Eric’s Story

“I am human, but I can’t let that get in the way.”

“Right before the jury reads the verdict, my nerves are raw, my stomach is in my brain. I am hyper-focused on this moment.

‘Jeremy Bacchus: Not guilty.’ I start to cry when I hear that. My client, Jeremy Bacchus, cried too. So did his family. After, I watched him go home. That is the narcotic of winning a case, the drug of being a defense lawyer.

One minute 21-year-old Jeremy Bacchus was in his Tamarac home, the next minute he, his black 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe and his 20-year-old passenger were wrapped around a tree. She didn’t make it. The jury decided it was an accident, not a homicide.

For the last 23 years, I periodically remove myself from real life and become absorbed into criminal defense cases, engrossed in the evidence and searching for the inconsistencies. I hibernate and tear the case apart.

There are no breaks for me in a case like this. No leisure dinners. No family time. My life is bonded to my trial team, my client and my client’s family. I always believe that I will win. Every case has an angle. I knew from the onset that the Jeremy Bacchus case was an accident, not a homicide. Jeremy Bacchus will always be remorseful.

My family knows to stay away when I am consumed. I become ritualistic. First, I order food from Anthony’s Coal Fired. I stay awake nights and wake up early mornings. I do nothing else but the case I am working on. I cannot let myself go to an emotional place, I am used to detaching. This is a case where a 20-year-old is dead. I study autopsy photos, police chalk outlines and every piece of evidence. As difficult as that is for me to reconcile, I have a job to do. It’s not something I talk about, it is too shocking.

My family picks up the slack. That is how I win a case, and when I win I am exhilarated. My ego is intensely involved. If I lose a case I take it personally and I let those failures make me appreciate the victories.

When it is all over, the glorious glow of winning stays with me for a while and then I start the next battle. After 20 years, I have done hundreds of cases and still, I get insecure and nervous like anybody else. I used to be intimidated by prosecutors and judges but not anymore. I see it as my turn to be on stage and let the actor within me perform.

I chose the right career path. I really wanted to be an actor when I was a kid and essentially, the courtroom is my stage. If I won the Powerball I would still be a lawyer. I have that passion for it.

People ask how I can defend criminals. There is only one simple answer: everyone has a right to a trial, and I have that job to do.”

Eric’s Treasures

“Whenever I am in trial I wear these good luck shoes. I removed the original ornamentation on them and replaced them with handcuffs. My wife got them for me.”

2 thoughts on “Eric Schwartzreich: My Narcotic of Choice – Criminal Defense

  • LindaJanuary 30, 2020 at 3:25 am

    The familes of the accused, the accused and the innocent are lucky to have you on their side.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *