The latest filing from Steven Avery’s attorney Kathleen Zellner has created a shock wave with ripples felt throughout the internet. In her amendment filed on November 1, 2017, she lays out more reasons for an evidentiary hearing and more proof that certain individuals satisfy the Denny rule. In doing so, she aired some dirty family laundry, causing further splits amongst the followers of the hit Netflix show, ‘Making a Murderer’.
Supporters of the Avery and Dassey families are divided in a way they were not before. While some applaud her latest filing as more proof of Steven Avery’s innocence, others were appalled at the content. Kathleen Zellner has never really cared how others feel about her or her work. Her focus is and always has been on one thing – representing her client. In support groups, chat groups, and reddit subs, many an armchair attorney have tried, and mostly failed, to second guess her techniques if not her abilities.
I am not a lawyer. I wouldn’t bet my School of Google Bing law degree against any attorney. I certainly wouldn’t bet it against an attorney with Kathleen Zellner’s record. What I will bet on, however, is that she didn’t complete this filing with the deliberate intention of harming anyone. Emotions run high when it comes to these two cases, and many times we let our emotions overrule our collective common sense. This most recent filing is no exception.
It is important to remember one vital fact. Kathleen Zellner does not work for the Averys. She does not work for the Dasseys, or the Tadychs. She does not represent the family as a whole or in part. She represents only one person, Steven Avery. She is doing what any good post conviction attorney would do. The only reason there is such an uproar is that so many people follow this case closely due to the docu-series. This case is in the public eye like no other in recent history.
While her use of social media may be unusual, it isn’t altogether unheard of, either. Ken Kratz used press conferences to great effect prior to this case ever hitting a court room. There was no outrage then, yet when Kathleen Zellner uses the same tactics, there are demands for disbarment. Followers have cried foul over cryptic tweets and press statements. Now they cry foul over the belief that she has sacrificed innocent family members. Everyone seems to have forgotten the simple fact that all of this would have already been public years ago, had a proper investigation been done to start with.
This was a poorly handled murder investigation from the very start. There is no point in shooting the messenger for delivering items of interest that should have been delivered some 12 years ago. I don’t know if she has uncovered Brady violations with this latest amendment, or if it shows ineffective assistance of trial counsel. That aspect isn’t clear, and I certainly am not going to speculate. I am going to speculate that she isn’t done, and it may get uglier before it is over. It’s a safe bet because she is doing her job, representing Steven Avery. If others feel threatened by her investigation, perhaps they need to retain counsel of their own.
Regardless of your feelings on the guilt or innocence of Steven Avery, it is important to understand he is exercising his constitutional rights here. That does not make Kathleen Zellner an evil person for representing him, This is what she does. It is quite plainly her job, and nothing more. There is nothing nefarious going on. If she exposes secrets, ask yourself why these secrets weren’t exposed years ago, as they should have been.
Laugh, ridicule, scream or cry all you wish. Embrace your belief in Avery’s guilt or innocence. When you are alone with your thoughts though, ask yourself one question. If you were in Steven Avery’s shoes, who would you want to represent you? I’d pick Kathleen Zellner’s track record every time.
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