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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