Ray Espersen took on that task last week. In a spirited performance and one that shifted the focus and blame onto the co-defendant (my client), Ray articulated a seemingly rational explanation to an irrational act. However, the jury thought otherwise.
Lawyers who take these cases on often find themselves in a tough spot. Caught between the reality of their own emotions and the acts of others, one can only vigorously defend their client at the same time realizing the inner conflict of their own reactions to the acts defended.
Some Lawyers fare better than others in separating these conflicts. To those that don't (or won't) separate their emotions in these types of trials, it is no blot on them. It proves them human and caring, but vulnerable to a charge of inability to represent effectively. To those that do separate their emotions, it shows either emotional control or emotional deficit.
I do not know what emotions Ray experienced last week, but he represented his client with style, competiveness, and the will to win. And in the end, that's what counts.