It is important to stop and note one thing I will not do, however. Approximately fifteen years ago, I reached the point in my legal career where I began defending media covered cases. It was at first an ego boost. But it was also very interesting, and frustrating, because of the self appointed ‘legal experts’ who commented on my cases in the local and national news media. I routinely watched lawyers, who were not actively involved in any of my clients’ cases, incorrectly analyze my legal strategy on television and on social media. Time after time, they were comically wrong in their opinions. But it is not their fault. How can any lawyer, who knows nothing about my cases, accurately discuss them in a twenty second sound bite? They simply cannot. It is not possible.

It thus became very clear to me that it is wrong for any lawyer to discuss in the media any case he or she is not personally defending. I used to do it. And I was wrong for doing it. It is why over a decade ago I vowed that I would stop doing it and never do it again. I have not broken this vow, despite still being asked time and time again by local and national media outlets to comment on criminal cases that are not my own. This is not a Sunday morning pregame football show. This is someone’s life. You want me to talk about my own cases? I certainly will if it will benefit my clients in some fashion. You want me to talk about other cases I am not defending? No thank you.

I am the lawyer who quietly but strategically defends my clients in courts of public opinion and courts of law all through out the state and country. While I do the hard part of actually defending my clients in a court of law and in the court of public opinion, I will let other lawyers do the easy part of simply talking about my cases in the media. Lawyers versus Talkers. You are free to decide who you want representing you.

Orlando Sentinel: “A convicted counterfeiter and an informant-for-hire both failed to convince a federal jury in Orlando that a Central Florida man was behind a 110-pound cocaine deal,” wrote the Orlando Sentinel about a not guilty verdict federal criminal attorney Mark J. O’Brien obtained in a federal cocaine conspiracy case.

Tampa Bay Times: “More seats had to be added to the defense table Friday, as two more lawyers joined the Adams and Diaco team. In addition to Greenberg Traurig attorneys Kehoe and Danielle Kemp, Robert Adams is now being represented by William Jung and Adam Filthaut by Mark J. O’Brien.” 

Los Angeles Times: “I believe this is improper. In this particular case, he should not be held without bond and his probation should not be violated,” attorney Mark J. O’Brien said in response to reporters’ questions about his client’s, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, arrest.

USA TODAY: “It was dismissed in Washington State and now it will be dismissed here in Tampa, Florida,” criminal defense attorney Mark J. O’Brien told reporters after a court appearance involving untrue allegations that his client, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Jerramy Stevens, battered his wife, current United States National Soccer Team goalie Hope Solo.

Chicago Tribune: “He is satisfied the proper decision was made today but he is angry that the wrong decision was made to arrest to begin with,” attorney Mark J. O’Brien said in a statement to reporters after all charges against his client were dropped by prosecutors.

Orlando Sentinel: “He went from 16 to 17 years to nothing,” Tampa defense lawyer Mark J. O’Brien said of the time his client would spend behind bars after a jury acquitted his client in federal criminal court.

Tampa Tribune: “Most of the lawyers could not be reached or had no comment but Mark J. O’Brien said, ‘We  will vigorously defend Mr. Lewis in federal court using all of the legal tools we have at our disposal.’ ”

Tampa Bay Times: “In the hands of another attorney, the judge’s actions might have gone unnoticed, or ignored  in the name of keeping the peace. For obvious reasons, attorneys don’t typically criticize judges. But for the last  several months, attorney Mark J. O’Brien has tried to make this judge and others talk publicly about what happened.”

Boston Globe: “This was a lot worse than most people could possibly comprehend,” white-collar criminal defense  attorney Mark J. O’Brien said in an interview with the Boston Globe.

Orlando Sentinel: “A 12-member jury took a little more than one hour to acquit the federal defendant,” wrote  the Orlando Sentinel while describing the length of time it took a federal jury to acquit federal criminal defense  attorney Mark J. O’Brien’s client of a million dollar counterfeit money and drug  distribution conspiracy.

The Brunswick News: “Andrew Jackson, the only person named in a 16-defendant federal indictment to proceed to trial, sat at the defense table, his arms wrapped around his slim frame, and his knee bouncing in anticipation as he waited for the jury to enter the courtroom at the United States Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia. A significant portion of the next decade-plus of his life hung in the balance. The jurors filed in, and he and his attorney, Mark J. O’Brien of Tampa, Florida, stood to receive the verdict, which came clearly in an otherwise silent courtroom. Not guilty on Count 1. Not guilty on Count 29. As the judge gave closing instructions to the jury, Mr. Jackson covered his face and wept. He continued to wipe tears from his eyes as the jurors left the courtroom. He then hugged Mr. O’Brien before rejoining his family.”

Tampa Bay Times: “Plant High School teacher Mary Lynn Vu’s attorney, Mark J. O’Brien, released a statement praising the prosecutor’s decision to not charge his client with having sexual relations with a student.”

 Tampa Bay Business Journal: “I am pleased that the legal argument I made at sentencing was later conceded as legally correct by government prosecutors on appeal,” said federal criminal lawyer Mark J. O’Brien of Tampa after the United States Attorney’s Office conceded and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that his original district court legal argument was accurate.

St. Petersburg Times: “The ruling came down just the other day. The appeals court reversed Tina Esler’s conviction,” wrote Columnist Howard Troxler, describing how attorney Mark J. O’Brien’s appellate brief convinced the Second District Court of Appeal to overturn his client’s jury conviction and corresponding five year prison sentence for DUI resulting in serious bodily injury.

Tampa Tribune: “It was not filed against him and appropriately so,” attorney Mark J. O’Brien said of the decision of Florida prosecutors to not charge his client with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Orlando Sentinel: “Mark J. O’Brien, a former prosecutor in Miami, convinced the jury that his client was a small-time pot dealer duped into playing a role in a conspiracy orchestrated by federal drug agents.”

Washington Post: “To find out nearly two years later that there were after-the-fact excuses made to at best justify, or at worst cover up, a terrible decision to cut off their son’s arm without their permission is a slap in the face to them and to all other fallen Marines,” attorney Mark J. O’Brien told reporters.

Tampa Bay Times: “At a court hearing Friday, it took just four seconds for the judge assigned to the case to rule in favor of attorneys Mark J. O’Brien and Victoria E. Hatfield. The judge did not comment on her decision, and she didn’t wait to hear prosecutors’ arguments before issuing her order.”

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