Thursday, August 15, 2013

Report: New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez Hires Top Defense Attorney Joe Tacopina to Battle MLB Against Biogenesis Suspen

When New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez was suspended 211 games back on August 6 by Major League Baseball for his reported involvement in the Biogenesis case that claims he purchased and used performance enhancing drugs, he vowed to fight the ruling to the end.

His first move was hiring attorney David Cornwell, who was the lawyer for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and got his suspension overturned back in 2011 due to a technicality in the process; one that could have gotten Braun a 50-game suspension but instead, was able to get off without a penalty back then.

On Tuesday, the New York Post has learned that Rodriguez has also hired another top attorney to his all-star legal team to combat Major League Baseball and either get his suspension reduced or overturned; in top criminal and defense attorney Joe Tacopina, who has the reputation of being known as "one of the most hated lawyers in New York."

Mike Oz of Yahoo Sports looked even further into the hiring of Tacopina for Rodriguez, who is no stranger to the spotlight as being one of the countries toughest lawyers and has successfully defended people in some high-profile cases in the past.
To his critics, Tacopina is the devil's advocate, an Italian-American version of Johnnie Cochran, down to the flashy style. He wears window-pane suits and a $6,500 Panerai watch. He's on TV more than Jeff Probst. He loves Italian soccer. He drives a Maserati. He sails his own 49-foot yacht. And why not? To the victor go the spoils."If you look at the scorecard, I don't think anyone's had as many wins as I've had over the last three years," said Tacopina, who charges $750 an hour. "I don't ever quit."
Some of the high profile cases that the 44-year-old Tacopina has been a part of include securing an improbable acquittal in the rape case against ex-NYPD Officer Kenneth Moreno, following unlikely triumphs for accused cop-killer Lillo Brancato and alleged girlfriend-bashing pol Hiram Monserrate; and now, Tacopina joins Cornwell to help defend Rodriguez in his battle against MLB and commissioner Bud Selig, who feel that they handed down a punishment that was not justified.
Back in June of 2011, Brad Hamilton of the New York Post talked to prosecutors in New York who said they couldn't stand him, but only because his kind of attack mode as a defense attorney is one may refer to "as being a shark."
"He's slick, he's got a big ego, and he'll represent any scumbag."
One source told the New York Post that Tacopina is exactly the kind of bulldog-type attorney that Rodriguez needs in his corner with the current battle on his hands, many thought that he couldn't win from the start, but with this kind of hiring for his defense, could really help his case.
“Joe is a fighter, and that is what Alex needs right now. He has been brought on to reinforce the trial team, there’s a possibility this could go all the way to federal court. Joe is known for putting the hammer down, he’s going to take on MLB.”
However, despite the reputation of the questionable clients he has defended in the past, Tacopina also has a bit of a prerequisite for his clients and those he will chose to defend and not defend in court.
"I have to believe it in my soul -- that's a prerequisite for me. The only way I'm good is if I'm passionate. I don't know if it's a formula you can bottle up, but it's an elixir that has several ingredients. You have to really care," he said. Have I represented people I believe are guilty? Absolutely. But people who have made mistakes in their lives are entitled to a defense, too," he said. "Prosecutors overcharge. Sometimes people do deserve a break. The system is based on us challenging the government. I've also represented my share of purely innocent people, and that scares me."
While off the field, Rodriguez has planned his battle with the top attorneys in the country to attempt to clear his name in the league's case to suspend him for 211 games, Rodriguez has been focusing solely on baseball, as right now, the 38-year-old is hitting .259 with one home run and four RBI in seven games played.
On Tuesday night, Rodriguez went 1-for-5 and had a two-run double against the Los Angeles Angels in a 14-7 victory for the Yankees.
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