Gerry Spence


>>ART LIFE AND THE LAW.
PART 1 NEXT ON “WYOMING
CHRONICLE” [ MUSIC ] >>HELLO.
I’M RICHARD AGER.
WELCOME TO “WYOMING CHRONICLE..”
PART 1 OF OUR INTERVIEW WITH
GERRY SPENCE. HE’S KNOWN AS A LAWYER WHO
NEVER LOST A CRIMINAL CASE.
HIS CLIENTS INCLUDE WEAVER AND THE STOKES WOOD FAMILY.
THEY CALL HIM THE FASTEST GUN
IN THE WEST. GERRY SPENCE HAS MADE WYOMING
HIS HOME, BUT HIS WORK AND HIS
LEGACY IS FOR THE NATION. >>GERRY SPENCE BEGAN HIS
PUBLIC LIFE IN 1954 RUNNING FOR
FREMONT COUNTY ATTORNEY. HE HAD RISKS, INCLUDING AN
ATTEMPT ON HIS — ATTEMPTS ON
HIS LIFE. HE MOVED HIS LAW OFFICE TO
BIGGER DIGS.
HIS ONLY LOSS WAS RUNNING FOR CONGRESSMAN.
HE LEFT IT ALL BEHIND, HE PUT
EVERYTHING UP TO SALE AND MOVED TO SAN FRANCISCO TO STUDY
PAINTING.
SAN FRANCISCO DIDN’T LAST, BUT HE STILL PAINTS.
MOST IMPORTANT, FOLLOWING HIS
ARTISTIC IMPULSE LED HIM TO GREATER ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE LAW
AND A NEW FOCUS IN DEFENDING
THE LITTLE GUY. HE IMPARTS THAT MESSAGE IN THE
CLASSES HE FOUNDED IN DID HE
BOYS IN 1984. >>TODAY WHAT ARE WE GOING TO
DO?
WE ARE GOING TO PAINT. WHAT DO YOU KNOW?
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH
BEING A TRIAL LAWYER? EVERY PRESENTATION THAT YOU
MAKE TO THE JURY HAS ITS
COUNTERPART IN A PAINTING. IT HAS A BEGINNING, AND IT HAS
AN END.
IT HAS CONTENT. IT HAS CONTRAST.
IT HAS FORM.
IT HAS BEAUTY. THAT’S WHAT YOUR PRESENTATION
TO THE JURY CONTAINS.
IT CONTAINS YOU. SO,, THERE IS PLENTY OF PAINT
AND PLENTY OF PAPER, GO DO IT!
[ APPLAUSE ] [ LAUGHTER ]
>>I FEEL VERY INADEQUATE RIGHT
NOW. >>I’VE BEEN PRACTICING 30
YEARS SO I HAVE A LOT OF THINGS
TO LEARN TO UNDO RATHER THAN START ON A NEW PALLET.
>>LIKE WHAT?
>>JUST TO GET REAL. I GET SO PASSIONATE ABOUT MY
CLIENTS, I WANT TO TAKE
SOMEONE’S HEAD OFF ON CROSS- EXAMINATION.
I HAVE TO LEARN TO LOVE THE
OTHER SIDE. >>BREAKING DOWN CHILDHOOD IS
ONE STEP IN BREAKING DOWN
INTERNAL BARRIERS. >>JODY RAY FOREMAN [ APPLAUSE
]
>>THE FIRST THREE DAYS IN THE THREE-WEEK COURSE ARE SPENT IN
PSYCHODRAMA.
>>TO BE A GOOD TRIAL LAWYER YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO REVERSE
ROLES WITH YOUR CLIENT.
IN OTHER WORDS, THIS IS NOT A NEW CONCEPT, IT’S TO WALK IN
ANOTHER PERSON’S SHOES.
>>WHEN YOU DO THE PSYCHODRAMA, YOU GET UP IN FRONT OF PEOPLE
YOU DON’T KNOW, THESE ARE MY
BROTHERSANCIES TERSE. I FEEL VERY — IT’S TOUGH TO
DESCRIBE WHAT GERRY’S BRINGING
IT OUT IN ME. I LIKE IT.
I FEEL LIKE I’VE COME A LONG
WAY. >>THEY DON’T JUST START DOING
LAWYERING TECHNIQUES.
THEY’RE ASKED TO LOOK AT THEMSELVES AND THEIR OWN
METHODS THAT KEEP THEM AWAY
FROM UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE. [ BELL RINGING ]
>>AND WHAT BETTER PLACE FOR
SELF-EXAMINATION THAN AT THUNDERHEAD RANCH IN THE
MOUNTAINS EAST OF DESBOISE.
