There’s a reason the name Jose Baez might sound familiar.
The defense attorney who represented Aaron Hernandez made headlines Thursday after he accused the state of improperly holding Hernandez’s brain, saying family members want it studied to see whether he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Baez has quite the storied past himself. He has been involved in many high-profile cases, including famously winning acquittal for Florida mom Casey Anthony.
Here’s a look at a few of the high-profile cases Baez has been involved in:
• Baez gained fame during Anthony’s 2011 trial on charges that she murdered her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. Anthony was acquitted of first-degree murder and other felonies but convicted of four misdemeanors. The case garnered national media attention after photos showed Anthony partying in the days after her daughter’s disappearance.
• At the trial, Baez suggested that the little girl drowned and that Anthony’s father, George, helped cover that up — and sexually abused his daughter. Her father has denied the accusations.
• Baez sat down with ABC’s Barbara Walters after the case, telling her during the interview: “After I heard ‘not guilty,’ I had a moment. I thought, ‘My life is going to start to change.’ ”
• After handling the Anthony case, Baez went on to co-write “Presumed Guilty: Casey Anthony: The Inside Story.” The book was a New York Times bestseller, according to Amazon.com.
• On Baez’s website, the lawyer said he has been called “the most hated lawyer in America,” and that he “wears that title like a badge of honor.”
• Baez, who has two Florida-based branches of his law firm, had reportedly been considered by George Zimmerman to be hired as his defense attorney. Zimmerman became a household name after he was accused of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was African-American and unarmed, in February 2012. Months later, a report by HLN, citing a friend, said Zimmerman considered Baez but hired Mark O’Mara instead because Zimmerman was worried about retaining a lawyer connected to the Anthony trial. Zimmerman was ultimately found not guilty.
• However, that wasn’t the end of Baez’s involvement in the case. He was hired in 2012 by Chris Serino, the lead detective in Zimmerman’s murder trial, according to the Miami Herald. Serino had reportedly “quietly filed an arrest affidavit” after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, “even as his chief publicly said there wasn’t enough evidence to make a case,” according to the Miami Herald.
Florida bullying case
• Baez represented a 12-year-old girl who was charged in connection with the suicide death of Rebecca Sedwick, 12, who jumped to her death in September 2013 after she was bullied online by more than a dozen girls, according to Fox News. (One of the girls charged — whom Baez did not represent — appeared to brag about the bullying online, posting afterward to Facebook: “‘Yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself but I don’t give a [expletive],’’ officials said.)
• Both girls, including the 12-year-old Baez represented, have been charged with stalking, but those charges were dropped in November 2013, according to NBC News.
• It was announced in June 2016 that Baez would represent Hernandez in his double murder trial, along with Harvard Law professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. (The former pro football star was represented by Boston attorneys Michael Fee, James L. Sultan, and Charles Rankin in the previous murder trial of Odin L. Lloyd.)
• During jury selection, Baez — whom Globe reporter Travis Andersen described as “a flashy litigator” — used rhetorical flourishes throughout the week as he pressed jurors on whether they could judge Hernandez fairly.
• During the trial, Baez aggressively attacked star prosecution witness Alexander Bradley’s credibility, deriding him on the stand as “a killer” nicknamed Rocky because “you rock people to sleep.” Bradley had told jurors he was driving Hernandez’s Toyota 4Runner when the athlete reached across him and fired five shots into the victims’ BMW in the early morning hours of July 16, 2012.
• Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for killing Odin L. Lloyd in 2013, was acquitted last week of committing a double murder in 2012. Five days later, he was found hanged inside his cell at the state’s maximum security prison in Shirley.
James Holmes case
• No, Baez did not represent James Holmes, who went on a rampage in a Colorado movie theater in 2012, leaving 12 people dead and 70 injured. However, Baez did reportedly represent victim Marcus Weaver, who was shot during the attack, as well as the mother of Rebecca Wingo, 32, who was fatally shot, according to TMZ.Travis Andersen of the Globe staff contributed to this report.