When you’re facing long odds and hard time, defense attorney Michael Schiavone is the person you want standing beside you in the courtroom. His impressive career has included the kinds of cases that make national headlines, get turned into books and movies, and change people’s lives forever.
It’s been 11 years since Miss Savannah Nikki Redmond stood shaking in a Chatham County courtroom as a judge read the verdict in her murder trial, delivering her fate with two words.
The lawyer standing beside her, the one who convinced the jury to decide on those two words, was Michael Schiavone, a criminal defense attorney who has stood beside countless defendants listening to countless verdicts over his 33-plus years in practice.
But that one, from 2005, remains his favorite.
“That was fun,” he said of the trial that was televised nationally, made him a household name in Savannah and kept him in the national news spotlight for over a year. “Factually, I couldn’t have had a better client, a smarter client. I had a very strong case of self-defense. Sometimes everything just falls into place, and that’s what happened with that case. Everything fell into place.”
Schiavone, a skilled and seasoned veteran of criminal trials, knows that’s not always the case.
“That trial had everything a lawyer could want, and the outcome was right. The outcome’s not always right; I’ve gotten people off that should have been convicted,” he said. While that might enrage some, it is, for the pragmatic lawyer, merely a hard truth against which the larger issue of justice is measured
For a closer look at how Michael Schiavone attacks these thrilling cases, pick up a copy of South's June/July issue.