>>WHEN PARTICIPANTS COME TO THE TRIAL LAWYER’S COTTAGE THEY
LEAVE THE OUTSIDE WORLD BEHIND.
THERE’S NO TV OR INTERNET, AND IF YOU MUST PLACE A CELLPHONE
CALL, YOU HAVE TO CLIMB
CELLPHONE HILL. THERE IS PLENTY OF INSTRUCTIONS
ON THE ART OF OPENING
STATEMENTS, CROSS-EXAMINATIONS AND CLOSING ARGUMENTS, BUT HERE
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE FOCUS ON
THE PERSON BEFORE THE LAW, AS IN THIS HYPOTHETICAL INJURY
CASE.
>>AND I WANT JUSTICE FOR YOU, KELLY.
AND I WANT YOU TO USE YOUR
POWER, NOT ONLY TO GIVE IT TO HER, BUT TO GIVE IT TO EVERY
OTHER HONEST WOMAN AND EVERY
OTHER HONEST MAN WHO COMES INTO A COURT AND STANDS BEFORE HER
PEERS OR HIS PEERS AND TELLS
YOU THE TRUTH AND ASKS YOU FOR JUSTICE.
THANK YOU.
>>WAS IN THE SPRING, SPRING BECAME THE SUMMER, WHO WOULD
HAVE BELIEVED YOU WOULD COME
ALONG [ SINGING ] >>I THINK WHEN YOU JUST BE
REAL WITH THE JURY, AND I THINK
IF YOU JUST BE YOURSELF AND YOU KEEP GROUNDED AND YOU SHOW THEM
A LITTLE BIT OF YOURSELF AND
THEY’LL SHOW YOU A LITTLE BIT OF THEMSELVES.
AFTER THIS AROUSING COURSE IN
SWEET CAROLINE AND MAKING A COUPLE OF PAINTINGS, WHAT
DIFFERENCE DO YOU FEEL?
>>I FEEL A LITTLE FREER AND A LITTLE BIT LIGHTER AND I DON’T
NEED TO TAKE MYSELF AS
SERIOUSLY AS WE ALL TAKE OURSELVES FAR TUTU OFTEN.
>>SWEET CAROLINE [ SINGING ] [
CHEERING ] >>WHAT WAS IT ABOUT, THAT
PURSUIT THAT MADE YOU DO THAT?
>>WHAT COULD A POOR WYOMING BOY DO WHO WAS FAIRLY VOCAL AND
— BUT HE DIDN’T WANT TO BE A
PREACHER. WHO USED THEIR SPEAKING
TALENTS?
HOW WOULD YOU USE THEM? I DIDN’T WANT TO BE A PREACHER.
I DIDN’T WANT TO BE A TEACHER.
AND I NEVER KNEW A LAWYER. AND I READ SOME STORIES ABOUT
GREAT LAWYERS AND THOUGHT THAT
MAYBE THAT WOULD BE REALLY FUN, TO BE A LAWYER.
SO,, THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED.
>>I WAS WONDERING, THOUGH, AS YOU STARTED OUT AS A YOUNG
LAWYER, DID YOU REGARD IT AS A
JOB OR AS A LIFE? >>WELL, IT WAS AN OPPORTUNITY
TO FEED MY FACE AND THE FACE OF
MY WIFE AND THE FACE OF MY CHILDREN.
I HAD ONE CHILD AND ANOTHER ONE
WAS ON THE WAY. SO, IT WAS A MEANS BY WHICH TO
MAKE A LIVING.
>>AT ONE POINT ACTUALLY YOU DECIDED TO DITCH THE LAW AND
TAKE UP PAINTING?
>>WELL, I DID THAT. >>AND HOW DID THAT WORK OUT?
>>WELL, THE LAW AS I SAW IT AT
THAT TIME WAS BROKEN, AND AS I SEE IT TODAY, I STILL SEE THAT
THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS SEVERELY
BROKEN AND DOES NOT OFFER ANYTHING EXCEPT A PROMISE, AN
EMPTY PROMISE TO PEOPLE OF
LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. IT IS NOT THERE.
PEOPLE CAN’T GET JUSTICE IN
THIS COUNTRY. PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THEY CAN
GET JUSTICE UNTIL THEY NEED IT
AND THEN THEY CAN’T GET IT. AND IT — I WAS ABOUT 38 YEARS
OLD, I HAD BEEN IN THE LAW
SINCE I WAS 24 YEARS OLD, I HAD ACCOMPLISHED ABOUT EVERYTHING I
