Attorney Misconduct, Crime, Drugs, Legal Ethics, Murder, New Jersey, Paul Bergrin, Trials, U.S. Attorneys Offices

Paul Bergrin, ‘The Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey,’ Convicted at Last

Paul Bergrin (via Getty Images)

I have to give Paul Bergrin some credit. This former federal prosecutor, accused of drug dealing, pimping, and murder, has been remarkably successful at eluding conviction for his crimes.

Bergrin was first arrested back in 2009. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey, where Bergrin once worked before becoming a defense lawyer, brought him to trial. That trial, which took place in 2011, ended with a hung jury. Some time was taken up with appellate machinations (in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office prevailed).

A new trial, before a different district judge, got underway this January. And today justice finally caught up with the man that New York magazine famously dubbed “the baddest lawyer in the history of Jersey”….

This just in, from the Newark Star-Ledger:

Paul Bergrin, the once-prominent defense lawyer, has been found guilty of all 23 criminal counts today, including murder and conspiracy to murder, following a long high-profile criminal trial in federal court.

The verdict was announced moments ago in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh in Newark.

“It’s been a long time coming. We have a great team.” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said shortly after the verdict was read.

A tale of two Pauls: Paul Fishman and Paul Bergrin. Both Pauls worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark. Both then joined the defense bar. One went on to head the office — and just secured the other’s scalp.

It has the makings of a movie. I nominate Bradley Whitford to play Fishman and Javier Bardem to play Bergrin; Bardem has the perfect combination of weirdness and charismatic evil.

Congratulations to my former colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s Office — John Gay, Joseph Minish, and Steven Sanders — on finally getting their man. Justice might have been delayed in this case, but it ultimately was not denied.

UPDATE (4:30 PM): Maybe Matthew Modine for John Gay and Rob Corddry for Steven Sanders?

Federal Jury Convicts Paul Bergrin of Murder, Racketeering, 21 Other Charges [Newark Star-Ledger]

Earlier: Benchslaps of the Day: A Double Whammy for a District Judge
A Closer Look at Paul Bergrin, Former Federal Prosecutor Accused of Murder-for-Hire

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