Fresh from a victory in one of the highest-profile court cases the city has ever seen, defence lawyer Michael Edelson said Mayor Larry O’Brien showed “determination” and “gumption” during what he called “a very complex case — one of the most complex cases we’ve ever had to piece together.”
The defence team reviewed 30,000 emails on a hard drive and spent hours reviewing new notes and disclosures during the case, which “constantly evolved.”
His weeklong cross-examination of Terry Kilrea, he said, was meant to be the blueprint for the final submissions, which he said they hoped the judge would adopt in his final decision.
“One of the central elements of cross-examination is to try to determine the psychology of people,” Edelson said.
In this sense, Edelson said he was helped significantly by the media, and because Kilrea was always in the news, “this tended to envelop Mr. Kilrea in a certain atmosphere.”
Edelson said he believed that because Kilrea appeared to want to keep his name in the press, it helped the defence’s case and may have had a significant impact on the way the judge considered Kilrea’s credibility.
As far as putting his own client on the stand, Edelson said it was “not a difficult decision.”
The statement by O’Brien, made at the time to the police, “was clear and unequivocal,” he said.
“And the judge found he accepted Mr. O’Brien’s statement time and again and preferred his evidence to the statement of Mr. Kilrea.”
Edelson said O’Brien knew the importance of what was at stake in this trial and it took a lot of guts for him to fight to the end.
“I don’t think anyone here can imagine the resolute courage that it takes to put your reputation and your life on the line in a criminal trial of this notoriety and stand up for what you believe is correct,” Edelson said.
with files from tim wieclawski