Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Thanks to negative images popularized on television crime shows, the public defender is perhaps the most underappreciated legal representative in the U.S. This public-TV documentary endeavors to repair that image by focusing on five of San Francisco's most dedicated (and overworked) P.D.'s. Filmed over a three-year period, the film follows attorneys Jeff Adachi, Michele Forrar, Stephen Rosen, Phoenix Streets, Will Maas, and Nigel Phillips as they build up their cases on behalf of the defendants in four different court cases -- two of them murder trials. Originally broadcast locally in San Francisco as part of KQED's Bay Window series, Presumed Guilty: Tales of the Public Defenders was beamed out by the entire PBS network in late October 2002.
behind-the-scenes, court [law], lawyer, murder-trial, public-defender