Education: Undergraduate: Brooklyn College, Law school: Ohio Northern University, Additional master of law: New York University
Career overview: Brafman has been practicing law in New York State since 1975. He started as a prosecutor with the New York District Attorney's Office, where he worked from 1976 to 1979 before moving to private practice. He is a member of the American Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, New York Council of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the New York Criminal Bar Association, where he served on the board of directors from 1990 to 1992.
Cases of note: There are too many to name all of them, but Brafman may be best remembered for winning an acquittal for Sean "P. Diddy" Combs on weapons and bribery charges in 1999. Wikipedia remembers, succinctly, "The criminal charges stemmed from a nightclub brawl, while accompanied by then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez and Combs' usual entourage, and witnessed by over 100 other people." He also represented Michael Jackson against child molestation charges in 2004 (though he left the case before the verdict), and has gone to bat for countless defendants whose cases seemed hopeless. He made his name defending high-profile mobsters such as Vincent "The Chin" Gigante and Sammy "the Bull" Gravano.
The down and dirty: According to a 1998 profile in New York magazine, "His detractors see a darker side, accusing Brafman of using underhanded, albeit legal, courtroom tactics to win, and cynically manipulating the press with carefully orchestrated leaks."
Secret weapon: Before he was a lawyer, Brafman worked as a standup comic in the Catskills, and he still relies on wit and humor to sway a jury.
With a much lower profile than Brafman, Jeffrey Shapiro specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits. While not completely untelivised, he has not spent nearly as much time in the spotlight as Brafman. But his case record speaks to a journeyman attorney who represents his mostly blue-collar clients against frequently much larger entities, such as hospitals, the city of New York, insurance companies, utilities, and a litany of employers. He has a client rating of three out of five on Lawyers.com
Education: Undergraduate: Columbia, Law School: Golden Gate University
Career overview: Shapiro has been practicing personal injury law since he passed the New York Bar exam in 1979, according to his Web site and his eCourts profile. He's a member of the New York State Bar Association, The State Bar of California, New York County Lawyers Association and the New York Trial Lawyers Association.
Cases of note: Shapiro's largest apparent monetary victory was a $22.1 million award for a Brooklyn patient who sued her OBGYN for perforating her bowel during a hysterectomy. He also won $2.79 million for a student who fell under a school bus, and $1.65 million for a teacher whose arm was caught in a door. In addition to a number of multi-million dollar victories, Shapiro has fashioned himself as a commentator on malpractice and personal injury law issues, appearing from time to time on television reports, as evidenced by his Youtube channel.