Justin Bieber was arrested last night, for drag-racing while under the influence of drugs, and a psychotic sense of celebrity invincibility. Today he appeared in court with high-profile defense attorney, Roy Black. Here’s what we know about the 68-year-old trying to get Bieber off:
1. He Previously Defended Rush Limbaugh
In 2003, Conservative radio king Rush Limbaugh came under investigation by prosecutors, after his housekeeper told the National Enquirer that he abused Oxycontin and other pankillers. Limbaugh proceeded to take a 5 week leave from his show to enter a rehabilitation program, publicly admitting he had a problem with pain medication, which he attributed to his struggle with severe back pain.
Under Roy Black’s guidance, Limbaugh pled guilty to one count of prescription fraud. The charge maintained that Limbaugh had misled doctors so as to obtain overlapping prescriptions to controlled medications. A stipulation of that deal though, was that Limbaugh would be cleared of all wrongdoing if he stayed clean for 18 months. Limbaugh emerged from the snafu with no criminal record.
Black has also represented Kelsey Grammar, Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis, sportscaster Marv Albert, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and many other celebrities in the course of a prolific 40 year career.
2. He Married a Juror From His First High-Profile Case
Roy Black first rose to national prominence after representing William Kennedy Smith, a nephew of JFK, in a rape case that gained national attention in 1991. Smith was acquitted despite three other women coming forward with accusations that they too had been raped by Smith back in the 80s. That testimony was excluded by the judge.
Black ended up marrying one of the jurors in that case, cosmetics manufacturer Lisa Lea Haller. The two met after bumping into each other, the night after the verdict in Palm Beach.
Haller is now a castmate on The Real Housewives of Miami. Black, and the couple’s son R.J. have both appeared on the series.
3. He Treats His Cases Like ‘World War 3′
A profile in Miami Magazine from 1998 titled “Black’s Magic” quotes Roy Black describing the cases he’s most attracted to:
“The kind of cases I handle are the ones people can’t afford to lose. Marv Albert can’t afford to be convicted. It’s his career and his life on the line. I represent people who want whatever can be done to be done. There are only a few lawyers who are willing to go as far as I do, strategically. My cases are World War III to me. I don’t take prisoners when I go to trial.”
The profile suggests Black is attracted to two kinds of cases: 1. Those involving lots of media attention and money and 2. Those involving “the unpopular, the politically incorrect, and even the despised.”
His attraction to the latter resulted in his helping to acquit two Miami police officers for killing unarmed black men. One of those acquittals, of Luis Alvarez in 1982, sparked a riot.
4. He and His Wife Throw an Annual Charity Gala
Roy and his wife Lea throw a gala each year, to raise money for at risk youth. Past galas have featured such celebrity performers as Queen Latifah, Tony Bennett, Deborah Cox, Pitbull, Natalie Cole, Pharrell Williams, Deborah Cox, Paulina Rubio, Rick Ross, Alto Reed, and Lil Wayne.
5. He Is a Popular Television Legal Analyst
After gaining national attention in the Smith case, Black became a popular television personality for cable news networks. He was featured prominently during wall-to-wall coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial in 1994.
You can see him discussing the George Zimmerman case on CNN, in the video above.