Now he’s defending the accused in this year’s most sensational murder case:
Attorney Mark O’Mara will have the eyes of the world upon him as he takes on the position of defense lawyer for George Zimmerman, the man charged with second degree murder of Trayvon Martin, a minor, in Florida.
When asked why he took this case, despite the unpopularity of Zimmerman’s side of the story, O’Mara told AP, “It’s what I do.
“I’ve done it for a long, long time. I think I’m pretty good at it. Mr. Zimmerman needs a very good and focused defense so we’re going to build him one.”
O’Mara, originally from Queens, New York, followed his parents to Florida after high school, as his father had retired to the south after a career as president of the fire officers union.
He said he had known since grade school that he wanted to be an attorney.
“As a good Irish Catholic boy, the first possibility was to be a priest,” O’Mara said. “The second one was to be a lawyer.”
As a defense lawyer O’Mara sees himself on the “front line” of protecting civil liberties.
“People harass criminal defense attorneys sometimes, but it’s like going to a dentist — you never really want to go to one but you want them there when you need one,” O’Mara said. “Not to sound too uppity about it, but we’re the ones who really make sure the rest of us can enjoy the liberties that the Constitution guarantees, and that it’s done right if it’s going to be done at all.”