Via Andy Staples…
But I got a chance to study the phenomenon up close while covering Florida as a beat writer for The Tampa Tribune from 2004-07. As the OTL piece pointed out, Gators in trouble—and there were a lot in those years—tend to turn to an attorney named Huntley Johnson.
We beat writers used to joke that if Johnson didn’t represent a player who got arrested, it meant that player was probably already kicked off the team. That wasn’t true all the time, but Johnson almost always seemed to get retained when a player got sideways with the law. Johnson rarely talks to the press about cases, typically letting the plea deals he negotiates do the talking for him. I tried to interview him in 2007 after former (and future) Florida lineman Ronnie Wilson pleaded no contest to battery and discharging a firearm in public. Wilson had hit a man and spit on him, and after realizing the man was following him to give Wilson’s information to a 911 dispatcher, Wilson switched to a vehicle that had an AK-47 in the trunk. Later, he would pull that AK-47 and fire it in the air to scare the man he had hit and spit on. The man said in court that Wilson pointed the gun at him before firing into the air. Thanks to Johnson, Wilson served no jail time beyond the brief period between his arrest and his posting bail. He got two years of probation. I asked Johnson after the change of plea hearing if he’d talk about the case. “What do you think I’m going to say?” Johnson asked. My reply was something to the effect of, “Your client pulled an AK-47 on a guy and won’t spend a day in jail, so I’m guessing not much, but I’m going to ask anyway.” Johnson smiled. “You’re pretty smart,” he said. End of interview.
A good magician never reveals his secrets, you know.