COULD ACCOMPLISH IN THE STATE
OF WYOMING. I HAD EVERY VERDICT RECORD IN
THE STATE.
I HAD THE LARGEST VERDICTS THAT PEOPLE HAD EVER HEARD OF IN
THIS STATE.
I NEVER LOST A CRIMINAL TRIAL. AND YET I WASN’T GETTING — I
WAS NOT PROVIDING JUSTICE.
I COULDN’T PROVIDE JUSTICE. THE SYSTEM WAS WRONG.
AND SO WHAT I THOUGHT TO
MYSELF, WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY LIFE THAT WOULD HELP THIS.
AND I THOUGHT, MAYBE — I’M A
PAINTER, I BEGAN PAINTING IN MY FIRST MARRIAGE IN THE MISERY OF
MY LIFE, AND I WOULD PAINT OUT
MY MISERY AND I’D PAINT OUT MY IMAGINATIONS AND MY SENSES, AND
MY FEELINGS AND THE PAINTINGS
WERE STACKING UP AND I GOT A GREAT DEAL OF PLEASURE FROM
THAT AND RELIEF, AND I THOUGHT
MAYBE I SHOULD BECOME A PAINTER, BECAUSE I COULD TEACH
PEOPLE A LOT ABOUT LIVING
THROUGH PAINTING. PAINTING IS NOTHING, BUT A MET
FOR OF LIFE.
>>YOU’VE WRITTEN ABOUT AN INCIDENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE
AFTER YOUR YEARS AS A CORPORATE
LAWYER FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES. YOU CAN DESCRIBE THAT DAY?
>>WELL, THIS GUN SHRINKER,
THIS CORPORATE GUN SHRINKER DEFENDING AN INSURANCE COMPANY
WITH THIS DRUNKEN WOMAN WHO RAN
INTO AN OLD WOMAN AND WAS ABOUT TO RETIRE AND SPEND HIS WHOLE
LIFE, HE WORKED IN A REFINERY
HOPING THAT SOME DAY HE COULD RETIRE.
AND HE WAS JUST RETIRED AND WAS
GOING TO SPEND HIS TIME WITH SOMETHING THAT HE WANTED TO DO
ALL OF HIS LIFE AND THAT WAS TO
BE WITH HIS GRANDCHILDREN, TO GO OUT AND DO OTHER THINGS, GO
FISHING, HIKE, AND ALL THESE
THINGS AND WAS INJURED BY THIS WOMAN AND NEVER RECOVERED.
I TOOK HIM ON, THEY PUT HIM ON
THE STAND, I TOOK HIM ON. AND WHEN I WAS FINISHED WITH MY
CROSS-EXAMINATION, HE DIDN’T
LOOK GOOD. AND THE JURY DIDN’T GIVE HIM
ANYTHING.
AND I AM IMOGENE WHO I WAS HAVING AN AFFAIR, SHE WALKED
OUT OF THE COURTROOM AND HER
FANNY WAS GOING OUT OF THE COURT LIKE JUST, YOU KNOW, AND
I STOPPED THE CROSS-EXAMINATION
IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT CROSS- EXAMINATION AND RAN OUT AFTER
HER.
THIS IS HOW ARROGANT AND HOW MUCH I BELIEVED —
>>DID THE JUDGE SEE THIS.
>>I OWNED THIS WHOLE WORLD AS FAR AS I WAS CONCERNED.
I SAID WHAT’S THE MATTER, WHERE
ARE YOU GOING? SHE SAID THAT’S DISGUSTING WHAT
YOU DID TO THAT OLD MAN.
SO,, LATER ON WE’RE AT THE CNI, SAFE WAY BUYING SOME KIND OF
GOODIES FOR CELEBRATION AND IN
FRONT OF ME IS THIS OLD MAN. AND HE’S HOBBLING ALONG AND HE
TURNS AROUND AND HE SAYS WHO HE
IS AND I SAID I’M SORRY WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN YOUR CASE.
HE SAID THAT’S ALL RIGHT. ,
MR. SPENSE, YOU WERE JUST DOING YOUR JOB.
AND I THOUGHT, IS THAT MY JOB?
TO CHEAT OLD MEN OUT OF JUSTICE?
SO THAT NIGHT I’M WITH IMOGENE
AND I SAID TO IMOGENE, IS THAT MY JOB?
AND SHE DIDN’T ANSWER.
NOW, THESE WOMEN YOU KNOW, KNOW SOMETIMES HOW POWERFUL SILENCE
