Attorney Discusses Taking Jahi McMath Case, Death Threats

Some call Chris Dolan scrappy. Others condemn him for giving a family false hope for a brain-dead child.

The attorney also received death threats while representing the Jahi McMath family during a public fight to keep the 13-year-old girl on life support. Dolan said he's willing to be the villain if it means fighting for the rights of people.

"I took this case fundamentally because I thought these folks didn't have the ability to assert their own rights," Dolan said in an interview with NBC Bay Area.

Protecting people's rights is what Dolan said he is about.

The San Francisco trial lawyer is known around the world as the lawyer for an Oakland teenager left brain dead after suffering complications from a routine tonsillectomy at Children's Hospital Oakland.

MORE: Jahi McMath Gets Feeding, Breathing Tubes

Dolan said he is offended when people believe he misled the McMath family and gave them false hope.

"That means that this family is dumb," he said. "I resent that they would be hoodwinked by some lawyer manipulating them. These are smart people."

Doctors at Children's Hospital Oakland and an outside physician all agree that Jahi is brain dead and will not recover.

When the McMath family reached out to him for help in December, Dolan said he believes he was the only attorney that would take the case.

"I have a skill set that can come in while there's a freight train of injustice coming down on someone and use the law to say stop," Dolan said.

But by taking the case, many, including Children's Hospital Oakland, accuse Dolan of setting unrealistic expectations for the family and creating a false impression for the public.

Dolan said his relationship with Jahi's family has become more personal after they worked to get her transported to an undisclosed facility.

"Do I believe in miracles? I do," he said. "Do I believe if Jahi's going to receive a miracle? Not for me to decide."

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