In a recent ad, incumber Senator Kelly Loeffler has attacked challenger Doug Collins for purportedly being a criminal defense attorney, having a website that advertised for clients, and for accepting appointed cases. Her campaign website posted a list of Georgia sheriffs who condemned Collins for his “criminal defense history.”
Sen. Loeffler presumably had the assistance of criminal defense counsel when the FBI investigated her for insider trading last Spring. Senator Burr, who was also investigated in that probe, employed a criminal defense attorney, who (like Collins), has a website. It appears that it would have been acceptable for Collins to represent the criminally accused in white collar matters. Perhaps the challenger’s sin was that he represented poor people.
The Loeffler campaign also does not take exception to how her challenger honed those criminal defense skills for use in defense of his highest profile criminal defense client ever. Looking at the Loeffler ad, I can see one interesting pattern in the sort of client she takes issue with — given that she has no issue with white collar criminal work or work involving the defense of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
My criminal defense colleagues have taken to social media to point out the many issues with this ad, noting that John Adams was a criminal defense attorney and that our system is based on strong adversaries on both sides of criminal cases. Alas, I would imagine that this ad worked well in focus groups. And the target market for this ad has neither the capacity to appreciate the flaws in the message nor a clue who John Adams was.