IS.
IT’S SOMETHING, BY THE WAY LAWYERS NEED TO LEARN IN THE
COURTROOM.
IN ANY EVENT, I THOUGHT ABOUT IT ALL NIGHT.
AND THE NEXT MORNING I GOT UP
AND I TOLD MY PARTNER BOB ROSE WHO BECAME — LATER BECAME THE
CHIEF OF THE WYOMING SUPREME
COURT, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE WYOMING SUPREME COURT.
I SAID BOB, I’M NOT GOING TO
REPRESENT ANY MORE. I SENT LETTERS TO 40 INSURANCE
COMPANIES.
WE NEVER LOOKED BACK. IT CHANGED OUR LIVES.
>>IN THE YEARS SINCE, OF
COURSE, YOU HAVE HAD QUITE A NUMBER OF VERY HIGH PROFILE
CASES, ONE THAT, OF COURSE,
BECAME FAMOUS, NOT ONLY FROM THE CASE YOU ARGUED BUT THE
MOVIE THAT FOLLOWED WAS THE
VICTORY — THE CASE THAT YOU ARREST GOOD IN THE CASE OF
KAREN SILKWOOD.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE LASTING EFFECT OF THAT CASE?
>>WELL, I BELIEVE THAT WE
LEARNED THAT CORPORATE AMERICA WOULD LIE.
THE CASE DEVELOPED THAT, THE
PROOF OF IT, MAYBE THEY WOULD EVEN KILL TO MAKE MONEY.
WE KNOW THAT THEY WILL LET
PEOPLE STARVE. WE KNOW THAT THEY WILL CHEAT
OLD PEOPLE AND YOUNG PEOPLE AND
HELPLESS PEOPLE AND TAKE THEIR MONEY AND CLAIM TO BE GREAT
BUSINESSMEN.
BUT, WILL THEY LIE, WILL THEY MURDER TO KEEP THE PRIVILEGE OF
MAKING MONEY?
THAT’S THE QUESTION THAT WAS RAISED IN THE SILKWOOD CASE.
THE JURY ANSWERED THAT QUESTION
WITH THE HUGE VERDICT. >>ANOTHER CASE NOT INVOLVING
CORPORATIONS, BUT IN THIS CASE
THE GOVERNMENT, OF COURSE, WAS THE RUBY RIDGE CASE INVOLVING
RANDY WEAVE, MANY MIGHT SAY HE
WAS NOT AN ATTRACTIVE CLIENT, WHAT’S A WHITE SUPREMACIST,
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GET
INVOLVED IN THIS CASE? >>WELL, I HADN’T REALLY A
CHOICE.
THE GOVERNMENT WITH ITS UNLIMITED POWER, HAD DECIDED
THAT THEY WERE GOING TO TAKE
RANDY WEAVE IN AND PROSECUTE HIM AND I THINK WRONGLY FOR A
CAUSE, THEY SET IT UP TO SAW
OFF A GUN, AND BROUGHT AN AGENT IN.
WHEN HE DID IT BECAUSE HE
NEEDED THE MONEY TO BUY SCHOOL CLOTHES FOR THEIR KIDS, THEY
PROSECUTED HIM AND THEN THEY
WANTED HIM TO FLIP AND TO BECOME A SNITCH FOR THEM AND GO
AFTER OTHERS AND HE SAID I
WON’T DO THAT AND THE GOVERNMENT THEN DECIDED I’M NOT
GOING TO BRING THEM IN AND
RANDY SAID YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BRING ME IN, THAT’S WHAT IN
EFFECT IT WAS.
>>YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN A SENSE I GET AND YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT
HOW YOU BECOME INVOLVED AS A
PERSON IN YOUR CASES, YOU MUST HAVE HAD STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT
THAT CASE TO TAKE IT ON?
>>ABSOLUTELY. IT’S A HORRIBLE — AS A MATTER
OF FACT,, THE GOVERNMENT LATER
PAID $3 MILLION TO THOSE FOLKS. AND THEY HAD A BIG HEARING, YOU
KNOW, A CONGRESSIONAL HEARING,
AND THE F.B.I. HAD AN INVESTIGATION OF ITSELF
AND ALL THE STUFF THAT THE
