Voices of American Law Series
Criminal defense attorney Dominic Gentile was retained to represent a well-known Las Vegas businessman indicted for stealing cocaine and money from a Las Vegas police sting operation. The story had been big news in Las Vegas for a year, and so Gentile decided to hold a press conference on the day of the arraignment to proclaim his client’s innocence and blame the police for the theft. After Gentile’s client was acquitted at trial on all counts, the State Bar of Nevada filed a grievance against Gentile for his actions at the press conference, eventually issuing a private reprimand. The case ultimately reached the Supreme Court, where the resulting 5-4 ruling in Gentile’s favor became a landmark First Amendment case.
This case is the focus of the latest in a series of video documentaries produced by Professor Thomas Metzloff as part of the Duke Law School series "Voices of American Law." The documentary, which includes interviews with Gentile, the main reporters who covered the story, the chair of the disciplinary panel who heard the case, as well as actual footage of the press conference, will have its public premiere at the conference on Friday afternoon.