The New York Daily News by JOHN MARZULLI - July 27, 2009
In a book on lawyering, flamboyant attorney Robert Simels offered this tip: "Dress to kill."
"I cannot begin to tell you the number of cases I have tried where the first questions jurors ask me following their verdict concern where I bought my ties, how much they liked my socks, etc.," Simels wrote in "Take the Witness: The Experts Speak on Cross-Examination." Prosecutors say Simels took his own advice too far in the defense of a Guyanese drug trafficker. On Monday, he and law associate Arienne Irving go on trial in Brooklyn Federal Court, charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice for allegedly plotting to bribe witnesses and murder their family members. Simels, a former prosecutor of police and municipal corruption, has aggressively defended high-profile clients, including Queens crack boss Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff, former Jets football star Mark Gastineau and mob rat Henry Hill, who was immortalized in "GoodFellas." As befits his style, Simels will go on the offensive - accusing the government of selectively prosecuting him because of his aggressive tactics. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Morris Fodeman and Steven D'Alessandro counter that lying to get into a prison to pressure an informant, paying a witness $10,000 to lie and plans to "eliminate" government witnesses through bribery and violence are not acceptable legal practices. Simels, free on $3.5 million bail, has hired heavyweight lawyer Gerald Shargel to defend him. "Bob Simels is a highly skilled defense lawyer who was just doing his job," Shargel said. email@example.com