Where should we go from here?

Folks,

I feel fulfilled and honored when I earn your company as faithful readers. I have enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas—and I’m gratified that you were out there to discuss them. To communicate with you has been a privilege and a frontal attack on the ubiquitous loneliness from which many of us suffer beyond the demanding encounters we experience in our everyday carryings-on.

Still, I am wondering, how do you feel? And what are your expectations of me? What are your expectations for this community of ours? What would you like to talk about?

I am like a New York City delicatessen—I have a lot of ready items on my menu, as I’m sure you do.

Let me hear from you.

Best, ever,

Gerry

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126 responses to “Where should we go from here?

  1. Gerry, I am an attorney in Canada who represents only franchisees.

    I come to your blog to learn the language of fighting for the underdog.

    Your language is inspiring, even though I don’t do criminal trials.

    Keep on educating and inspiring us on how to fight the good fight.

  2. You lead. We’ll follow.

  3. How was that for a non-answer to the great question? I’m lazy tonight I guess

  4. Ben M. Davidson

    Gerry – I’ve enjoyed the blog, especially your insights on current events like the torture debate. When are you going to write another book?

    Ben

  5. The GOP operatives brand the Obama appointee/ nominees to be on the U S. Supreme Court, as a racist, because she made a speech in 2001 at U C, Berkeley that stated:
    ” I ( Sonia Sotomayer)would hope that that a wise Latina woman with richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life”.

    Is that really a racist slur ?
    My humble opinion as a white cracker , joe six pack, foul mouth, uncouth back woods, salt of the eath, with out the “color” card is that it is not a racist slur.
    But, then, I never went to Princeton, or Yale, or was in the right clubs, or have the elite experience that so elevates one to high benches. But, I have had experencies, and they have not all been enriching, some have been down right in the pits.
    I would be curious on other views.
    On my expectations on Gerry. I have none, he owes us nothing, he is a man who should be appointed to the U S Supreme Court, I place his name in the hopper, are you listening, and looking Mr President.

    Gerry Spence to fill the next open seat on the High Court.

  6. Rex Hodges, Attorney

    Gerry
    With a financial/business background, I spent several years practicing law and avoiding the courthouse. After spending most of 2004 and 2005 as civilian for the Depts of Defense and State in Iraq and witnessing the complete void of justice left by Sadaam, upon returning to the U.S., I took on a couple of criminal defense matters and a pro-bono Section 1983 case to whet my teeth in federal court. The complete lack of justice in Iraq gave enhanced appreciation for our system in America but I have been appalled by some of the lack or even avoidance of the pursuit of truth and full disclosure by a few officials sworn to uphold same on behalf of the less-privileged in our society.
    I was led to your blog by an ABA web forum and am very appreciative of your mission to seek equal justice for all. I hope to attend one of your workshops before too long and until then look forward to your insights and advice regarding making justice available to the little man.
    Many thanks
    Rex Hodges

  7. Gerry – More than anything else, I look for your comments and guidance on the essence of being a trial lawyer. It took me years to start understanding that trial work is based on a fierce love for and connection with people, with you and TLC lawyers as my mentors. As I work to convey that essence to my students, your comments are like gold. – Jim

  8. The biggest question in history now has an easy answer now thanks to technology but Americans have been taught to defer their thinking to a corrupt government and a press that couldn’t figure out a complex question if I told them the answer. They’d ask the government.

    Gerry Spence became part of this lie along with Vince Bugliosi in a mock trial in London over 20 years ago. Americans have become absolute fools in part due to this lie because if you believe the official explanation, it means that your functional IQ is considerably less than room temperature.

    For the first time there is now a verifiably easy solution to one is probably the biggest question in American history and being an American you’ll probably defer any serious thought to someone else.

