Raymond A. Brown
Raymond A. Brown is famous for his courtroom theatrics, oratorical skill,
and is known for taking over the courtroom. At 85 years old and still practicing
law, he will come in and say, "This courtroom will belong to Ray Brown.
He will come close to contempt. Then he will let the jury know "I'm sorry
if I offended you, but this is my client's life at stake." He will make
an impassioned speech. He is very good at getting impassioned speeches
to the jury and butting heads with judges.''
During opening arguments Brown would tell the jury not to be shocked
by his aggressive approach. ""I invite you to hate me. I hope you will,''
he said. ""I hope the prosecutor hates me. If he didn't, I would be very,
On one occasion when a judge asked Brown to clarify a question for a
witness, he said "I refuse, judge", and later when the judge ruled against
a line of questioning Brown had pursued, the lawyer turned to the audience
and rolled his eyes. Subtlety is not his forte.
Admitted to the bar in 1949, Brown practices with his son, Raymond M.
Brown at Brown and Brown in New Jersey. His son is a frequent legal affairs
commentator on court television programs, and a lecturer. The senior Brown's
client list has included H. Rap Brown, the ex-black panther who Brown defended
in the killing of a deputy. Other clients have included bookmaker Joseph
""News boy'' Moriarty, Rubin ""Hurricane'' Carter, author Amiri Baraka,
Camden Mayor Angelo Errichetti of Abscam notoriety, cop-killer Joanne Chesimard
and singer Sara Vaughan.
One of his most famous cases involved Mario E. Jascalevich, the so-called
"Dr. X,'' whose 1977 Bergen County murder case led to the jailing of New
York Times reporter Myron A. Farber, who refused to reveal his sources
or turn over his notes.
The Farber case went to the New Jersey Supreme Court, and led to a strengthening
of the state Shield Law. As for Jascalevich? He was acquitted.
Brown doesn't accept only murder cases, say those who have opposed him
and served with him in court. It ran the gamut: white-collar crimes, municipal
corruption, organized crime.
When racial rioting broke out in Newark in 1967, Brown was one of the
people then Gov. Richard J. Hughes turned to help restore order in the
city. And a few years later, at the request of Gov. William Cahill, Brown
and others helped calm inmates at Rahway Prison during a riot that left
the warden severely injured.
Brown's theatrical touches and his skill as an orator can knock opponents
off their feet. He can be intentionally tactically overbearing, and in
some cases it can be effective. When he stands up, he'll try to talk right
over you and throw you. You have to keep on talking, otherwise, he would
When Brown was defending a for illegal gambling, Brown covered the defense
table with lottery tickets. His point was that if the state can do it,
why can't his client? You know you're in a fight from the minute the bell
rings, in many cases, juries expect theatrics, and many times he gives
it to them.
He will never give up a point; he will never give in, once he had an
argument about who would sit where in the courtroom that went on for an
hour. In another case, a judge asked him to hang up his coat in the back
of the courtroom. Brown refused. Instead, he wadded up the coat into a
ball and sat on it for the whole trial.
By watching him, you learn how to carry yourself in front of a jury,
you learn how to get close to the line but not cross it. Outside the courtroom,
Brown is always a gentleman, say those who have worked with him. He is
very courteous, but then he will go for the jugular.
Brown doesn't just go for big money cases, the flamboyant represents
a lot of poor people and took on a lot of cases for the NAACP. He is an
extremely successful criminal defense attorney, and he handles every single
case like it was the Lindbergh trial.