Defender Tony Serra: Surrender Date Extended
San Francisco criminal defense lawyer Tony Serra, a legend and the lawyer the movie "True Believer" was based on, got an extension of his jail surrender date last week so he can finish a murder trial. Tonywill be going to jail to serve a ten month sentence for tax evasion.
For any other lawyer, a jail term would mean financial ruin. For Tony Serra the 10-month sentence he starts this weekend for 20 years of tax evasion will be little more than a much-needed rest. With his long silver hair in a ponytail, his tie-dyed shirts and his admission that he smokes cannabis every day, Serra, 72, isn't like most lawyers, yet in a 40-year career he has built an unrivalled reputation of being able to win cases others dismiss as unwinnable.
What makes him remarkable is that, in a country where lawyers are among society's top earners, he has no credit cards, savings or bank account and owns no property. All his clothes are from charity shops or the Salvation Army. His net worth is whatever he happens to have in his pockets.
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