  9. Gerry,
    This is going to be very interesting. It is the ultimate question in an ultimate group.
    Ultimate question ? Yes… What now ? Adam received one very suprising answer when he asked that of Eve. Abel received an equally suprising ,( albeit more of a downer), answer when he asked the same question of Cain.
    Ultimate Group ? In some senses Yes, ( with apologies to Focus on the Family, The Church, The National Education Association, The American Legion and Doctor Phil). Because, once you step outside the family groups like this are the primal building block… groups whose purpose is nothing and thus everything. In pre-colonial Conneticut you could not be a town unless you had a pub, ( I am not suggesting that you serve alcohol.). Mrs. Socrates was reportedly always dragging the Mr. home from his early web group. In Italien neighborhoods in metropolitan Toronto the older neighborhoods,
    with front porches where, after dinner, the men would gather by the street lights and the women gather on the porches had a much lower
    incidence of heart attack than the newer neighborhoods with no porches.
    I did not start out intending to compare you to a street light but it seems that I have done just that.
    A man could do much worse than to be a street light Mr. Spence. Glow on,on whatever damn thing you choose.

  10. Mr Spence, I would like a roast beef on rye.
    Can I first show you mine? I have like many in our line of work drink too much sometimes. Since my attending your college in 2004 , I have quit smoking and drinking hard alcohol. Wine is now my drink of choice and I like my father once did, drink too much of it. I am waiting for a jury to come back after a 5 week trial and last night, I drank more than I should have to cover up the feelings of
    not having control of the outcome and the fear of failure.
    You have changed many a life in your college not only making better lawyers who care but also changing the quality of our lives by making us look at ourselves honestly.
    Your thoughts on drink, fear and abusing ourselves and how that all trickles down.
    I have the selfish need to ask you this, there are I am sure so many other subjects more readable but to me no more important, it effects so many —- and yes, me.
    IF you feel this is to personal a subject I would appreciate private note but I am open to being open about this and see where it takes us all .

  11. Hi Gerry. To be able to participate in this blog and read your thoughts on various issues we all have to face has been a real pleasure for me, as I’m sure it has for all your readers. As to what I “expect” from you and this community, I have to say I really don’t know if I have any expectations. I’m a bit reluctant to ask anything of a person who has been so willing to communicate with us as you have been. I thinnk this blog is a great place to share thoughts just the way it is. But if I think of anything in the next day or two, could I post it then? My mind is “running on empty” at the moment. 🙂

  12. In your eyes, what are the roles of small town lawyers in today’s environment of bank failures, corporate greed, an expanding government, and the host of other seemingly recent problems? What areas of law and types of clients need the most help? In what ways can we be of the greatest assistance?

    C.

  13. You don’t necessarily have to post this comment, but I would like to hear more of your religious views. What are your thoughts on the Bible–its authenticity. I’m not so concerned with all of the different interpretations, etc. and how ministers/followers of Christ have used it to their advantage and perverted Christianity. Do you believe Jesus is the son of God, and if you do not, how do you get around the strong evidence supporting his time on earth.

    • Paulthomas, I look at my dogs who are wiser than I. They do not ask questions they cannot answer.
      I was having lunch with a Nobel Prize winning physicist some time ago. I asked him the question you ask. “You know all about the big bang,” I said. “So what was there before the bang?” He replied, “That is no question.” I said, “Why isn’t it a question?” He said, “A question without an answer is no question.”

      Gerry

  14. I actually bought your book because I’m interested in communication. Verbal, non-verbal, etc. It would seem you are able to captivate the jurors in your trials (I only have your book “How to argue…” to go by btw. Law is another interest, so I thought they came well in hand. So for me, anything related to those topics are of interest.

  15. My assumption is that this community of ours is largely populated with trial lawyers, most of whom, like me, are always looking for ways to improve our advocacy skills. For that we draw heavily from your books, the TLC, and this blog. I know that my clients have benefitted greatly from all the stuff I’ve stolen from you over the years.
    So, what do we expect from you? I think it is fair to say that your generosity of time and spirit has exceeded expectations.
    That said, I would like to know how (I mean really how) you won the Feiger case. I had the good fortune to go to Detroit to catch some of the trial. Feiger was a terrible witness. That he did not talk himself into a conviction amazed me. Granted, that prosecutor had poor cross-x skills, but Jeffrey was horrible on the stand. In fact, on paper the case against Feiger was a lock. If it was a civil case, you would have lost on summary judgment.
    What’s most troubling to me is that if I defended that case and somehow channeled your every word and gesture, I would more than likely lose and Jeffrey would be in jail today. Recently, a stikingly similar case just came down with convictions in D.C., I believe. Knowing that winning and losing, justice or jail, turns on intangibles that I don’t understand haunts me to no end. So, if you could just clear that up……

