New Series: CBS News looks at the men and women in one of the largest district attorney's offices in the country with BROOKLYN DA, a new six-part documentary series that premiered May 28, 2013 on the CBS Television Network.
By Joe Sexton, ProPublica
"Brooklyn DA," CBS's controversial behind-the-scenes series on the life and work of the borough's prosecutors, debuted Tuesday night. Over the course of the hour, an average of 4.9 million folks tuned in.
Robert Reuland was not one of them.
"I don't watch TV," Reuland, a defense lawyer in Brooklyn said on the evening of the show's premier. "Newshour, Jeopardy, Game of Thrones. That's it. Oh, and Mad Men."
One could be forgiven for having assumed Reuland might have been a rapt viewer. A decade ago, Reuland played a role in what surely would have made for a lively episode of "Brooklyn DA." He was a young prosecutor in the office's homicide bureau, a Vanderbilt Law School graduate who took a $100,000 pay cut from his job at a white-shoe firm in Manhattan to get dirty fighting big city crime. He won some cases, wrote a novel, got highlighted in a magazine feature on the city's most promising legal lions, ticked off his boss and lost his job.
His misstep? In the course of describing for a New York magazine reporter how much he loved his work, Reuland noted how, if you were a homicide prosecutor in Brooklyn in 2001, you could, well, stay pretty busy. Charles J. Hynes, the district attorney, took offense. The borough president did, too. Reuland was demoted, and then resigned. He licked his wounds, started another novel, and made a First Amendment case out of his treatment by Hynes. He ultimately won $30,000 in federal court.
Pretty good reality TV, no?