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The Defenders Packs a Wallop!

October 14th, 2010 • by Sandy Zimmerman

The attorneys and the stars (Left to Right: Marc Seggese-attorney, Jim Belushi, Michael Cristalli-attorney, and Jerry O’Connell) (PHOTO: CBS)

“The Defenders Packs a Wallop”

by Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman unless indicated.)


Attorneys Michael Cristalli and Marc Saggese (PHOTO: CBS)

I am a fan of “Law and Order” as well as many of the

other courtroom dramas, and

“The Defenders”


Yes, courtroom dramas can be hard hitting but “The Defenders” is

balanced with “a touch of feeling”.

Adding humor to the plot brings a very refreshing contrast to the

other court room dramas.

With most of the subject matter concentrating around the seamy

side of life, this is exactly what the story needs.

Another interesting “difference” is the two attorneys contrasting


Jim Belushi was believable as a “regular guy” drawn to victims

because he cares.

A more flamboyant character, Jerry O’Connell portrays a tough

defense attorney by day with romantic flings at night.

“The Defenders” take us on a roller coaster ride through the

courts to find justice in our flawed system.

Based on actual cases of Las Vegas attorneys Michael Cristalli and

Marc Saggese, “The Defenders” is already becoming a MUST SEE

television program.


Freddy Glusman, retired owner of Piero’s Italian Restaurant

I was invited to a

party for the


of CBS’s new prime


television program

“The Defenders”,

starring Jim Belushi


Jerry O’Connell,


Piero’s Italian


There is always a sense of excitement on the opening night of a

new television program.   After all of the rewriting, research and

filming, finally the time has come to see if the public likes their


Piero’s Monkey Bar was filled with hundreds of people waiting to

congratulate criminal

defense attorneys

Michael Cristalli and

Marc Saggese, the

attorneys whose

cases are portrayed on


Defenders” television


Throughout the years,

Michael and Marc have

gained a

reputation for their


in handling some of the toughest cases

in Las Vegas.

This was a special night for both of them.

Marc Saggese was beaming when we met.

He said, “I am really excited.

One Response to “The Defenders Packs a Wallop!”

  1. anonymous says:

    Thank you for producing the powerful, dependable, educational and as well as easy tips about your topic.

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The Defenders Packs a Wallop

Which one is the real attorney?

 Jerry O'Connel and attorney Marc Seggese    (PHOTO: CBS)

We have gotten a number of East coast reviews from

New York City and the Atlanta, Georgia area and

they were very positive."

That was an understatement, the reviews were much

more than just positive, 12 million people watched

"The Defenders" even though the season's newest

Law and Order-Los Angeles was

premiering at the same time.

Marc explained,

"We have had some big cases, I represented

the bodybuilder Craig Titus myself, and

Michael defended Sandy Murphy, the former girl

friend of Ted Binion.

Jim Bilushi plays Michael, the person who portrays

me in the television show is Jerry O'Connell.

Jerry tries to capture me as a character and all of

these scripts are based on our actual real cases."

Marc described how CBS discovered them,

"A documentary film crew called to ask permission

to film an attorney-client conversation.

It was absolutely fine as long as the client signed a


They were taping a reality show following a

defendant who needed legal representation.

During the filming, fireworks flew.

When the client got a little out of control my partner

and I had to set this guy straight and literally sat him

down to control him.

The man looked at us and after a 10 second pause he

said, "I like you guys."

The next thing we knew he hired us and we finished

his case and really saved him.

The cameramen filming this scene were astonished

and we said,

"This is just another day in the lives of criminal

defense attorneys.

You are shocked, but this is normal".

The film crew asked if we would be part of a long

term documentary and we agreed.

There was a 30 day filming period when the film crew

was with us when we got out of bed in the morning to

when we turned the lights out at night.

It turned into a beautiful documentary and they

wanted to make it into a documentary drama series.

FOX originally had it but were worried about the

liability associated with attorney-client privilege in

conversations, open cases, and law suits, so they

passed it on to CBS.

CBS loved the project and wanted to dramatize it to

avoid the legalities.

Ultimately it was turned into a network television

show that we see here today, "The Defenders".

My partner and I are on the set about every other

week for three days, usually Wednesday, Thursday,

and Friday.

We talk to the writers every day, 3-4-5 times a day

to keep the cases legitimate and the story lines


There are 14 writers on the show."

In 1994, Piero's Italian Cuisine Restaurant was

chosen as the restaurant set for the film "Casino.

A favorite restaurant of Cristalli and Saggese, many

of "The Defenders" restaurant scenes are now

filmed there.

Piero?s Italian Cuisine Restaurant is located at

355 Convention Center Drive.