Tell us a bit about a day in your life as an Attorney:
The best way to answer this question is to say proverbially I am an attorney “by day,” and a television legal analyst “by night.” My days typically start very early–and I am definitely not a morning person–and end late in the evening depending on my case load. In my law practice, I represent various clients ranging from business owners to athletes to entertainers. No one day is typical for me. I don’t even think the word typical exists in my life! I might be in court one moment battling opposing counsel, in a deposition the next, appearing on FOX NEWS somewhere in between, and then at an NBA game watching a client play at Staple’s Center. As if that is not enough, I also manage to squeeze in teaching a law school course once a year. I can certainly say there is never a dull moment in my day!
How did you end up becoming a commentator on multiple National News Channels?
I had the good fortune of meeting a high profile attorney one day who asked if I had ever considered appearing on television. Initially, I figured he was just like many others in Los Angeles, a big talker. I didn’t think much of it. Lucky for me, I was wrong! Within a few days this attorney put me in touch with a producer and I did my first appearance that same week. Things really took off from there.
Aside from the early mornings, (I often have to be up at 4 a.m.), I actually feel at home. After all, I talk for a living so this is what I do. I love the rush of being on television because things can be so unpredictable. You never can really prepare for whatever the topic may be or know exactly what the host may ask, so things are very spontaneous which makes it very exciting. I love the challenge. One thing’s for sure, there will always be lively debates if I’m on the air! I am not afraid to state my opinion whether it’s popular or not. And I think the viewers respect that, even if they don’t always agree with my viewpoint. In fact, many of my biggest supporters do not agree with my positions, but they enjoy watching me for my candor and passion.
While I was warned about the aggressiveness of Nancy Grace and Bill O’Reilly, I found that their demeanors actually are suited to my style. I absolutely enjoy a lively debate and they both encourage this. The truth is they both appreciate someone who can voice the opposite point of view—even if they don’t always agree–as long as you can deliver a reasonable argument to back your position.
In a male-dominated profession, how many obstacles have you had to overcome to be respected as an attorney and have people look past your gender?
I think many women in competitive careers and fields feel they have to fight to be taken seriously to some degree. I have certainly felt that at times.But in the end, it comes down to merit and skill. When people underestimate me, it works to my advantage, because I love surprising people. And believe me, I have surprised many throughout my career.
There are more and more women in my profession and in litigation specifically, which I am so happy about as it paves the way for future female attorneys entering the profession. Unfortunately, the reality is that there will always be gender differences. The goal is to not let those differences be an impediment but to allow them to strengthen us.At least, that’s the philosophy I’ve chosen to live by, and will continue to do so!
What are your favorite issues to debate/discuss?
High profile criminal cases are a favorite, especially cases that raise thought provoking legal questions like in the Casey Anthony trial which had many prosecutors predicting a guilty verdict. Discussing the legal issues that led to that verdict as well as the outrage that ensued was powerful. I also enjoy legal issues that come up in pop news especially in this Hollywood celebrity-obsessed culture. But generally any news worthy of legal debate that people are talking about–from Lindsay Lohan’s next legal foible to Supreme court rulings–I am there to offer my position.
I once was on CNN on a LIVE show (Not telling which one!) and my IFB went out in the middle of the segment! I literally couldn’t hear a thing, and the monitor was turned off so I couldn’t see the host. I panicked, which never happens! Luckily there was another guest who was responding to a question. The next thing I knew, the host was saying my name. I didn’t even hear the question, but I just started to respond, saying the first thing that came to mind. Luckily no one noticed what happened and the segment flowed naturally, but this was definitely one of my favorite moments and I still laugh about it to this day. I love the rush of Live TV–sometimes it’s fun to know you just have to roll with the punches.
Are you working on any other exciting projects right now?
I have been approached to do a potential book deal, I have many more TV appearances coming up, and I even have a few top secret projects on the horizon that I cannot share at the moment but will certainly do so when I can…….. It is a very exciting time!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself hosting my own top-rated show, of course! I’d discuss all the latest newsworthy issues and events, from political drama to legal battles to the latest pop culture scandals. After spending a few years making my mark, who knows? Maybe I could even be the first Persian-American Supreme Court Justice!