    • Just wanted to comment on your post, Bob, before I forgot what I was going to say. Geoffrey, himself, agrees with you on your point that there are intangibles that I have that he does not understand. But I told him, and I tell you, that the “intangible” is you — that it is being as real as you can, showing all the blemishes and hoping that something good and decent will also shine through. This is the intangible we all have in our own way. You have that intangible, Bob, as does every person. We just have to go looking for the self. That is the work of a lifetime. Gerry

  16. Gerry, do you have any observations on the two Phil Spector trials or the participants?

  17. Jerry,
    Do you write to impress? Does it depress?
    Maybe there’s finesse?
    Know what I mean, I guess?
    Let’s see poetry Jerry!

  18. Gerry:

    As a young attorney, I have aspired to follow your example of having a law practice dedicated to seeking justice for people, the underdogs in society. I opened my own law practice to do just that. It’s up and down, sometimes I don’t know where I’m headed or where the next client will come from or if I’ll get paid; but it’s rewarding and I’m learning.

    So, know that there is a young, aspiring trial lawyer in Minnesota who owes a lot of his enthusiasm for the practice of law to you and your books.

    Any postings you do are appreciated. But, I’m particularly interested in what you would do if you were a young attorney starting out today.

  19. Hi Gerry, I am a reader of your books(your question what kind of god wants to be worshiped? I quote almost daily). I reread Plato’s republic recently and I cant stop thinking about your suggestion that our political leaders be drafted instead of the current system.Have you had any further thoughts as to how the process may be made to work in the real world(knowing how people are as you do from experience).The present system attracts people with the ” will to power ” and clearly is a defective model.I would like to hear some suggestions and alternatives discussed.Lets use the president of the USA for starters.Thanks for all the books they have been life changing for me
    Kyle

  20. pitbull friend

    Mr. Spence, I enjoy “hearing” your stories about pretty much anything. Here are some things I’d like to hear about, if they interest you: 1) What do you read and why? 2) I hear about a lot of people going back to school because they can’t get jobs & can’t figure out what else to do. Unfortunately, many of them are applying to law school. How can we save these foolish people from themselves? (I say “foolish” because there has really been a shortage of lawyer jobs for a decade or more, even when the economy was decent, and a lot of these folks are going to be in hock up to their eyeballs.) 3) My favorite book of yours (hard choice) is With Justice for None. Any plans for a revision? Has enough changed in the world of law to warrant one? 4) I loved your blog entry about the depression opening up new opportunities for more fulfilling ways to live. Any ideas on how we can help others see the possibilities? 5) The Humane Socy of the US (about which I have mixed feelings) has announced that they are going to work with M. Vick to do anti-dogfighting ads. I don’t see any evidence of a genuine change of heart in his case – only sorry he got caught. (And he was really quite sadistic in killing them, to boot.) Do you agree? Does it matter whether he has a change of heart if he actually gets some others not to fight dogs? And there’s of course that giant racial element, as in the OJ case, which seems to muddy the issue so much. 6) Anything we can do to get the ABA and local bar associations to care about unemployed lawyers? (Or at least stop opening more law schools?) I mean, if they can’t even care about people who are a lot like them, we know how much they’re going to care about people who aren’t, no? (I spent a lot of years being an un/underemployed lawyer – thankfully not now – and felt like a turd in the punchbowl when I had the nerve to ask my law school and the local bar association for help.)

    These are some of the things I’m pondering now. Thank you for asking!

  21. Mr. Spence, I have read most of your books and have put your wisdom to good use in relating to others, both at work and at home. But I must say that the chance to ask you questions and visit with you may be a little intimidating for me. I appreciate your continuing to make your wisdom available by this blog you have created. I probably have a million questions and observations, but am also some how speechless. What does one say to Gerry Spence, given the chance?

