Have you always dreamed of knowing the daily life of a defender of murderers ? The reasons which push these tenors of the bar to defend terrorists like Salah Abdeslam ? Journalist Elsa Vigoureux grants your wishes in her exciting Journal de Frank Berton , which recounts the busy days of the criminal lawyer she followed for three years.
In the shoes of very special customers
Dominique Cottrez, Fabienne Kabou, Salah Abdeslam ... If these names mean anything to you, it's that they have hit the headlines for sordid crimes ranging from multiple infanticide to murderous attacks.
To support them, the Lille version of Eric Dupond-Moretti does not stop at defending its clients. He also makes a point of slipping into their skin, as terrible as the accusations are. When the verdict reserved for Dominique Cottrez , this woman accused of having killed eight of her babies, was announced , Frank Berton therefore stood up “ As always, to hear my condemnation ”. The lawyer becomes Dominique Cottrez , who is sentenced to nine years in prison. An expensive mechanism for a man who juggles between several clients: when an accused is condemned to a heavy sentence, Frank Berton cannot help but take it personally and grinds black for several days.
A gangster on the right side of the bar
Slicked back hair, black suit, waxed shoes, broken mouth of an actor, big smoker's voice (until recently the lawyer was running at three packs a day!), Sunglasses and a collection of sports cars: Frank Berton masters all the codes of the film gangster. Except that rather than being behind bars, Lille have their habits at Zimmer Place du Châtelet. However, it took a little for the lawyer to fall on the wrong side of the bar: former DJ in nightclubs in northern France, pizza delivery person on roller skates ... beaten child from a disadvantaged background to become a star of the bar . It is armed with his sufferings, slipping into those of others, becoming the hero of the weak and the protector of women that Frank Berton was able to seize his chance not to turn bad.
A man very well surrounded
His public notoriety opened the doors of power and showbiz to him . In addition to dining regularly with Alain Delon, Marion Cotillard or Mélissa Theuriau, Frank Berton secretly cultivates his childhood dream with men of power: one day to become Keeper of the Seals . It must be said that the lawyer does not lack ego : competitive, he is always very attentive to his image and shows himself in particular upset when he discovers that the GQ ranking of the most powerful lawyers in France only places him twenty-third position ...
A private life relegated to the background
Despite his ministerial schedule and his constant travels around the world, Frank Berton still found time to start a family with his wife and partner, Bérengère . If vacations with his two grown-up sons and his daughter, still in primary school, are rare, the lawyer regularly refuels in his Maintenay mill with his ducks and carp. He hardly ever lets go of his phone, however: “ Slipping away from the news is like letting go of the pedals of a bicycle on a steep hill. It's risky. ”His tip for relaxing between two audiences? Catch Pokémon wherever he finds them with his phone!
A victim of threats of all kinds
Not easy to defend the most hated man in the country. When Frank Berton agrees to take charge of the case of Salah Abdeslam , the only survivor among the alleged perpetrators of the attacks of November 13, 2015, the lawyer must face the many death threats and insults that regularly fuse. In the aftermath of the Nice attack of July 14, 2016, when the lawyer was already dealing with the defense of the terrorist, he received dozens of letters and calls to his office calling him “ asshole ”, “ shame for our country ”, the senders regretting that he and his relatives were not at the scene of the massacre, he,“ the devil's advocate ”who would do better to“ die too ”. A heavy weight to bear for the one who defends body and soul the right to justice for all . Despite his will and his strength not to bow to threats, despite the affection he feels for this lost kid, Frank Berton will eventually let go of this client who will categorically refuse to speak at the bar.