By Millard Baker, Senior Writer, Steroid.com
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announced the recent appointment of Laura Brevetti to the position of Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Vince McMahon, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WWE, is paying back one of the long-time attorneys who has helped McMahon navigate various legal challenges over the years. She was, probably most memorably, part of the legal team that “whipped the government's ass” during the 1994 steroid trial of Vince McMahon.
Brevetti and her colleague Jerry McDevitt at the Washingotn firm of K&L Gates LLP have been the go-to attorneys for McMahon and WWE for decades. Brevetti and McDevitt proved their value to McMahon when McMahon's pro wrestling empire was on the brink of financial ruin after being targeted by the federal government in the early 1990s. Overzealous prosecutors went after McMahon and his company with all the government's might.
In the 1993 case of the United States of America vs. Vincent K. McMahon and Titan Sports (doing business as the World Wrestling Federation), a grand jury indicted McMahon on four counts; McMahon was accused of conspiring with Dr. George Zahorian to distribute anabolic steroids to WWF wrestlers from 1985 to 1991.
Brevetti was McMahon's personal attorney while McDevitt represented the company. The pair succeeded in having three of the counts dismissed before the case ever went to trial. Brevetti and McDevitt exposed the government's case as being so weak that McMahon didn't even have to testify on his own behalf; in fact, they didn't need to call a single witness. McMahon's defense attorneys dismantled the government's case in the closing argument. A jury found McMahon and Titan Sports not guilty.
Of course, the government has never forgotten the embarrassment of losing to McMahon. The government decided to revisit McMahon's association with anabolic steroids during a Congressional hearing in 2009. The House Government Reform Committee was apparently not satisfied with their witch-hunt involving steroids in baseball and other major sports. It decided to unleash its government investigators on the “plague” of steroids in professional wrestling as well.
David Leviss, the Senior Investigative Counsel for the House Reform Committee, couldn't resist the temptation to label McMahon as a user of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Leviss asked McMahon about his admission of steroid use at the 1994 trial of Zahorian.
The only problem was that McMahon didn't admit using steroids or any other drug at the trial; he never even testified. McDevitt not-so-gently reminded the government of this fact.
“He didn’t even testify in his trial. He didn’t have to testify in his trial,” McDevitt said. “We whipped the government’s ass in 19 days without putting a witness on. Get your facts right. He didn’t testify in the trial.”
Brevetti has helped McMahon during several difficult legal situations. It comes as no surprise that WWE appointed her to such a high position within the company. Perhaps McDevitt will join her some time in the future.
Cash, C. (September 27, 2013). Press Release: WWE Hires Attorney That Handled Vince McMahon's Infamous 1994 Steroid Trial. Retrieved from //www.wrestlezone.com/news/278821-press-release-wwe-hires-attorney-that-handled-infamous-1994-steroid-trial