  22. Prevention. What are your thoughts on how to prevent the lives of misery (and sometimes crime) in the first place? I’ve defended and prosecuted for quite a while now, and it seems like by the time people make it into the criminal system it’s too late. The horse has long-since left the barn, and there’s often not much the system can do about it.

  23. I wonder whether we can discuss what is most important to us–the relationship we have with our families. The divorce rate and the rate of illegitimacy tells us that the images that the word “family” brings to mind is not the reality we live every day. There is a lot of talk about “gay marriage,” but the fact is that marriage is not working real well in the traditional sense. How does the vast failure of the institution of marriage for many people affect the “issue” of these unions? I must say, our courts are overwhelmed with trying to patch up what has been brought asunder and they do a lousy job. What do you think?

  24. Dear Gerry,
    Ok you asked for it I don’t work I take care of my VietNam Veteran Disabled Husband , and we would love to see this country be what it once was , mothers Apple pie etc. but alas fear that it will not recover before we die, so the other way to fix this mess is Stop both wars, and Put Bush, Cheney , Rumsfeld , Wolfowitz and all of the rest of the neocons on trial for war crimes, crap a war out of lies and emploding towers and drone hitting the pentgon yeah by box cutting welding whomevers.
    Alot of that war money could help the people losing their jobs every day .
    By the way Gerry we love you and wish we could have afforded you a couple of times.
    Light and Love
    Linda and Bruce Smith

  25. The community of……!
    Sometimes I wonder, if in cyber space it is like the old saying about Oakland.
    Which was: there is no there there in Oakland.
    Not to be a dissenter, but
    cyberspace is devoid of the personal, like sitting across from Argus at the coffee shop, seeing his whole gestalt in living motion.
    So, about this “community”, maybe others are more plugged in on that. I am not sure the cyber-sphere is all it is cracked up to be, frankly.

  26. Linda Shelton

    Gerry
    What I would really like to hear from wise old lawyers is discourse on what is wrong with the legal system and how it should be changed. Assume that you were rewriting the Constitution and the laws. How would you make it different so as to correct the problems that resulted from the present framework. What about more public oversight, eliminating some aspects of judicial and prosecutorial immunity, and limiting the number of lawyers in Congress (or any profession) to no more than 49% of its members? What about specialty courts and eliminating life-time appointments for judges? What about specialty juries? What about requiring police officers who carry guns to have one year training in mental health, one year training in law, and a requirement that they hold at least a brown belt in judo? There could be a lot of creative discussion here.

  27. Linda Shelton

    Gerry
    I also want to hear your philosphy. I wrote several things on my blogs and will share one with you:
    http://drlindashelton.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/how-to-find-peace-in-the-face-of-horror/ How do you find peace in the face of horror, loss, suffering, dissappointment, pain? The Dahlai Lama has also written a lot obout this topic which I find helpful. As we all prepare to die, this question has a lot of meaning.

  28. Where to go from here:
    I hear Korea has some delightful dishes: Hanguk yori, or Hanshik.
    Yes, cusine on the way to Nirvana, by the land of GDH, gross domestic happiness, near the Tebetan temples.
    Leading the sheep is not easy, but how do they feel, to be part of that “community” of yours. Del Cyber Abode, La Verde
    All they wanted were marked up export certificates to sell the lower grade beef at inflated prices, in the slums of Seoul, & along the way, came lo mein, which was going to be served with the wong tong.
    And, how is Argus feeling, after his popcorn el Reddenbacker ?
    We hear so little about him through your medium, these days.
    Oh, the beauty of summer, it is upon us, and the great outback, the waters running off from the high peaks, it is a season to behold in all its magnificence—in the real world, beyond the static of cyber-simulations– the space, of electronic beams on the WWW.
    Expectations:
    Can any expect to live a life of another, each must live his own life.
    But, what is interwoven, with others ?
    In cyber world—dare any say, not much.
    But, I suppose that depends on how you define life, since money has no DNA strands.
    Your Deacon friends, ex Ministers say we add nada to the Board, we would be better to put tin foil over our heads, we having nothing of value to add.
    Yes, we receive no money for any 2-cents, in this cyber Village.

