FILE - In this July 26, 2012, file photo, attorney Anthony Ricco, left, walks with Larry Seabrook, center, a New York City councilman and Seabrook's wife Maria Diaz, as they leave Federal Court in New York during Seabrook's corruption trial. It can be an uncomfortable life for any defense attorney representing unpopular clients, but when Ricco was among a handful of respected defense lawyers summoned to the federal courthouse in Manhattan after Sept. 11, he recalled his mother telling him, in a moment of outrage, "If you go down there to represent them, I will never speak to you again." (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (The Associated Press)
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FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2009, file photo, Lynne Stewart, center, is surrounded by supporters and reporters in New York after a federal appeals court in New York City said a judge who sentenced Stewart to just over two years in prison should consider a harsher sentence in light of her case's terrorism connection. It can be an uncomfortable life for any defense attorney representing unpopular clients, but lawyers who agree to speak on behalf of people accused of plotting to kill Americans in terrorist attacks walk difficult road. Stewart was an attorney for a blind Egyptian sheik serving life for terrorism convictions until she was arrested on terrorism charges months after 9/11 for letting him communicate with followers. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) (The Associated Press)
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FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2012, file photo, federal defense attorneys Sabrina Shroff, left, and Jerrod Thompson Hicks exit Manhattan federal court, in New York where they were representing Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, charged with conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and of helping abduct 16 hostages, two of them American tourists, in Yemen in 1998. It can be an uncomfortable life for any defense attorney representing unpopular clients, but lawyers who agree to speak on behalf of people accused of plotting to kill Americans in terrorist attacks walk difficult road. But representing every client, regardless of the crime, is the “very essence of being a federal defender," said Shroff, an assistant federal defender. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano, File) (The Associated Press)
NEW YORK – A small group of New York defense lawyers specializing in terrorism cases know even friends and families can turn on them without notice.
These lawyers are increasingly finding themselves in the spotlight in a year that has already featured two major terror trials. And more work may be on the way as the Justice Department promotes its success at bringing terrorism defendants to justice in civil courtrooms rather than military tribunals.
Defense lawyer Anthony Ricco recalls his mother claiming she'd never speak to him again if he represented suspects in terrorism cases after Sept. 11.
Last month, Stanley Cohen represented Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and cleric, who was convicted at a Manhattan trial. Cohen needed protection for weeks after the 9/11 attacks because of his support for the Muslim community.