Adrian Peterson Is Wasting Money

Adrian Peterson Is Wasting Money

NFL star running back Adrian Peterson was charged a week ago with a misdemeanor for resisting arrest in Houston.  When that is the only charge (or something like “disorderly conduct”) it’s often a sign that the police had nothing legit to charge you on, but wanted to arrest you.  I have no idea if that is the case here.

What I do know is that this is the type of charge that is routinely dismissed by a competent experienced lawyer.  I also know that to make that happen, you don’t need the most experienced and expensive lawyer on the block.  But Peterson didn’t ask me who to hire.  Instead he hired a lawyer named Rusty Hardin.

Hardin appears to be an amazing lawyer.  He got Roger Clemens off his recent charges.  He was on the other side of Anna Nicole Smith when she tried to get millions from the estate of the very old guy she married.  He won that case too.

High profile lawyers like this don’t spend their time fighting misdemeanor cases.  The lawyers that focus on those cases are typically local guys who are former prosecutors and spend every day in the same court rooms.  They get to know the Judges and the current prosecutors and they make cases go away.   They also don’t charge an arm and a leg.  In Chicago, a good attorney will usually charge between $1,000 to $2,000 for a case like this and 98% of the time can get the charges thrown out.

Now I have no idea what Hardin is charging Peterson, but I’ll bet it’s in the five figures and if it is, it’s a big waste of money.  He’s an amazing attorney, but there is no way after spending two months in DC on the Clemens trial that he is the best lawyer for a local misdemeanor.  If anything, there is a risk that the prosecutors will drag the case on in order to have to deal with him.

Peterson can certainly afford to pay whatever fee Hardin is charging, but decisions like this are one reason why you see so many former pro athletes broke after their playing days.  He wants to buy the shiniest, “best” thing available.  In this case it’s a lawyer.  Except he doesn’t realize that he’s not getting the best lawyer for his case.  He may know that he’s paying too much.  For his sake, hopefully he gets his money worth.   But just as I would tell you not to hire the lawyer that defended Blagojevich if you got a DUI, I think that Peterson is wasting his time and money by hiring Hardin. 

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    The title of this article should be; Micheal Helfand is wasting ink, time, and energy writing this article trying make Adrian Peterson look like a dumb jock. Being a resident of the Houston area, I completly understand AP's move to hire Rusty Hardin. It's kind of like a cottonmouth showing his fangs or a rattlesnake showing his tail, eventhough the person of threat is standing ten feet away. It is deterrent for HPD not to mess with this guy again over some silly nonesense. HPD is notorious for this type of thing(filing false reports), and if Mr. Peterson would like to continue frequenting Houston area nightclubs then sending this kind of message is not a bad idea. Afterall,l who else is going maintain the stock of his superstar status but himself? He did the right thing. Trust me on that.

  • What a coincidence. That was my original article title. Good suggestion.

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    Michael, I think you're looking at the issue from the wrong perspective in this article. The issue here isn't necessarily only about making the charges go away. For a minute, look at this from a public relations and branding standpoint. Adrian Peterson makes millions of dollars on endorsements and appearances. Much of this is due to his fairly squeaky-clean, nice guy image that he has done a lot to maintain. This story and these charges are a threat to that. The reason he is hiring high-profile representation is to make sure that the charges are squashed, of course. But more importantly he wants to be vindicated publicly. The amount of damage this could cause to his brand/image is much more costly than hiring a very expensive lawyer. It's a no-brainer. The more thoroughly the Houston Police Department is shown to have misrepresented Peterson, the better for his image. That's why you go with the big guns.

    Furthermore, why are you counting other people's money? The guy gets paid millions. Why wouldn't he hire the best representation possible?

  • In reply to Matthew Cermak:

    I hear you. My counter is that he's drawing way more attention to it than it would have otherwise received nationally but bigger picture is that IMO his lawyer isn't the best representation possible. Probably great from the PR perspective, but if he's meeting the prosecutor for the first time when he makes the first court appearance he's not the right or best lawyer.

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