  29. Mr. Spence,

    We want to hear your opinions on court cases — both criminal and civil, past and present, yours and others. We want to hear your opinions on the government. We want to know where you think we should go from here. And how.

    And, we want to hear about your life outside the courtroom, both now and when you were growing up. Like, what was mealtime like when you were a boy, and your favorite and most despised teachers and subjects in 7th grade, and what you do of a day, and things like that. Then we can put your opinions in perspective, especially when we disagree.

    Is that too serious?

  30. Showed Chungs blog to 34 yr married hubby who is Yale phi beta kappa (’53) (Poor boy; all scholarships) His response: “This is crazy and nonsense” after which he promptly fell asleep! Now I’m worried about myself because I get it!! Anyway, we are all, I’m sure, looking for anything you found to be inspirational over the decades to avoid burnout. Playing “Ain’t it awful” gets old very fast; ways to avoid burnout never will. Love and thank you.

  31. Well, Gerry, at the risk of sounding mundane following Chung’s comment, I must say I enjoy your musings e.g. Turd River. My own feelings now are concerned with the state of things in this country and, indeed, the world.
    Values, they are a changing. Our culture is rapidly moving away from where I felt comfortable. I am not happy with that. I’m not so sure, but what the “Melting Pot” that supposedly made this country great is going to be, in the end, it’s downfall. By that, I mean that we are beginning to lose a national identity. We are fast becoming a nation of ethnic groups, with a government trying it’s best to make everyone happy at the general expense.
    Well, enough 0f my ramblings. Would love to hear your thoughts. You are an excellent thinker.

  32. Where do our collective lives go from here..?
    That is very much up in the air, because we are each our own individual, with different things on our plate, and not all of that is from the NY Deli.
    Salmon fishing on the Kenai is where I want to be in 3 weeks

  33. Hi Gerry. First I wanted to thank you for this marvelous website. What a wonderful forum to exchange ideas and continue to learn from the master himself. What do you think of the nomination of Judege Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. Also, are you ever going to put your entire Lawyer College program on DVD. I know Voir Dire is available and I plan on getting it but Gerry I beg you to put the who trial program on DVD. Your sons and daughters fighting for the little people need it! Look forward to hearing from you Gerry. Best Regards,
    Phil

  34. Hello Gerry,

    Your blog has become one of my favorite spots on the internet since I found it a few weeks back.

    Previously, I landed a job as a step-parent without the proper training, certification, etc. I stumbled quite badly through the learning curve to say the least. Your book “How to Argue and Win Every Time” taught me more about good parenting than pretty much any other source. Since earning my respect there, I’ve looked forward to seeing your views on any topic you feel inclined to write about.

    As such, my expectation is that you will continue to post heart-felt and engaging essays. Even if it’s on what is considered a small issue, such as choice of food, wine, etc.

    My expectation for the community you have created is pretty much to maintain the current atmosphere. Your essays create outstanding discussions where people feel comfortable weighing in on the issue at hand. Everyone has the responsibility to help maintain a welcoming environment where such discussion can flourish.

  35. Gerry-

    I find this lone comment (above) gratuitously mean. I find myself reacting to it defensively for you. I know you will say you can stand up for yourself, don’t need protective reactions, but that is what I feel.

    I guess I think I understand your question- you have delved into this new paradigm, blogging, and you’re not sure where it has taken you or where it can go. I sure don’t know the answer. It is an interesting medium.

    Reversing roles with you for a moment, I am trying to grok (hope you recognize the term) your perception of this mode of communication. What I see is a need and a hope for connection to a galaxie of minds. A marvelous conception.

    It seems to me that there is an inherent roadblock for you. Because you are so admired and revered, you do not always get simple and pure responses- people are, probably mostly unconsciously, tempering their comments in some way they think will be received well or trying to defiantly provoke you. Neither of these approaches is helpful.

    I have to say (selfishly) that I have been delighted that you started this blog, because it gives a broad range of us a window into your musings, which are always fascinating. And we can interact and you can respond at your own pace. I hope you will continue.

