Munger, Tolles & Olson co-managing partner and nationally ranked trial lawyer Brad D. Brian secured the acquittal of gang leader Al “Scarface” Capone at a mock trial held by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation on April 13, 2016, as part of its annual conference.
Before an audience of 500 people at the renowned Goodman Theater in Chicago, Mr. Brian defended Mr. Capone against allegations that he masterminded the city’s famous 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Mr. Brian delivered a powerful closing statement to persuade the jury to acquit Mr. Capone. “It’s no secret that Agent Ness and the so-called Untouchables disapprove of Mr. Capone past conduct during the Prohibition Era. It’s no secret they disapprove of Mr. Capone’s failure to pay his taxes. But that’s no excuse for trying to blame an innocent man for these murders,” he said.
After the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, Judge Virginia Kendall of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois acquitted Capone, sending him back to Alcatraz, where he was serving a sentence for tax evasion.
The mock trial was covered by local media outlets in Chicago. In addition to Mr. Brian and his colleagues on the defense team (Paul Mark Sandler from Baltimore and Eileen Letts from Chicago), the event featured a “who’s who of Chicago law” according to press reports, including former U.S. Attorneys Anton Valukas and Patrick Fitzgerald, two federal judges and famed plaintiffs’ attorney Robert Clifford, who played the role of Mr. Capone.
Mr. Brian is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and is rated by Chambers USA as one of the top 25 trial attorneys in the country. He is a former chair of the ABA Section of Litigation.