Leslie Abramson

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Leslie Abramson
Born Leslie Hope Abramson
(1943-10-06) October 6, 1943 (age 72)
Flushing, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater Queens College
UCLA School of Law
Occupation Attorney

Leslie Hope Abramson (born October 6, 1943)[1] is an American criminal defense attorney best known for her role in the legal defense of Lyle and Erik Menendez.


Born in Flushing, Queens, New York, Abramson graduated from Queens College, and in 1969 received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from UCLA School of Law.[2]


Abramson was admitted to the California State Bar in 1970. She began her career in the Los Angeles Public Defender's office and developed a reputation as a fierce advocate for her clients.[citation needed]

She stirred controversy when it was revealed during the Menendez trial that she had Erik's psychiatrist delete and rewrite passages of the doctor's notes.[3] When asked by the judge about it she twice invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.[3] As a result, an investigation was launched by the state bar.[4] Following a three-year investigation the state bar closed its case "after deciding that there was insufficient evidence to conclude she violated ethical rules in the Menendez brother's retrial."[5]

In 2004, she was hired by Phil Spector, who was charged with fatally shooting actress Lana Clarkson at his suburban Alhambra, California mansion, replacing his former attorney, Robert Shapiro.[6]


  1. ^ Leslie Abramson Summary | BookRags.com
  2. ^ "All-Alumni Weekend 2007". UCLA School of Law. 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Counsel In The Hot Seat: Did Leslie Abramson Commit A Legal Sin?". Newsweek. April 22, 1996. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  4. ^ "Menendez Lawyer Won't Face Investigation". The New York Times. October 12, 1997. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Aftermath". Crime Library. 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  6. ^ "Phil Spector replaces lawyer, hires Leslie Abramson to defend him". CNN. February 3, 2004. Archived from the original on 2006-12-09. Retrieved 2007-05-17.