Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
lawyer consultationWhat would John Adams say about attorneys who are the subjects of cancel culture because of whom they represent?

As an attorney, John Adams is best known for his representation in two separate trials of the defendants in the incident known as the “Boston Massacre.” In 1770, a British captain, Thomas Preston, and eight British sailors opened fire on a shouting, cursing mob that was pelting them with snow. Five colonials were killed. Thirty-four-year-old John Adams was asked to represent these British soldiers because no one else would. Adams accepted, as he was firm in his belief that no one in a free country should be denied the right to counsel and a fair trial.

For these two very high-profile murder trials, Adams was paid 18 guineas, each guinea being one pound and one shilling. Based on inflation since 1770, 18 guineas would be worth today the princely sum of approximately $4,600. The captain was tried first and acquitted, and in a second trial, six of the eight sailors were acquitted, while two were found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter. These two were then branded on their thumbs.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.