MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Walking into the Federal Courthouse armed with an entourage of criminal defense attorneys isn't for show. According to some of their colleagues, it's a necessary evil.
Criminal Defense Attorney, Al Agricola, most recently known for being on the defense team for Nick Bailey in the Siegelman-Scrushy case, says the amount of information, research and discovery before a Federal Trial begins is unbelievable. Citing hundreds of hours of work before ever setting foot inside a courtroom. A commitment that comes with a high price tag.
"The financial burden of a defense team in this case is tremendous. Ordinary citizens don't have the resources to hire someone competent enough to try a case like this."
Most would agree cases like the Federal Corruption Trial would call for a flat fee; then possible hourly rates to follow.
Agricola says lawyers must also consider if they can serve other clients during the trial, which could also add to the cost.
"It doesn't surprise me that people would have to liquidate assets to pay attorney's fees."
Defense Attorney Bill Blanchard adds, " It's a fairly heavy lift for working class." Also stating legal fees are the tip of the iceberg. "You have fees for investigators, expert witnesses, costs of transcripts."
As for the Federal Government's financial investment in this case, we may never know.
U.S. Prosecutors are keeping the details close to the vest until all verdicts are reached.
A massive investment of time and money. The outcome for some - still to be decided.