It was his first high-profile case — but it wasn’t his last.
After Anthony’s shocking acquittal, Baez found himself in high demand. His practice expanded. He was recognized everywhere he went. His phone rang off the hook, including calls for people who had previously said he was in over his head.
He even earned the nickname “the King of the Courtroom.”
In the years since Anthony’s trial, Baez has represented several high-profile defendants, including Bobbi Kristina Brown’s boyfriend Nick Gordon, former Aruba murder suspect Gary Gioradano and “King of Instagram” Dan Bilzerian. In recent weeks, he has delivered a vigorous defense of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez during the athlete’s murder trial.
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Hosted by Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, the unscripted series lets the audience play the role of the jury and decide a verdict — so to speak — in a civil case in real time, in front of a former California judge.
The series will feature headline-grabbing, controversial and real-life civil cases tackling topical issues like online trolling and the limits of free speech and the constitutional question of gay rights versus religious freedom.
The “biggest jury pool in history” will even decide a wrongful death suit, according to the network.
In the first episode, viewers will determine whether Robyn Gardner died from accidental causes or murder when she vanished on a 2011 trip to Aruba. The audience will decide on a wrongful death lawsuit against millionaire defendant Gary Giordano.
Baez, who served as his attorney during the criminal proceeding, will represent Giordano on the series as well.
(Though Giordano was detained in the Gardner investigation, he was reportedly released from custody due to insufficient evidence. He was never charged in her disappearance.)
Baez tells PEOPLE that We The Jury was the right vehicle to return to television. “I thought the format of the show was really entertaining,” he says. “But at the same time, it’s very realistic. It was really important to me that the show be realistic, because I didn’t want to compromise who I am for a TV show.”
While the show airs on Friday night, Baez will also be thinking of the Hernandez trial, which is in the jury deliberations phase.
“I think a lot of people have some serious misconceptions of who he is, and the facts in this case,” Baez says. “During this case, I’ve seen some egregious things that all point to his innocence. It’s scary how someone so high-profile could be attacked in such a way.”
You the Jury will premiere on Friday (9 p.m. ET) on Fox.