Public defenders are rarely portrayed in the mass media, and when they are, they're often shown sleeping through trials or bargaining away the rights of their clients. Filmmakers Pamela Yates and Peter Kinoy set out to tell the stories of real-life public defenders who clash daily with police, district attorneys, judges and even their clients, in their efforts to advocate justice for the accused.
Trial lawyer Jeff Adachi is about to try what he believes will be "the most difficult case and the most important case" of his 15-year career.
After losing five in a row, rookie defender Michele Forrar puts everything she's got into her sixth case, even as her parents wonder, "How can you defend these guilty people?"
Senior Felony Attorney Stephen Rosen believes that, in our adversarial system of justice, the only way to get it right is to have a good fight.
Rookie attorney Phoenix Streets rejects a plea bargain on behalf of his client so that his client won't have to say she's guilty for something she didn't do.
Vietnam vet and Senior Attorney Will Maas wrestles with personal demons and pours his soul into video diaries, while fighting for a defendant who faces life without the possibility of parole.
After touring the globe as drummer with British rock band The Alarm during the 1980s, Nigel Phillips settled in San Francisco and went to work as a public defender investigator, a job that often takes him deep into the criminal underworld of San Francisco.