The defense in the tax evasion case against Indy Racing League driver Helio Castroneves, his sister, and his lawyer is expected to rest on Monday. That means the first—and perhaps last—chance to see two famed advocates in court together ends soon: Robert Bennett, a D.C. partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and Roy Black, a name partner at Miami’s Black Srebnick Kornspan & Strumpf, have been sharing defense duties.
Bennett, who is representing the lawyer Alan Miller, earned national fame for defending President Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones case. More recently, he cut a deal for then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller in the Valerie Plame leak investigation.
Black is representing Castroneves, a two-time Indy 500 champ and past winner of TV's "Dancing With the Stars" competition, and his sister-business manager Katiucia Castroneves. Among other high-profile work, Black orchestrated the deal for conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh to avoid doctor shopping charges.
The two men lead a team that includes at least nine other named attorneys.
The five-week case has been playing out in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Miller, a well known lawyer in the motor sports world, is charged with conspiracy and tax evasion for allegedly helping Castroneves and his sister
dodge taxes on about $5.5 million from 1999 to 2004. All three face more than six years in prison if convicted. The jury is expected to get the case sometime next week, the Associated Press reports.
Neither Bennett nor Black could talk about the case because the judge has ordered the lawyers not to discuss it with the media, but they were more than happy to discuss working together.
Bennett says he has known Black for years and had worked with him on a few matters, but this case marks the first time the two men have gone to court together.
"Roy is an absolute delight to work with," Bennett says. "There are absolutely no ego issues between us."
Black notes that Bennett has "a quick wit," which was on display when he cross-examined a witness from the high-end German clothier Hugo Boss.
"Bob's main question was whether he'd look good in one of their suits," Black says. "I don't think Hugo Boss is exactly designed for Bob's figure."