The lawyer Eric Smith-Moretti always court

The Eric Dupond-Moretti lawyer.

"HEARING WAS WELL PAST. AS I WAS HUNGRY, I devoured A COP." Just out of a multiple trial, Eric Smith-Moretti enjoys its effect for a few seconds before leaving his grave laughing smoking insatiable. The man in the middle of rugby and the bear's head can play perfectly on its strengths. Who has not seen the bar seats turn around a bad witness at ease, knowing too expert or investigator course of his case, as a jockey sniff gauge an animal, the take patiently carved with issues in the corner of his convictions or his inconsistencies, for once he planted a banderille and not let his prey up to her legal death has not been at work a great criminal lawyer. At 51, Mr. Smith-Moretti is considered the best of its kind in France, both by his fans in black dress by its detractors, many among the red robes of magistrates or quick to denounce the police thug side, but which undoubtedly would be eager to use its services if perchance they broke the law.

Joined nearly three decades practicing in Lille, the lawyer has become a staple of courtroom star, a champion of false acquittals that modest pretended not count but nevertheless celebrated the hundredth friends there are some month. Jean Castela, "alleged mastermind" of the murder of Prefect Erignac acquitted, it's him. Jacques Viguier, Professor of Law Toulouse accused of murdering his wife, paid, too. Loïc Dry, convicted of rape and acquitted in a retrial after nine years in prison, him again. Roselyne Godard, the "baking" the Outreau case, acquitted him forever. It is also with this monster record, historical fiasco of the judiciary, the northerner criminal lawyer, advocate in Saint-Omer and Paris two of three defendants to be acquitted, won at midlife 2000s his stripes National tenor. Parliamentarians of the inquiry and the Prime Minister of the time have received television sets called, offering her media fame, precious document in the prisons of France.

A TIME OF HIS COLLEAGUES AS WHERE ARE THE CHOICE PROFIT Business Law, Eric Smith-Moretti, he continues to rise in criminal lawyer, in line with Emile Henri Leclerc and Pollak, true legends of the bar. Murders, robberies, rapes are his daily life. VRP as a judicial battle, he passes a criminal court to another, his life in a wheeled suitcase, the crisscrossing France to stop crime in cities he will know that the courthouse and the nearest hotel. Always (or almost) defense only against all facing the company. "Time for a case, I enter into the life of my client and I use mine to defend better. (.) When it's over, I pack and go back for another prefecture. This life, I have chosen, I love it and it kills me slowly, "he confesses in his autobiography Black Beast, co-written by the court reporter of Le Figaro, Stéphane Durand-Souffland (1) . As Beckett was "as good" writing, Smith-Moretti is good to defend. "Sentenced to plead," he summarizes, proud of his formula. Members of his cabinet Lille judicial work ant, sieving the investigation file and setting the stage of a public trial. To him the audience with his drama and theatricality. "Eric is a great advocate of the hearing, he feels the atmosphere as a person knows when to give voice or otherwise be silent, and did not like him to hang the jury," says his colleague and friend Thierry Herzog.

Much has been written about the "big mouth" Smith-Moretti. Its "bad reputation" he maintains himself as a man can be brutal in its reports from unannounced a swipe at a caress. Wounded one day bear, tender and funny the next bear. His modest social origins son of a steelworker of Avesnois died of cancer when he was 4 years old and an Italian housekeeper. His meeting in the early 1990s with his wife, one of his sworn trial - "I found it very beautiful, I pleaded for her" - with whom he had four children, the last is named Clement, "because qu'Acquittement and Non-place, it was not possible. " His taste for falconry and zinc small restaurants "where we lose our mouths," as sung Ferré. His terrible stage fright that drove him for years to vomit before each argument. "I became good from the moment the master has taken over fear. It took me ten years, "says one who says" any duty "to its business. "I have the life I always wanted," he says bluntly. If he accepts as business is by "fear of heights" and not an alleged quest media lights. "This is not defending a Gitano who stabbed a little old for her bag that accesses the glory," he answers those who criticize its judicial bulimia. Well beyond the search for acquittal - become accidentally by his trademark accumulation effect, the point earned him the nickname he rejects as "Acquittador" - his real quest is to go to each accused, guilty or innocent, its humanity. "I have defended a Saudi prince and dozens of poverty-stricken, policemen and thieves, judges and murderers," said Smith-Moretti, each time a man's height and each time with the same concern: " restore balance "against the prosecution and" make it a little less ugly nakedness "of his client. If it is the crazy dream "defend all," it's because he can finally stop thinking that "lurks in (him) some of their darkness." "As some business lawyers are business leaders by proxy, Eric is a big offender by proxy. It is in defense of some of its customers a huge freedom that life can offer, analysis Jean-Yves Moyart, Lille criminal lawyer who knows Smith-Moretti from law school. At the time, he already said he would one day be in the top 10. "

