44 episodes

David Oscar Markus, a Miami trial attorney has been called “a reincarnation of the old school criminal defense lawyer” and has represented clients from the head of the Cali Cartel to Fortune 500 companies and their CEOs. David has partnered with rakontur, the lauded storytellers behind Cocaine Cowboys, The U and 537 Votes, on the podcast, For the Defense.

The podcast focuses on the work of the least-respected but perhaps the most important profession in America: the criminal defense attorney. In each episode, Markus will interview a top criminal defense lawyer about one of their most gripping trials.

Sadly, the criminal defense trial lawyer is a dying breed. The Feds have manipulated the system -- which was founded on the idea of trial by jury -- to force almost everyone (occasionally including the innocent) into pleading guilty to avoid trial. If you dare to go to trial, you risk going to prison for decades longer than had you surrendered and pleaded guilty. The system has shifted from valuing and encouraging trials to punishing those who dare exercise their constitutional right to have a jury decide their guilt. In the 1980s, over 20% of cases went to trial -- now less than 3% do so.

Having tried cases all over the United States, Markus is well-positioned to speak to other leading criminal defense lawyers in the country and explore with them the decision they made in a high-profile case to proceed to trial, including their trial strategy, the risks involved, and the clients themselves.

The podcast recently concluded Season 5. It has broken news, achieved industry-wide accolades, and is the go to listen for trial lawyers around the country.

CONTACT: info@rakontur.com, DMarkus@markuslaw.com

For the Defense with David Oscar Markus rakontur

    • True Crime
    • 4.9 • 315 Ratings

David Oscar Markus, a Miami trial attorney has been called “a reincarnation of the old school criminal defense lawyer” and has represented clients from the head of the Cali Cartel to Fortune 500 companies and their CEOs. David has partnered with rakontur, the lauded storytellers behind Cocaine Cowboys, The U and 537 Votes, on the podcast, For the Defense.

The podcast focuses on the work of the least-respected but perhaps the most important profession in America: the criminal defense attorney. In each episode, Markus will interview a top criminal defense lawyer about one of their most gripping trials.

Sadly, the criminal defense trial lawyer is a dying breed. The Feds have manipulated the system -- which was founded on the idea of trial by jury -- to force almost everyone (occasionally including the innocent) into pleading guilty to avoid trial. If you dare to go to trial, you risk going to prison for decades longer than had you surrendered and pleaded guilty. The system has shifted from valuing and encouraging trials to punishing those who dare exercise their constitutional right to have a jury decide their guilt. In the 1980s, over 20% of cases went to trial -- now less than 3% do so.

Having tried cases all over the United States, Markus is well-positioned to speak to other leading criminal defense lawyers in the country and explore with them the decision they made in a high-profile case to proceed to trial, including their trial strategy, the risks involved, and the clients themselves.

The podcast recently concluded Season 5. It has broken news, achieved industry-wide accolades, and is the go to listen for trial lawyers around the country.

CONTACT: info@rakontur.com, DMarkus@markuslaw.com

    Todd Blanche for former President Donald Trump

    Todd Blanche for former President Donald Trump

    Todd Blanche, counsel to former President Donald Trump, joins David Oscar Markus to discuss the New York trial of People v. Trump.
    Todd Blanche, the first guest to appear twice on For the Defense with David Oscar Markus, discusses everything from the war room to Melania Trump not appearing at trial to getting into it with Michael Cohen and everything in between in this in-depth and free flowing interview about the trial of the century involving the former President of the United States, Donald Trump.

    • 57 min
    CNN's Kaitlan Collins

    CNN's Kaitlan Collins

    CNN’s Kaitlan Collins joins David Oscar Markus and his University of Miami class to discuss everything from covering high profile trials to how to examine a difficult witness. 
    As criminal defense lawyers know, cross examining witnesses is one of the hardest things to do. There's a lot to be learned from journalists who do it live on the air with difficult politicians. And Kaitlan Collins is one of the best at doing it, facing off on a nightly basis with skilled speakers who have an agenda. In this episode, David and Kaitlan discuss how she prepares for her these interviews as well as lots of other interesting topics -- from cameras in the courtroom to how she got her start and so on. This podcast episode is a recording from David’s White Collar Law class at the University of Miami School of Law. 

