Adam Brown grew up with a lawyer father who taught him how to think and act logically, and a mother who demonstrated to Brown how to use passion to create a persuasive position. However, it was in middle school when several of his friends suddenly faced minor legal trouble that Brown experienced his first criminal defense calling.
“I recalled wanting to be able to do something, anything, to try to help them,” said Brown, now an associate trial attorney specializing in criminal defense with Zukerman, Lear & Murray Co., LPA, in Cleveland. “That incident, and the feeling of helplessness, always stuck with me for some reason.”
Since that strike of inspiration, Brown has represented a variety of cases to guarantee each client receives a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
CJN: Why did you want to focus on criminal defense?
Brown: I was – and am – always very intrigued, even as a little kid, by true crime, particularly organized crime and fraud. My dad had lots of history books, true crime books and other non-fiction books in the house, and I would read them when I was young. The incident involving my friends inspired me to practice criminal defense as well. Criminal defense is not about defending an individual’s actions or alleged actions, it is about defending an individual’s rights under the state and federal constitutions. Criminal defense is also the most interesting practice area in my opinion; truth really is stranger than fiction, I promise.
CJN: How do you work with your clients to assist them in the best way possible, unique to them?
Brown: Each client is different and unique. Before I dig into the facts of a case, I try to put myself in my client’s shoes and relate to them on a personal level, if possible. I want them to understand that I don’t see them as just another client, but as an individual, and I genuinely want to produce the best result for them that I can under the circumstances.
CJN: What is the most common mistake your clients make?
Brown: Talking to the police.
CJN: What are you most proud of in your work?
Brown: Saving people’s lives. There have been several cases where notwithstanding my hard work and dedication, alongside the hard work and dedication of my colleagues, people would be sitting in a prison cell for the rest of their lives. On a more day-to-day level, it comes down to simply helping people resolve their legal conflicts in the most favorable way possible. I am most proud of helping clients.
CJN: If you could have dinner with any three people (living or dead), who would it be with and where would dinner be?
Brown: My parents and my brother. Dinner would be at home in Beachwood.