Maybe one time long ago the American man, when facing the fire of accusation—a trial—stood or fell on the truth of the matter. Now, he stands or falls on the ability of his counsel. For this reason, David Copperfield, the master illusionist who is facing accusations of raping, assaulting and threatening a Seattle woman, can take solid footing, no matter the truth of the matter.
And that’s because he is represented by Las Vegas attorney David Z. Chesnoff, who happens to lecture nationwide on cross-examination and trial techniques, who regularly appears on television and who, in his 26 years of practicing law (exactly half his life), has argued dozens of high-profile cases just like Copperfield’s.
In fact, it was Chesnoff who got a spousal-abuse case against rock star Scott Weiland dismissed. Got rapper Nate Dogg off the hook on multiple armed robbery charges. Got the notorious “Suge” Knight, of Death Row Records, out of jail. Got Britney Spears’ drunken marriage annulled two days after it was consecrated. Got Nicky Hilton’s wedding photos back to Nicky Hilton. Got Ian Steven Brown probation after the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon was accused of hiring the man who killed his wife. Got Sandy Murphy off. Got Rene Angelil, husband of Celine Dion, free from a rape charge. Got a hung jury in the case of his client Hector Tapia, who was busted in the largest U.S. seizure of controlled substances. And, most recently, Chesnoff got six Hell’s Angels to take plea deals in the infamous Laughlin River Run Riot, while their 36 brothers walked free, in what local journalist John L. Smith called “the biggest courtroom victory of Chesnoff’s career.”
Copperfield’s case is now hanging before a federal grand jury. But his fate, in the end, balances on the wings of his counsel.