The Art of Defense Lawyering


Are you looking for a new nickname? Do you like committing felonies? Do you punch guys you date in the testicles after they accuse you of stealing from them? If you were thinking about using “Bambam” as a nickname, too bad—it’s already taken. Savannah “Bambam” Rios is facing felony charges of kidnapping, robbery and sexual abuse stemming from a confrontation of a man she recently dated. The man accused Bambam of stealing some of his belongings. Bambam, in response, led the victim to a room, slapped him several times, pulled a knife and stated, “You wanna die?”

Then it gets weird.

From the Smoking Gun

Rios forced the man to remove his clothes; then took the man’s belt and hit the victim several times in the testicles with the belt. Yikes. To make matters worse, Rios then forced the victim to give her a DVD player, camera and phone. While robbing him of the electronics, Rios noticed a bank statement and took advantage of the victim to the tune of a $500 withdraw from an ATM. Oh, not to mention she also stabbed the man with the knife while in the car. Sounds like a keeper in my book.

In defense of Rios, part of me feels like this is what we in the business like to call assumption of risk. I am not condoning punching anyone in the balls (or stabbing them or robbing them) but if you date someone named “Bambam” there is a good chance you’ve assumed some risk, especially if she also has a neck tattoo. I have dated some crazy girls in my life, but if you show up with a neck tattoo and want me to call you Bambam, I will start emptying my pockets right there. No beltwork needed.

Punched and Strangled by Ghost

From northwestern.com

I am pretty sure there is no precedent for the defense of Michael F. West. West has been charged with battery, disorderly conduct, and resisting or obstructing an officer stemming from a domestic violence incident. According to police, West and his wife were arguing over financial issues when West strangled the woman twice. When his wife tried to call police, West began to repeatedly punch her in the face. West told police that the facial injuries were a result of falling down (a defense that never works). The excuse for the neck injuries? Wait for it: “A ghost did it.”

Best. Defense. Ever. If I am the defense attorney for West I am running with this. Sure it is difficult to prove a ghost actually put a sleeper hold on his wife, but it’s even more difficult to prove a ghost didn’t do it. It’s like the Tooth Fairy. She probably doesn’t exist, but can you actually prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone with wings didn’t put that money under your pillow? Pretty much the same thing. Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and Domestic Violence Ghost Strangler. Have fun with this one, counsel.

P.S. Did a ghost shave that beard too? That thing is horrible. It looks like the facemask of a punter.

Post image from Shutterstock

Douglas Stephan is a solo attorney and owner of the Law Office of Douglas A. Stephan. He received his JD in 2010 from Ohio Northern University and BA from Ohio University. His practice is located outside of Dayton, Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @stephanlaw.

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