GOVERNMENT DOES THAT GOES NOWHERE.
THEY FINALLY PAID THE FAMILY $3
MILLION, BUT THAT’S — BUT I HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING HERE.
I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE TRIAL
OF CASES AGAINST GOVERNMENTS DEFENDING PEOPLE, LITTLE PEOPLE
AND EVEN OCCASIONALLY BIG
PEOPLE. AND I HAVE NEVER, HEAR ME, I
HAVE NEVER ONCE BEEN IN A
SINGLE CASE OVER A PERIOD OF 60 YEARS IN THE COURTROOMS OF THIS
COUNTRY THAT THE GOVERNMENT
HASN’T VIOLATED THE LAW OR MISUSED ITS POWER FOR ONE CASE,
NOT ONE.
AND THEY BRAG ABOUT A 98% CONVICTION RATE AND YOU CAN
IMAGINE WHY.
THEY HAVE THIS HUGE POWER AND THEY USE IT AGAINST LITTLE
PEOPLE.
>>NOW, AT THE TIME YOU SAID THIS WAS A MURDER CASE, BUT THE
PEOPLE WHO COMMITTED THE MURDER
ARE NOT IN COURT? >>ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY.
>>YOU REPRESENTED A LOT OF
WELL-KNOWN PEOPLE, DEMARCHE COAST FOR ONE, YOU REPRESENTED
MISS WYOMING IN A SUIT AGAINST
A MAGAZINE. I’M CURIOUS, WHAT CASE IN ALL
OF THESE YEARS SORT OF STICKS
IN YOUR MIND THE MOST? WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST
MEMORABLE?
>>YOU KNOW, IN A WAY YOUR QUESTION IS LIKE, I HAVE THAT
QUESTION PUT TO ME OFTEN AND I
STOP TO THINK ABOUT IT LIKE THAT OFTEN.
BUT, THESE CASES THEY’RE LIKE
YOUR CHILDREN. AND THEY HAVE AN IMPORTANCE OF
THEIR OWN IN YOU.
WHEN IT’S OVER, THAT CASE IS DONE AND THE NEXT CHILD IS
BORN.
AND YOU WOULD LIKE ALMOST LIKE, SAY, ANY FATHER THE CASE THAT
STANDS OUT MOST CLEARLY IN MY
MIND AFTER ALL THESE YEARS IS MY LAST ONE.
SO, I CAN’T REALLY ANSWER THAT
QUESTION. >>ACTUALLY THAT’S A GOOD
ANSWER, I THINK.
THERE WAS A DIFFICULT TIME THAT YOU HAVE TALKED ABOUT BECAUSE
YOU DO OPPOSE CAPITAL
PUNISHMENT, BUT IN ONE CASE BACK IN 1978 YOU ACTUALLY ACTED
AS A PROSECUTOR IN A CAPITAL
CASE. BUT, WHEN THE DEFENDANT WAS
CONVICTED AND, OF COURSE, LATER
EXECUTED, YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND.
I’M WONDERING WHAT SORT OF
EVOLUTION YOU WENT THROUGH AT THAT POINT?
>>I NEVER REALLY CHANGED MY
MIND ABOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AGAINST
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT EVEN WHEN I
WAS A YOUNG PROSECUTOR. IN THOSE DAYS, IN THE EARLY
DAYS, IF SOMEBODY WAS CHARGED
WITH MURDER, AND CONVICTED OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER, THE
SENTENCE WAS DEATH, PERIOD.
AND YOU THEN HAD TO GO TO THE COURT AND ASK THE COURT FOR
LENIENCY OR TO THE JURY FOR
LENIENCY IN CERTAIN CASES. BUT, IN THE HOPKINSON CASE
WHICH IS THE ONE THAT YOU’RE
TALKING ABOUT I WAS FACED WITH A DILEMMA, A CONFLICT THAT ONE
FACES, THAT TESTS ONE, TESTS
WHO YOU ARE. AND WE DON’T ALWAYS PASS THOSE
TESTS TO OURSELVES EVEN.
AND HOPKINSON HAD MURDERED ONE OF MY GOOD FRIENDS, VINCE
VEHART, AND HE PAID A KID TO
BLOW HIM UP, BLOWUP THE HOUSE. THE KID WENT OUT AND GOT SOME
