Longtime Above the Law readers will be familiar with Peter “P’Ta Mon” John, aka “The Thugs’ Lawyer.” We named him a Lawyer of the Day back in 2007, for his aggressive advertising campaign touting himself as “The Thug’s Lawyer” (along with the catchy slogan, “No Evidence — No Conviction!”). We mentioned him again in 2008, when he started offering a $500 “Expungement Special” (which perhaps the good Professor Jones availed himself of).
Well, Peter John is back in the news again — and not for positive reasons this time. From the Baton Rouge Advocate:
Peter Q. “P’Ta Mon” John, who advertises himself as “The Thugs Lawyer,” was indicted Thursday on charges that he conspired to have attempted murder charges against two local rap music executives dropped….
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury Thursday accused John, 39, 11110 Boardwalk Drive, of conspiring with Moore, Demond Eames and Carter to commit perjury in the civil cases and obstruct justice in the criminal case.
In an interview with ATL, Peter John explained his “thugs’ lawyer” ad by saying, “Look, I am close to the streets.” Did he perhaps get too close to the streets?
Keep in mind, of course, that John has only been indicted, not convicted. As he emphasized in his ATL interview, people are innocent until proven guilty.
It is also possible that law enforcement is indicting a lawyer in an effort to put unfair pressure upon criminal defendants and the right to counsel (a la the Ben Kuehne case). From the Advocate article:
John said in a telephone interview that the indictment was a “surprise” to him but not entirely unexpected. “At this point I’m at a loss for words,” he said. “It’s not fair, but it is the system. I trust the process.”
[A co-defendant]’s attorney, Lewis Unglesby, said he was puzzled by John’s indictment. “I’ve never seen a lawyer indicted for legal work, and it’s a bad road to go down,” he said. “As a lawyer I’m very disappointed to see that.”
John accused prosecutor Charles Grey of waging a “personal vendetta” against him.
Will John represent himself, or will he hire counsel? And if he does, will that attorney be able to call himself “The Thug’s Lawyer’s Lawyer”?
Earlier: Guess He’s No Longer ‘The Thugs’ Lawyer’
Lawyer of the Day: Peter ‘P’Ta Mon’ John