Yet received late filing practicing in Lille but tied winner - "a first injustice," he laughs - the contest of eloquence, the eventual champion, needy, went to school in arid records prud'homaux and justice slaughter automatically commissions, with the mentors Lille and Toulouse Jean Alain Descamps Furbury he now wears the robe and has "learned silence" him. The former resident of the brothers will never forget "the guys who were offering a Triumph Spitfire because they had good grades. I was there with my mother, who got up at 5am to get the mop. " Should we see in his career at the bit springs of any social revenge? "I do not know, Doctor," begs the fake hard for fingers and writing full of loose outdated worthy monks copyists or black hussars of the Republic. Modest but spiteful, he still remembers his beginnings of "contempt of some big names of the bar, a special way to shake my hand, like a squire grants the privilege of this physical contact to a groom." Last rant on the date of this allergic to free pass a decree published on April 4 in the Official Journal for former ministers to put the dress without any training.

The Eric Dupond-Moretti lawyer.

In a classroom as a courtroom, the current defender David Roquet, director of a subsidiary of Eiffage indicted for aggravated pimping in the case of Carlton has always had "a problem with the moral and authority ", even if" like all anarchists, [he is] a man of peace. " The man who smokes wherever it is now forbidden to despair "our time total hygienism and absolute transparency" in which "judicial violence Sunday best wearing the clothes of social revenge." He even said he was the victim in 1993 of "foul play" by a judge who tried to drop a folder of drugs, a drug dealer and accused (falsely) to have purchased cocaine for personal consumption. Trauma that still nourishes, if need be, his aversion - which sometimes becomes an obsession - against some judges, "institution of false bottoms, small world of self-segregation and irresponsibility" . "Terrorists of the courtroom," according to some judges, Smith-Moretti is a lawyer sucks. He knows and plays. "It has long been said that a good judge was dead judge," smiles Jean-Yves Moyart. Few are the red dresses that speak well of the insolent black dress. Dominique Coujard in part. Former presiding judge in Paris, currently serving in the Court of Appeal of Rouen, he repeatedly "Mr. Smith practiced Moretti-in audience." "He is a lawyer that requires a very strong presence, said the magistrate. But if we respect it meets back. It often destabilizes my colleagues because they do not impress, or judges often like to take their position to intimidate others. He goes there in the stomach and never gives up items criticizing others consider to be unstoppable. Eric Dupond-Moretti is a lawyer's acquittal, perhaps his only limit is. "

As Robert Badinter time repelled each trial the blade of the guillotine, is now expected penalist Lille acknowledgment fail. Some even come from far away to see and plead meet this foolish challenge. For Thierry Herzog, who shares with her friend a passion for the French song, "Eric must be even more special to each trial, as Johnny, after the Olympia or Bercy, is dazzled at the Stade de France. Eric savior, Smith-Moretti last resort. That the gray and mine both. " Simply tells him to "continue to the end", admitting a penchant masochist who wants "the pleasure is all the greater as the pain and fear were strong."

In spring 2011, called at the last minute during the appeal trial of Yvan Colonna, "Acquittador" was unable to avoid the shepherd life sentence for the murder of Corsican prefect Erignac, although helped by the polyphonic defense four lawyers of the accused. During this long process, we remember that he took advantage of interruptions audience to read Around the misfortune splendid fresco Joseph Kessel novel in which the author tells the Cavaliers the meteoric rise of an ambitious lawyer and his inevitable fall. A criminal lawyer who loved life and his job, loved hard and fast. Too fast, too strong.

(1) For Editions Michel Lafon, 250 p., € 17.95.



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