    Much love,
    Jo-Hanna

  36. Scott Hancock

    Gerry,
    I enjoy hearing virtually anything you wish to talk about. I guess it sounds like I’m buttering you up! In a way, I guess I am. I have enjoyed thoroughly reading all your books and found great inspiration in them, especially since I am wanting to be a trial lawyer myself. I have just recently found this web site. It’s great, as well. I, personally, would like to here more of your thoughts on “arguing”, maybe even another book on it.

    Scott Hancock

  37. There is a lot of talk on money on this board.
    The average citizen can’t afford to pay $ 200- $ 400 per hour, or higher, over an extend time a law suit lasts.
    Sure a big corporation can pay that out and deduct its legal bills.
    Many legal harms to people go unrepresented.
    Also, there is a big road block put up to even getting any access to courts, which are obstructed by large corporations, as they put up technical ruses, on standing, jurisdiction, and other technical matters to block, and lock the court house doors to many average citizens.
    Only about 2 % of civil cases go to trial in federal courts in America, it is all paper motions, just filing paper, and no trials, mostly what federal court practice is.
    That is unless one is in the criminal practice, but in civil practice, it is mostly an exercise in filing paper motions.
    And, most law professors,
    don’t get involved in the motion mill, the tread mills of paper that is civil practice these days.
    Big corporation out-house large firms love it, they can put some junior attorney on the motions, grinding out paper, at some lower rate, and bill at a lot higher rate, a big corporation, and increase the law firm pool spreads—and get paid montly for that.
    Some guy who takes matters on a contigency fee, he gets beaten into the ground in the floods of paper, more often than not.
    But, lets not digress, lets get back to some upbeat note on where we go, from here:
    Like vacation, perhaps,
    not exactly a collective cruse outing.
    How about a place that is far away from the paper grind, or the cyber buzz, some place where one can see grizzly bears catching the salmon, like Katmai, or Anan Bay, Ak.

  38. Just to get a flavor of who is on the SPLC list, and what that has spun off, this looks most curious:

    http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2009/04/2822-armenian-genocide-debate-blood.html

    So, this gets into blood money…!
    Or, what is or is not, and the impacts.
    Fein–if you don’t know, is some ex DOJ political appointee, in some GOP Administration.

  39. All your comments that I’ve had the privilage to read have been good to read. Please continue to write and share your observations and thoughts on whatever grabs your attention, whatever you find interesting and worth your valuable time to compose and blog.

    One particular issue that I’m curious is why are airline pilots improperly trained to fly their sophisticated aircraft in a manner that preserves the life and safety of their passengers. 228 lives were aboard a AirFrance Flight 447 $200,000,000 airplane that recently flew into some cumulonumbus clouds that were dangerous enough to destroy the plane and everybody on board. If the pilot avoided the clouds, then the accident would have been averted. The airlines have the flight simulators to train the pilots, so it seems that they should be using them more often. The process of avoiding the big giant puffy clouds that are filled with lightning cannot be that complicated. It seems that the airlines have a problem with training their pilots that’s similar to PG&E’s problem with containing their pollutants…they know the problem but do nothing about it. Let the insurance pay off the relatives of the dead, and save money through providing inadequate training to the pilots. There’s other issues like skimping on repairs but I digest.

  40. I don’t know if you have mused about this before, but I wonder if insurance companies have too much control of our lives. Would we be better off without them, or could they be changed to better serve the consumers?

  41. Gerry:

    Just let your ideas roll. There is nothing I could enjoy more than a couple of shots of whiskey or glasses of beer with you and uninhibited conversation. Open up the delicatessen and let it roll.

