Publicity-Savvy Lawyer Faces Her Own Media Blitz

Before we turn to Anne Bremner, who remembers Randy Dorn’s DUI?  Randy Dorn is the State’s School Superintendent who avoided a publicity circus surrounding his DUI earlier this year by simply marching in as soon as he could and pleading guilty.  See earlier blog post. It appeared at the time that Randy Dorn plead guilty straight-up to the DUI rather than hold out for a reduced charge, simply to avoid the appearance that he was receiving any special deal.  In contrast, look at the media storm that Seattle Lawyer Ann Bremner has caused by her DUI. She initially blamed her erratic behavior on a concussion, then raced to court to attempt to prevent release of the police reports.   This was the subject of the Seattle Weekly Blog this week.

Lawyer Anne Bremner often serves as a guest on the evening news to discuss high-profile legal cases.

Rick Anderson writes: “It would subject her to embarrassment and ridicule if police records are released to the press about her arrest for drunk driving, says popular Seattle attorney Anne Bremner. Instead, she has chosen to be embarrassed and ridiculed for not releasing those records. For such a media-savvy attorney with an impressive legal background, it appears she has already lost in the court of public opinion.”

You really have to wonder what Anne was thinking in trying to go to court to stop the release of her police reports and 911 calls.  Washington has some of the toughest public disclosure laws in the U.S.  Rick Anderson goes on to write: “For a smart and creative lawyer whose client list includes cops and other public officials, the brain-damage excuse – while an oldie and a goodie – isn’t much of a defense. It’s a sure-fire headline maker, in fact. Of course, we’re assuming that wasn’t her intention.”  I guess I am not sure I agree with Rick Anderson that we can assume that that was not her intention.  You often hear the expression that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.”  I am sure this is true for hip-hop artists, but is it true for high-profile defense attorneys?  In this day and age, negative publicity seems to dominate the media’s interest. I really doubt if Anne Bremner gives a hoot about her name in the paper for a DUI arrest. While she may not be a rap star, she certainly is not the elected school superintendent, and I doubt if her clientele would really care about a DUI conviction.   Let’s face it, defense attorneys are not always the most adored members of society.  The public associates us too much with the clients we represent.  Our work might be viewed as a constitutional necessity, but we do not hold ourselves out as roll models.    I thought of this today when I read in the Seattle-Times that the police had released the police reports of her DUI arrest. (The Seattle-Times posted the reports online here.)  As police reports go, the arrest is pretty run of the mill.  You can tell she is a criminal defense lawyer because she knows enough to refuse to take the field sobriety tests or to waive her right to remain silent.  And like most people who are arrested for DUI, she sounds as if she was a real pill for the police to have to deal with.  The police attempt to portray her as throwing her weight around, and boasting that she is “famous”.  But I half wonder if the police don’t sometimes embellish these sort of statements.

One Response to “Publicity-Savvy Lawyer Faces Her Own Media Blitz”

  • Bruce Huntley:

    Absolutely, why would she care about being in the newspaper for a DUI? I think she would rather have avoided the whole mess, but she would certainly make lemonade out of lemons. Avoiding embarassment? Since when is there an exception to the public record laws on those grounds? Hahaha

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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