Profile on Attorney Jose Baez
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (WSVN) -- An attorney who represented Casey Anthony in her high-profile murder trial is now a household name in the legal community.
Before Jose Baez became the lead defense attorney in the high-profile court case, he had a unique journey.
Baez was born in Puerto Rico in 1968 and raised by his mother in the Bronx and South Florida. According to published reports, in ninth grade he dropped out of Homestead High School and became a husband and father by the age of 17.
After earning his GED diploma, Baez joined the Navy in 1986. According to his resume, he spent three years in the NATO base in Norfolk, Virginia and trained as an intelligence analyst. When he returned from the military, Baez attended Miami-Dade Community College and graduated from Florida State University. At the age of 29, Baez graduated from St. Thomas University Law School.
He then worked for the Miami-Dade Public Defenders Office. In 2008, St. Thomas recognized Baez for his contributions to the community. "Which stands for those individuals who excel in providing community service and other services to the community," said Al Garcia, Former DEAN of St. Thomas Law School.
During the course of the Anthony trial, few mentioned Baez in a positive light.
In an interview with Geraldo Rivera, Baez was questioned about the remarks made about his competence. "Question your competence and all the rest of it, I want to know how you feel now?" said Rivera.
"Well, I think the competence arguments are falling," said Baez.
The not guilty verdict for Anthony was vindication for Baez, the other attorneys and his credibility. "Look, Baez got devastated. Everyone was raking him for it," said Fox News Legal Analyst Arthur Aidala during an interview. "Everyone was calling him incompetent, inept."
In the interview with Rivera, Baez seemed unfazed by all the negative remarks. "What they want to say about me, well, you know, they can say what they want," he said.
Baez attended St. Thomas Law School from 1994 to 1997, the same time of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, which occurred in 1995. Many are calling this trial the biggest victory for any attorney since then.
(Copyright 2011 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)