  42. Gerry,
    There come into the world’s stage artists of various genres. The globe has become more accessible with modern technology and methods of broadcasting sound and images which in ancient times would have only survived in artistic sculpture or chiseled words. Everyone loves a hero, a braveheart not intimidated by the powers that seek to enslave the weaker,the unprepared,the under financed. Fame and fortune so many times breeds those who exemplify arrogance and misdirected self importan ce. It is rare that a man or a woman hold center stage on life’s stage dressed in truth and a sense of regard for fellow man. It becomes more rare every minute.
    Since childhood, I have loved words- written words, spoken words, sung words, words I heard here and there. Words hold such power. Delivery of words hold such impact. A soft, timely word may win respect and admiration, a harsh, crass comment wounds. He, or “she” who masters the proper use of the presentation of wording may win the world and followers who cherish and hold on the every breath. “Out of the mouth the heart speaketh”..so true, so true..so true.
    So, what is there to talk about when one reaches the autumn of life,or even late summer? So many things have been discussed. Yet, the wisdom seasoned on fresh words yet holds wonder and curiousity. We are curious creatures,and stubborn when challenged to defend right or defeat wrong. So, I guess there will always be a lot to talk about.
    But let’s, for a moment talk about you.. and ..me..and..all the lives you’ve touched by being the person you are. I remember first seeing you on the television after the OJ extravaganza to which I was glued night and day. Not everyday you see a lawyer dressed in fringed buckskin with so strong a stage presence,and unpretensious, self-assured and brilliant. Nope, like a magnet, I couldn’t get enough ..wondering.. “who is this guy?” Imelda Marcos and all those shoes.. a woman after my own heart, and dragging Ferdinand’s body all over creation.. Karen Silkwood, David’s stone against Goliath, and Randy Weaver… Randy,my fellow American brother, Weaver..what was done to him..
    You are MY hero, Gerry, and I don’t have too many. This is not said to puff you up,but simply to say “thank you” for making a big difference on the landscape by the paint of your brush. There will always be a lot to talk about, and years to come, hopefully you will still be talked about. The autumn leaves fall signaling the coming of the snow on the silent hills,but one buckskin strand left behind from a fringed jacket a man proudly wore as a compliment to his wife who made it,peeks out of the winter silence ..and speaks…

  43. Gerry, I’d love to hear you give some advice on how to deal with the trial judge who is overtly biased against your client, plaintiffs in general, or plaintiffs’ lawyers in general. Or the trial judge who is intent on micromanaging lawyers during trial. What is the best approach to take? I remember Vincent Bugliosi discussing this topic in And the Sea Will Tell and he read the judge the riot act at one point at it was very effective. But for those of us who aren’t Vince, or you, what do we do?

  44. Seemingly, you have no choice, but to go to the federal appeal court, based in Denver. But, Argus will be with you all the way,
    & we will bring popcorn to watch all the beefs unfold. Even Reddenbacher must be looking down, musing about it all, and the DOJ will they be there, all amigo side kicks.
    Give us the dates, we will be watching, and frollicking with the certified Dukes of the Bar.

  45. Dear Gerry,

    I’m from the Netherlands.

    A right-wing politician in my country (named Geert Wilders) wants to ban the holy book of the Muslims.
    He is being prosecuted by the state, accused of raising hatred.
    If this could happen in the USA, would you defend him?

  46. Where one goes(from some here), depends often on where one has been !
    Since we all have not been in some same places, we likely will not
    come up with the same place to go from here, point A to B etc.
    On what one can expect from another, depends on
    the relationship one has with the other.
    I have this Magpie who seems to watch my every doing, he actually flies around to see what I am up to.
    That is good, i have been watching him too. I am fasinated on how he flies, and swoops down in the Ravine.
    On feelings, and community, and flocks,
    I am kind of like a Magpie, I am not like a geese, I don’t have my behavior go in terms of the flock.
    On Black Swans, I don’t follow Black Swans, or Red Sparrows. I am going to stick with the Magpie, I have become his friend, i think, he seems to be curious about what I am up to, for his own odd reasons, which I have not been able to totally discern.

  47. Daniel Quackenbush

    Actually, it has been my pleasure to listen to you (I watched you a lot during the OJ Simpson trial, and read some of your books). I’m interested in anything related to criminal law and procedure, especially effective techniques in criminal trials.

  48. Your menu is what interests me, but since you asked.

    The Fairness Doctrine.

    The PissAnts in the RightWing Media say that it will take their Freedom of Speech away.
    I get so angry listening to them ..”Straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel”…when they backbite every move the President makes…yet kept so quiet about the many offenses the past administration made…

    You of course covered this very well in your “Pious Pimps and Bloodthirsty Bitches” book….. I just wonder why they can’t at least be fined for misleading and false statements they make on our public airwaves.

