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.

“M” is for Murder in Marriage

by Debra Opri - Attorney and Legal Analyst To the outside world, Laci Peterson had it all. Even her parents did not suspect that her daughter was married to a liar and cheat, and perhaps, a murderer. And so it is, again, that, to the outside world, another marriage yields yet another murder. Lori Hacking had it all, or so she thought. She was married to a future doctor and facing a new life in North Carolina. Her husband, Mark Hacking, seemingly, adored her. She, and Laci Peterson, both believed they had a wonderful future ahead for themselves and their husbands. For both of these two women, and countless others, who have not risen to the level of celebrity the media randomly anoints, as in their cases, both of these women are now dead. And to the world, their husbands are the prime murder suspects. As a criminal defense attorney, it no longer surprises me that the old adage, the butler did it, no longer applies, but that the older adage for us common folk.... [...]

Epilogue: The Michael Jackson Trial – Truth & the Media

by Debra Opri - Attorney and Legal Analyst I waited until the Michael Jackson verdict was in and for a sufficient time to have passed before writing this column. I did so because I wanted to see if those in the media would absolve themselves of the long calibrated mean spirited analysis of the trial, the evidence & testimony, and finally of the jury deliberations. I waited, albeit quietly, and I was hopeful that a humility would begin to evolve in the tone of the media's evaluation of the acquittal of Michael Jackson. It never came. They never spoke of the reality before them - that Michael Jackson was found innocent of the charges. They only judged and provided yet more opinion as to why the verdict was the wrong verdict, and why the jurors just 'didn't get it.' I never heard anyone in the media say that, 'the jury has spoken ..we must respect their decision and a job well done.' Never did I see professionalism. Nor did I hear respect for this jury. [...]