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Milton Hirsch for Pedro Guerrero

    Milton Hirsch for Pedro Guerrero

    Season 5 starts off with a grand slam – Milton Hirsch, one of the country’s finest trial lawyers, current judge, and David Oscar Markus’ former partner, represented World Series MVP Pedro Guerrero in his federal trial in Miami.
    Too dumb to do the drug deal? That defense could never work, right? Wrong -- if your lawyer is Milton Hirsch, who beat the odds and won a federal criminal drug trial with the most unique of defenses. David Oscar Markus sits down with his former law partner to discuss the curveballs of this case that led to Guerrero walking. 
    One note — the audio on this episode isn’t great and we apologize. Other episodes don’t have this issue.

    • 57 min
    Todd Blanche for Paul Manafort

    Todd Blanche for Paul Manafort

    David Oscar Markus sits down with former President Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, who has not yet spoken in detail with the media.Todd Blanche was a prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, prosecuting violent criminals in federal court. He then left for the oldest law firm in New York – Cadwalader. There, he quickly developed a reputation for being able to handle hot button cases, like Paul Manafort’s and Igor Fruman’s. Now, on his own, he is representing the former President of the United States. Although he is very reluctant to speak with any press, he sat down with David Oscar Markus for an hour in this entertaining back and forth to discuss the difficulties in representing a defendant in a politically charged case.

    • 52 min
    Gerald Lefcourt for Abbie Hoffman (Chicago 8)

    Gerald Lefcourt for Abbie Hoffman (Chicago 8)

    David Oscar Markus interviews legendary Jerry Lefcourt about one of the most important trials in American history, the Chicago 8 case.
    Jerry Lefcourt had recently been fired as a legal aid lawyer in the late 1960s when he got a call from Abbie Hoffman. They spoke all night at Hoffman’s apartment. Hoffman told him “I'll start a revolution; you keep me out of jail.” And Jerry did just that. Take a listen to this fascinating discussion about Jerry’s start to an awe-inspiring career. You'll hear about his battles with the judge, including getting sent to jail. Jerry is a wonderful storyteller and he and David have a lot of fun talking about this historic case.

    • 40 min
    Lisa Wayne for New Orleans DA Jason Williams

    Lisa Wayne for New Orleans DA Jason Williams

    David Oscar Markus interviews Lisa Wayne, the executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, on her most recent trial win, for New Orleans district attorney Jason Williams.
    Progressive prosecutors have been pretty controversial around the country. The recently elected district attorney in New Orleans was no exception as he was indicted in federal court on 10 counts of tax fraud. Even prosecutors need criminal defense lawyers, and this one turned to one of the greats in Lisa Wayne. Listen to her and David Oscar Markus discuss how race, politics, and the media all played into this high profile case – Lisa’s last before taking the reigns of NACDL.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
315 Ratings

315 Ratings

BobbyDonGiff ,

New Lawyer Goal: SCOTUS argument and a case worthy of ‘For the Defense’

I believe that many lawyers dream of the case they might argue before SCOTUS. A close second is to have a case that David Oscar Markus calls you to ask to discuss on his podcast.

I am updating my review from 5 seasons ago and after listening to the first episode of Season 6 on the Trump conviction. I cannot emphasize enough at how valuable this podcast is for a lawyer - whether a “baby lawyer” or as a salty, ol’ dog still willing to learn a new trick like myself. I have found myself going back and listening to the prior seasons and still find a new nugget of wisdom from the guests (and the host DOM as well) that I missed the first time.

My original review after listening to Season One: Easily my number one podcast to listen. The interviews here are an amazing mixture of legal history, trial strategy, and legal genius. I wish someone had started doing this 20 years ago to capture the wisdom of the greats that we have already lost. What David Oscar Markus had done here is a service to every lawyer and legal historian. There is some pure gold in every episode.

Alexis.alexis.Eva ,

Obsessed!

As a non-Attorney, I find myself listening with rapt attention to each and every one of these episodes. I am fascinated by the law and come from a family of lawyers and judges. I enjoy listening to the various guests, and always find that I come away gleaning some great new information about the law process in America. Thank you David and keep the great work coming.

An AFPD ,

Great Inspiration for Defnders

Sometimes you just need to hear Great War stories with great outcomes to help keep you going.

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