donald trump loved Roy Cohn. The pugilist litigator lent much of his style to the caricature that Trump has become. Bombastic, intimidating, lying and, above all, unwilling to let the law stand in the way of a harassment suit – Cohn’s strategic vision is all over Trump’s business history. Eventually, NY disbarred Cohn. Since then, Trump has been looking for his new Roy.
Along the way, he lured some disreputable lawyers under his banner. People with dodgy legal credentials are flocking to Trump like moths to be ignited. But this competition was not (mainly) about these lawyers. This competition focused on lawyers who brought real careers and real legal bona fide to the Trump cause and saw that legal position melt away under the hot lights of Fox News hits.
In some cases literally.
And now there are only two:
(1) Rudy Giuliani vs. (1) Alan Dershowitz
Rudy stomped on Bill Barr. Professor Dershowitz only narrowly cut Sidney Powell.
Still, this match could fill the spirit of the competition better than any other final couple. Rudy Giuliani was always a ghoul, but he was a ghoul with a Teflon media cape that allowed him to play the part of a “reasonable” Republican. The rest of the country embraced the idea of a vaguely socially liberal GOP candidate replacing peep shows with Lion King: The Musical. Unfortunately for Giuliani, the more the country heard of the former presidential heir, the more it hated him.
Still, Giuliani hitched his wagon to Bracewell and could have settled into a lucrative private life. It didn’t work out and he went to Greenberg Traurig. Greenberg dumped him when it became clear that Rudy had turned into a Trumpian black hole bent on dragging everyone around him down to their professional doom. Now Rudy has been stiffed by Trump, crushed by his own legal fees stemming from a criminal investigation into his activities in Ukraine, and making cameos for extra scratches.
For decades, Alan Dershowitz has been America’s image of a law professor. Dershowitz joined Harvard Law as the youngest professor in history in 1964, after completing his SCOTUS externship. Law professors rarely become household names, but for most of Dershowitz’s tenure he embodied the role of public legal intellectual.
He has inserted himself into celebrity affairs, from Leona Helmsley to OJ Simpson. When he wasn’t in the thick of a newsworthy case, he was on television to guide the public through courtroom drama. He even represented…oof, Jeffrey Epstein, who Dershowitz said should have gotten an even better offer. Maybe he shouldn’t have fit into that one.
They even made a movie about his portrayal of Claus von Bülow. Ron Silver played it. Ron Silver was a lifelong Democrat who decided to go right for George W. Bush. Perhaps a bit of life mimicking art here, as Dershowitz took his liberal credibility and molded it into an umbrella for Trump and the right-wing media to hide in while proclaiming their reasonableness. He represented Trump in the first impeachment — the one involving obstruction and extortion of Zelensky by withholding arms shipments, which seems like a much bigger deal right now, doesn’t it? Dershowitz spent this impeachment channeling Richard Nixon into claiming that nothing a president does is illegal if it’s done to get re-elected. Now he represents Mike Lindell. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where he again represents anyone outside of Trump’s wing nut orbit.
One was tuck in his shirt. The other wore underwear all the time. Now they are squaring off to crown which is the face of the damage Trump has done to the legal profession’s still tenuous reputation.
Polls are open until Sunday evening. We will announce the results on Monday. Vote!
Earlier: And Then There Were Four: Final Claimants to the Crown of Most Disgraced Trump Lawyer
Most Disgraced Trump Lawyer Bracket: Embarrassing 8
Trump Lawyer Challenge between Stupid 16: Who will be crowned the biggest embarrassment?
Which Trump Lawyer Is the Biggest Shame: A Parenthesis
Joe Patrice is an editor at Above the Law and co-host of Think like a lawyer. Feel free to email tips, questions or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.