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Pennsylvania lawyer Daniel Muessig's ad starring smiling thugs draws criticism

Lawyer's Commercial Featuring Smiling Thugs Causes Fire Storm

By Elizabeth Daley

(Reuters) - A Pittsburgh lawyer's online ad showing smiling robbers, drug dealers and prostitutes flashing thumbs up and thanking him for getting them off the hook has garnered tens of thousands of views and drawn fire from a local bar association.

One fictional criminal pauses while climbing out a window, carrying a laptop to say "Thanks Dan," to the camera, while a pair of men carrying handguns offer a similar message before pulling ski masks over their faces in the three-minute, 27-second ad posted on YouTube by criminal defense attorney Daniel Muessig.

Muessig, a 2012 University of Pittsburgh Law School graduate, then makes his own pitch: "Trust me, I may have a law degree, but I think like a criminal."

The spot has been viewed more than 80,000 times since Muessig posted it on Thursday, and the 32-year-old attorney said he believed the tongue-in-cheek approach would appeal to possible clients.

"I wanted to connect with my potential clients in a way that people from my generation could understand," Muessig said in a Friday phone interview. "I wanted to give people something that would be memorable and entertaining."

Tom Loftus, spokesman for the Allegheny County Bar Association, said he found the ad "insulting to Pittsburgh lawyers and lawyers across the country, who take great pride in their profession."

He said he worried that the video could be misinterpreted: "There could be kids watching it, or people who don't even understand what tongue-in-cheek means, and what they'll see is: if you commit a crime this attorney will get you off without any explanation."

Muessig defended the spot but said he would take it down if law enforcement or a legal professional organization asked him to.

"It's a send-up of the cartoonishly amoral Jewish criminal defense attorney," he said. "The criminal justice system is broken, it creates a system where we are basically putting people on a conveyor belt to prison. If you want to get your ire up, get your ire up about that."

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gdaycomatose March 11 2014 at 5:42 PM

At least the guy is honest, that's more then I can say about 99.99% of all lawyers in this country. I thought the ad was good and hit the mark. The guy is a criminal lawyer so he deals with criminals, someone has to defend people who have been and still are innocent of THE crime their in prison or jail for, not saying they are angels and haven't been caught for some crimes they have committed but are innocent of crimes they are currently in prison or jail for. If I needed a crimal lawyer I would hire this guy.

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1 reply
scdavis1935 gdaycomatose March 11 2014 at 6:05 PM

if he deals in real criminals his list of politicians must be at least two miles long using small print

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wclark3350 March 11 2014 at 7:00 PM

Is there no way for AOL to block the BS spam about "working from home"? It is ruining the website, and causing people such as myself to log off without reading any comments.

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1 reply
s wclark3350 March 11 2014 at 8:30 PM

Maybe AOLs half sisters dog walkers ex brother in laws friend can look into it.

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mrwarmth51 March 11 2014 at 7:04 PM

Many people in Congress, and higher office, are attorneys....why am I not shocked

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remcoisp1963cobb March 11 2014 at 7:13 PM

Well, you have to give him credit for honesty. He truly shows the damage these toilet-licking maggot shysters are doing to our society. And he thinks like a criminal. Now, is THAT surprising, considering his chosen profession? That remark pretty much speaks for itself. He's certainly on the road to becoming a member of Congress. He'll fit right in with that den of thieves! What the Hell? He might just make it all the way to the White House!

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cqdeed March 11 2014 at 7:33 PM

At last !! A lawyer with the nads to tell it like it is.

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hankreddick March 11 2014 at 9:52 PM

Jurisprudence in this country is run as an adversarial process. The state must prove its case, and the defense must convince at least one juror that there is reasonable doubt. Every lawyer representing his/her client MUST present the most vigorous argument, regardless of any personal opinion. If a defense attorney does not wish to do that, he/she should decline to take the case. And probably not last very long as an attorney.

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Howdy, Susie March 11 2014 at 7:34 PM

Idiot POID1938 scammer - go away!

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tvmlll March 11 2014 at 7:40 PM

Keep up the good work. Keep those thugs smiling.

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jonclong March 11 2014 at 8:05 PM

Next stop Washington, DC.

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offduty1122 March 11 2014 at 8:06 PM

Prostitutes have more class than lawyers

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