BEAVER DAMN DYNAMITE THAT HIS
FATHER HAD AND HE THREW IT INTO THE HOUSE AND HE BLEW HIM AND
HIS WIFE AND HIS 15-YEAR-OLD,
KILLED THREE PEOPLE, AND INJURED A THIRD WHO IS NOW A
LAWYER IN WYOMING, A GOOD
LAWYER. AND HOPKINSON WAS ARROGANT
ABOUT IT.
SO,, I TOOK THE CASE AND I PROSECUTED HOPKINSON.
AND I MADE THE ARGUMENT AND I
SAID TO THE JURY, I’M AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.
BUT WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DEFEND
OURSELVES. >>WELL, HOPKINSON WAS EXECUTED
IN 1992, THAT WAS OUR LAST
EXECUTION, THE FIRST IN 26 YEARS.
I’M WONDERING ABOUT YOUR
FEELINGS ABOUT THE CASE TODAY. I MEAN YOU HAVE, OBVIOUSLY,
STRONG FEELINGS WHEN YOU TOOK
THE CASE IN 1978, I’M WONDERING IF ANYTHING HAS CHANGED?
>>NOTHING’S CHANGED WITH
RESPECT TO MY FEELING ABOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.
I TRIED TO SAVE HOP KIN SON’S
LIFE. HE USED TO SEND ME LETTERS
SAYING HE WAS GOING TO HAVE ME
SKINNED ALIVE AND HAVE MY WIFE SKINNED ALIVE AND ALL KINDS OF
HORRIBLE THINGS THAT HE WOULD
SAY AND SEND TO ME. HE WAS QUITE A GOOD LOOKING
YOUNG MAN AND VERY CHARISMATIC
AND — BUT HE WAS AN EVIL GUY, AND I’VE NEVER CHANGED MY VIEW.
I WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECTLY
WILLING AND WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO HAVE HIM SPEND HIS
LIFE IN PRISON, IN WYOMING.
>>BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT YOU’RE MOST FAMOUS FOR IS YOUR
WINNING STREAK.
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU LOST A CASE?
>>I’VE NEVER LOST A CRIMINAL
CASE AS A PROSECUTOR OR A DEFENSE ATTORNEY.
AND THE LAST LOST A CASE WAS IN
1969. >>YOU WERE ASKED AT ONE POINT,
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU LOST A
CASE, AND YOU SAID, WELL, IT WOULDN’T MAKE ME LESS OF A
LAWYER THE PAIN WOULD BE SO
OVERWHELMING I WOULD DIE JUST AS SURELY AS A SWORD WAS PUT
THROUGH ME.
DID YOU MEAN THAT? >>YES, OF COURSE.
BECAUSE THE PAIN COMES FROM
WHEN YOU SEE YOUR CLIENT THAT YOU LOVE, THAT YOU’VE LEARNED
TO LOVE, AND YOU CAN’T — IT’S
A VERY — IT’S A PROCESS OF AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN YOU AND THIS
PERSON CHARGED WITH THIS CRIME.
YOU UNDERSTAND THIS PERSON, YOU’VE LIVED WITH THIS PERSON,
YOU UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY CAME
FROM. YOU ABSORB THEIR BACKGROUNDS,
YOU CARE ABOUT THEM.
AND YOU SEE THE SHERIFF PUT THE CHAINS ON HIM AND HALL HIM OUT
OF THE COURTROOM.
AND YOU THINK TO YOURSELF, IT’S MY FAULT.
IF I HAD DONE SOMETHING JUST A
LITTLE BETTER. IF IN THE HEAT OF CROSS-
EXAMINATION, I WOULDN’T HAVE
BEEN SO ANGRY. ALONG THE WAY, IN THE FINAL
ARGUMENT IF I HADN’T FORGOTTEN
TO SAY WHATEVER IT WAS I FORGOT TO SAY.
AND IT’S MY FAULT BECAUSE IF I
HAD DONE MY JOB CORRECTLY HE WOULD BE FREE. [ MUSIC ]

