The Devil's Advocate

The Devil’s Advocate follows three high-profile defense attorneys, their clients accused of terrorism, and the implications of the words “justice for all.”

woman outside courthouse giving a speech
NETA Presentation
Premiere Date
January 5, 2021
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Series and Special Projects

Hilke Schellmann

Hilke Schellmann is a video journalist for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and spearheads video coverage as a "one woman band." She has worked as a coordinating producer for National Geographic Television and on documentaries for the American Undercover series on HBO. Schellmann, together with Habiba Nosheen, produced a half-hour special on Show more surrogacy that aired on the Emmy-award winning show NOW on PBS in September 2009. For this investigative documentary they received a SAJA Award and the Leslie Sander Prize for Social Justice. Schellmann’s work has been appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Time magazine, and The Atlantic, as well as on German public television and WYNC. Schellmann is a German native and a former Fulbright fellow. In Germany she worked as a staff producer for the science documentary show Galileo Mystery. She holds a master's degree in cultural theory from Humboldt University (Berlin) and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. Show less

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Habiba Nosheen

Habiba Nosheen is a Pakistani filmmaker and a journalist based in New York. Her radio documentary What Happened at Dos Erres? aired on This American Life and was called "a masterpiece of storytelling" by The New Yorker. Previously, she shot and produced the PBS films Surrogacy: Wombs for Rent? and To Adopt a Child. Nosheen teaches at Columbia University's Show more Graduate School of Journalism. She is fluent in English, Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi, with conversational knowledge of French. Born in Lahore, Pakistan she immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of nine. She has reported extensively from South Asia. Nosheen works in print, radio, and television documentaries. Her stories have been published in The New York Times, Time magazine, Glamour, and Washington Post, and on PBS, CBC, BBC, and NPR. Nosheen has received numerous prestigious awards for her reporting including: 2012 Silver Prize for Best Documentary by the Third Coast Festival, the 2012 Gracie award for Outstanding Reporter/Correspondent, a Gemini nomination, the South Asian Journalist Association Award, the Morton Mintz Award for International Reporting, and the Leslie Sanders Award. She was part of the team that won the Best Canadian Feature Award at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a master’s degree from York University in Women's Studies. Show less

Other ITVS Films
Outlawed in Pakistan

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The Film

In the Pledge of Allegiance, we vow “justice for all,” but when “all” includes accused international and domestic terrorists, justice becomes a contentious notion. For the defense lawyers who represent terror suspects, upholding justice feels like the embodiment of their civil duties, even as vocal naysayers lambast them as unpatriotic traitors. These attorneys in New York and elsewhere face public outcries – and even death threats – to provide their clients with the fair trials that our U.S. Constitution aims to ensure. Upholding the law and remaining true to their ideals can take a personal toll. The Devil’s Advocate considers the experiences of three high-profile defense attorneys, their clients, and the implications of the words “justice for all.”