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The Jennifer Wilkov Story: The High Price Of Hiring The Wrong Attorney
There have often been many jokes told and lots of stereotypes made about attorneys. One of many people’s greatest fears is hiring the wrong one. Martha Stewart and Jennifer Wilkov know this firsthand.
Recently, Martha Stewart told Gayle Jo Carter of USA Weekend Magazine that her biggest mistake was “hiring the wrong lawyers” in her 2004 securities fraud and obstruction of justice trial. As a result, she spent 5 months in federal prison and lived out another one of our greatest fears – going to prison because of inadequate representation by an attorney.
Regardless of feelings towards Martha Stewart and whether she deserved that sentence following her conviction at the end of her insider trading trial, the disturbing fact is that this concern is even more critical today.
And it’s happening to people that are not in the public eye like Martha Stewart. Florida attorney Brian Tannebaum, a noted expert on this subject, says that most people hire the wrong criminal defense lawyer for the wrong reason. Several popular reasons he focuses on include: money, advertising, prior results, perceived expertise, “former prosecutor,”
Although she has never been confused for a “billionaire diva of domesticity,”
Jennifer Wilkov maintains her innocence, claiming unprofessional conduct of her defense and incompetence by her former attorney, Barry Bohrer of the NY law firm, Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer, P.C. (of which the current District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., was then a partner) – and the same firm used by Martha Stewart in her trial.
Jennifer Wilkov’s compelling claims of attorney incompetence include Mr. Bohrer’s coercing her to plead guilty, withdrawing representation at her sentencing hearing without prior notification to Wilkov and being paid several times for this same work by escrow funds belonging to Ms. Wilkov and held by the DA’s office.
Jennifer Wilkov welcomes the opportunity to share her experience with journalists, so that others might avoid making the same mistake. With interested journalists, Ms. Wilkov looks forward to discussing:
• warning signs that may indicate you've hired the wrong attorney
• why it's never too late to change your legal representation
• what you can do to change your legal representation and why you’re entitled to do so
• how to alert those in the legal system about this problem
Wilkov says as a result of speaking out about her experience, she has heard countless stories of others who were also not properly represented by their attorneys and how this went on to really ruin every aspect of their lives, causing divorce, substance abuse, job loss and most of all – a loss of their self-esteem and self-worth.
But not for Jennifer Wilkov. Determined to provide a positive perspective on such a devastating experience, Ms. Wilkov continues to profess that even in the worst of situations, circumstances and conditions, you can do anything, help anyone and still make a difference for so many.
Since her conviction and four month incarceration in Rikers Island in 2008, Ms. Wilkov has been on an international tour for her fifth book, “Boys Before Business,” written to educate and empower women about how to have it all and to not settle for relationships personally or professionally that do not support them or their dreams.
Wilkov also became WomensRadio.com’
Most of all, Ms. Wilkov continues to speak to audiences about making lemonade out of lemon situations and, like Martha Stewart, continues to find ways to serve humanity and the Greater Good.
Ms. Wilkov hasn’t let the disaster of choosing the wrong attorney stop her from living her dreams, and she has important advice for those seeking appropriate legal representation. “When shopping for an attorney,” Ms. Wilkov says, “let the buyer beware (caveat emptor).”
To schedule an interview with Ms. Wilkov, please contact Tom Martin at 203-297-2137 or Tom@TomMartinMedia.com.
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