My Most Memorable Case – Literally my 15 Minutes of Fame | Robert Lipman Lawyer Atlanta, Ga
Prior to the 9/11 tragedy, none of the cases of the Lipman and Drew Law Firm
made headlines even in the local legal newspaper subscribed exclusively by attorneys. I
was woken up at 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night by a former client who told me his brother
closed down the Atlanta airport earlier that afternoon because he ran down the
escalator the wrong way in a frantic attempt to reach his son. I tried to tell my client to
locate another lawyer who practices criminal law (his brother was arrested) and if not,
call me back at midnight and I would schlep down to the airport to meet him where he
was being temporarily detained. And just my bad luck he called back at midnight and
thus began the saga of representing a case that made headlines around the world. For
the next several weeks I literally had to close down my law practice, hold two news
conferences in my law office, and limit requests for personal interviews by all national
and local news outlets.
However, by far and away, one call approximately two weeks into my
representation stands out. It came from the producer of Good Morning America who
stated Diane Sawyer wants an exclusive interview with me and my client in New York.
Seriously – the apparent criminal offensive involved a 28 year old bank teller going
down the escalator the wrong way???
In any event, my client agreed with me that Diane Sawyer could possibly put him
in a better light than the extreme criticism he was receiving from the local press for what
he did. Meeting Diane Sawyer was an incredible experience, not to mention being seen
on national live television where the producers would not provide questions in advance.
The screen flashed, ROBERT LIPMAN, ATTORNEY twice as I was speaking for the
benefit of the few people in the national audience who did not already know me. HA!
After the segment was over, and I became a legend in my own mind, the second
highlight of the trip was personally visiting Ground Zero from a vantage point very few
people could gain access. Needless to say, it was incredibly moving observing the now
historical site where water hoses were still in use and in front of us were left standing
steel remnants of what was formerly the two towers.
As a post-script, I might add that the producers of the national syndicated show
Inside Edition contacted me to appear in their studio. How many attorneys in their legal
careers politely reject an invitation by Deborah Norville to appear on national television?
I truly felt it would accomplish nothing beneficial in further representing my client other
than adding a good story to tell my grandchildren.