Close to 400,000 viewers watched the pilot "Criminal Defense - Brooklyn" on Tuesday night, featuring the clients and the staff of The Legal Aid Society's Brooklyn Criminal Defense Office. The pilot was broadcast on the National Geographic channel and it received terrific reviews (see links below). The pilot will be aired next at 8:30 PM on Tuesday, September 25. Video clips of the pilot on the National Geographic website have been linked to our website and The Legal Aid Society has received DVDs for Society staff to watch in The Legal Aid Society's offices in all five boroughs.
The show was developed while Dan Holton-Roth and Jayson Haedrich, the co-producers, were students at Brooklyn Law School. Adam Heyman, a staff attorney in the Society's Brooklyn Criminal Defense Office, who appears in the series, was the inspiration for the program, which presents our staff providing direct legal representation to clients in court and in the community. This dramatic, innovative series takes you inside the world of The Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Practice and presents a real picture of what the Society's clients experience in the criminal justice system and the excellent and dedicated Legal Aid staff members who provide legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers.
Following the show, Dawn Ryan, the Attorney-in-Charge of the Society's Brooklyn Criminal Defense Office, was contacted to arrange for Legal Aid attorneys to appear on law school panels to describe our work that is presented in the pilot, and law students will be shown program.
Legal Aid agreed to participate in Criminal Defense Brooklyn because, after many years of watching the criminal justice system portrayed through the lens of the prosecution, we thought that we should do our part to help our clients give voice to their side of the story. Viewers should know that all clients who participated in this presentation about the criminal justice system voluntarily signed waivers because they wanted their stories to be told. Only completed cases are used in the show. Legal Aid maintains and exercises the right to prevent the filming of conversations in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege.
Watch video clip at National Geographic's website.
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