29 Comments

  • Gerry has been an inspiration for me during my trek in law school, and I do hope to have the chance to participate in one of his trial lawyer classes. This is just a simple thanks to Gerry for his work, his writings, and his dedication to Wyoming.

  • Amazing video! Our partner Frances Lynch is a graduate of Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers' College. She highly recomends the program.

  • Keep on Trucking Gerry Spence. Your neighbor in Ventura Ca. George Benz

  • Every attorney who seeks justice against the corporatocracy and government overreaching would do well to seek Mr. Spence's help. The insights into self Mr. Spence's programs offer are second to none. If anything, the authentic trial lawyer screaming inside every lawyer finally gets a chance to breath, the chance to seize the moment and get justice for a client.
    Some insights can be so powerful that one may realize s/he lacks the commitment to seek justice and may not be fit to be a lawyer.

  • Ask Gerry about Anne Danaher.

  • As a prosecutor, he turned away many cases that other prosecutors would have taken, because he felt that the evidence was not strong enough.

  • For the same reason we have American movies being watched in theaters all around the world.

  • You can turn them off… Try it… YOU DID IT!!!. I'm so proud of you! Don't let people making fun of you for eating crayons get you down!

  • Gerry Spence is the MOST successful Trial Trial in our history and although he wants to TEACH others his Talents and Skills, what Gerry has goes FAR beyond 'something' that can be TAUGHT….it is a 'spiritual' aspect added to Education, skill building by Experience.  You cannot TEACH someone to be 'empathetic' or spiritual in BEing.  

  • Wisest man of our time.

  • Gerry Spence – A FAKE in Wyoming!!! Never HELPS the VICTIMS!!!
    ONLY CARES about Rapists, & Criminal SLIME!!! June 26, 2014.
    Marcus de Salem, ORG 97301

  • Living art.

  • she says to be more real..lmao an a-turn-ney be real..lmao

  • ive spoken to people in Wyoming who told me Gerry spence is the biggest asshole in the world.i find that easy to believe.i don't care for him because I think hes a pompous ass.plus if I was a judge id tell him buckskin jackets and cowboy hats are okay for wild west shows,but in my court youll wear a suit. id keep him in line!

  • Although my letters to your office asking for assistance failed. It is great to hear the truth from an attorney/lawyer that admits the corporate world and indeed the government is wrong in their actions toward the people..Thank you Gerry Spence for defending some of those people and telling it like it is.

  • Amazing!!

  • ps: "LACK OF WORK history" ? Really ? Why would you expect a work history from a disabled man ? Lack of Work Restrictions ? Really ? How could one have work restrictions without employment ? What a FARCE. Judges are thieves and PERVERTS of law. You Tube: LAWLESS AMERICA

  • Do you see how powerful it is when someone has the nerve to stand up to arrogance? This little fanny whip him into reality! This is why you must say something to people to snap them back into reality.

    "Is that my job? To cheat old men out of justice?"

  • That's how I so fully heartily believed, our country provides justice until you go after justice. Then you find there really isn't any justice.

  • remember when spence went against bugliousi in the jfk assassination mock trial? I have an idea? if spence is still around I would love to talk with him.

  • my mom. passed away in 1989 and Mr. spence was her favorite lawyer…I was second!

  • A great way to spend 30 minutes of your life. Listen.

  • Just wish he could have defended me.

  • Spence have you been able to view The Wall In Berlin Germany 1990

  • That closed mouth grin is very disarming……that is what life teaches you if you're paying attention. Quite a unique individual…. humble yet not without a big ego…he needs one what he does.

  • I could listen to him all day

  • This guys is what Heros are made of

  • One remarkable man.

  • God bless this man!

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