About Debra

Debra Opri is widely considered to be one of the most recognizable female litigation attorneys of the 21st Century, both in the courtroom and on television.

Paternity and the Two Parent Saga

by Debra Opri - Attorney and Legal Analyst “A child’s life is in play right now. This shouldnot be a tug-of-war between two strong-willed personalities. In the interest of their child, her/his two parents should be sitting down and working out what’s best for the kid. Instead, it’s turned into the Super Bowl of all family law battles, an epic custody war,” summarizes OPRI. Padma Lakshmi and Halle Berry are both fighting to keep their baby daddies away from their young kids. According to OPRI, “Paternity filings are common when a parent wants a relationship with his natural child. In these particular cases, the fathers [of each child] in filing paternity actions are asserting their parental rights for a presence in their child's lives. The courts will enforce these rights -- unless there are threats to the health safety and welfare of the child. It is very common that IF the court finds that if negligent care of the child did exist, mandatory parenting classes are the norm. Additionally, there must be very serious circumstances [...]

Media Matters: Change of Venue for Tucson Shooting Trial?

By Debra Opri Transparency issues and the need to appear fair are impacting federal authorities in their plan to move the trial of alleged gunman Jared Loughner to San Diego. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, was struck in the head by a single bullet during the shooting rampage that killed six people and injured 13, including the congresswoman. Local defense attorney Judy Clarke, has been chosen to represent Loughner. Citing federal law enforcement sources, several outlets reported in the past 24 hours that federal officials are planning to relocate the trial of the Arizona man to Southern California. Though a handful of the U.S. prosecutors have a compelling argument – and many oppose any change of venue motion – that Loughner’s trial should not be moved in the interest of the Tucson community’s sense of justice for the purported unspeakable January 8th massacre, "it's going to happen. It's just a matter of time," says an unnamed federal source. The new AZ chief judge, Roslyn Silver, will make the final decision about any venue change in a [...]

Formula For Fear

By Debra Opri "Take one mentally-ill, delusional college student... Add a whopping overdose of long-term media saturation of ‘commentary’ in the form of political ‘news reporting’... Absorb both sides of the argument and their ‘subsidiary’ partisanship politics emanating out of Washington DC Discard saneness, equilibrium and rational dialogue... Replace with anger, bedlam, lack of compromise, intractability.... Let it brew for a generation. Season to taste with more media controversy, more infighting, less compromise, and the ‘accessibility’ of internet podiums... Then, sit back and wait for events to unravel as they did in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011." A brave new decade has revealed itself in which, at the press of a button, anyone – including a deranged young man who posted disturbing inner thoughts online of his ‘take’ on the country, politics, the Constitution, treasonous laws and similar rants – actualized his anger by targeting a US Congresswoman and gunning down as many innocent people as possible. Among the 6 dead, a U.S. District Judge, Hon. John Roll, known for his tireless work in [...]