    To want the President to fail is to want America to fail…I can’t see anything more unpatriotic than that…and to have callers who just echo what they have heard…over and over….is torture to me…I have no television and am ready to throw the radio in the river…..

    When Mike Malloy said that if the world goes into chaos…his first move would be to ‘blow’ the rat bastards away…..is a little extreme…but understandable.

  49. More TLC trainings in CA. I looked it up–only 62 members in CA. Many of us our losing cases on an emotional basis and need to learn these skills now. I wish I could go to the TLC this summer–but class is closed. Not so much for my own learning–but so that my next client would get the benefit of the training.

  50. You note this “community of ours”.
    I hope it is not a gated community, some bars at the road to the Teton Pines, with some secret code. Do we need to have the imbosed finger prints of the TLC on us to be part of things, in some grander team ?
    How do we feel, well, sometimes early in the morning droggy, late in the day, tired.
    I am not sure about this expectation thing, I am not sure what that means,
    it is not like QUID PRO QUO, obviously.
    Where does any go, in the final count-down: On, and on, and on, there is no other viable option.
    A NY Deli has the pickled herring, is that on the menu. Money, power, life, corporations, clubs,
    justice, injustice, society, pecking orders, religion,
    food chains, mix it up, there must be a million combinations in that salid bowl. Overlay it with greed, envy, and all the human fralities, and it adds another dimension.
    Spice it up with politics, parties, and connections, it takes on another angle.
    Toss in Al Gore, and his lear jets on the carbon caps, and it evolves into more current affairs.
    Access to courts, might be a good place to start—for citizens, since some in power just as soon as that is a bar to put up, to disenfranchise so many.

  51. Gerry, expectations of you is a very strong request as I am just a serf in this land of many Lords.
    I’m happy that the world is trying to go in a different direction; where?
    I think President Barrack Obama has some great plans for this fine place that we’ve been abusing and I can’t help thinking what will happen when he stops speaking. (The day the earth stood still)
    Will we hear our instructions from Wolf Blitzer on the giant eye we have in our living rooms?
    I have no expectations of you Gerry, I love the notes you scribble down and occasionally hear speak on TV
    I guess it’s all up to you again.
    Cheers’ David

  52. GLS,

    Have we lost you from the blogosphere?

    MB

  53. Gerry:

    We shall go where we’ve always gone, my friend: FORWARD. We are not anchored to the past and we are not deterred by the histrionic present.

    We are committed to the advance.

    It is certain there will be missteps along the way. However, people of good will, operating in good faith, can always overcome a misstep.

    Always.

    And, we should never be afraid to experiment or to tread into new territory. We should never be held hostage to the tryanny of decaying ideas. We should be nimble and willing to adjust in the face of a changing landscape. In this vein, I have always admired Dwight Eisenhower’s view, which floats into my recollection on this 65th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. General Eisenhower, in explaining the magnificent method through which the allied troops fought inland from the Normandy beach-head and into the Bocage, said later: “Before a battle, the single most important thing is The Plan. After the first round is fired, however, the least important thing on any battlefield is The Plan.”

    In sum: All will be well. The brigade is in good order. We are prepared to ADVANCE.

    J.R.

  54. How about your thoughts on gene patents? What do you think of patents on forms of life?

  55. Gerry,

    Anyone following you is looking for clues to achieving your kind of professional success – whether it be skill, renown, contribution, wealth, admiration . . .

    I’d be grateful to hear whether it makes you happy. Is it worth what you devoted to it? Does it make a difference in your happiness now? A little? A lot? How does it stack up against other things that make you happy? Did you forsake anything for it that you regret?

  56. Where we(or one, or someone) goes does not depend, mostly, on who annoints us, or lays some “finger prints” of holy water on us.
    To get a fire in the belly, often depends on one experienceing rank injustice real up close and personal, and then having a determination to address it. Think of all the people in the world who encountered injustice, like Martin Luther King, who paid with his life.
    Or, some who fought McCarthyism, I believe there were some lawyers in that who put it all on the line.( maybe that is an area to wade into).
    Where one goes often is through roadblocks first put up, but reek with in justice, that requires some deeper dedication to address, that is not met by a mere zip file on UTUBE, for a 15 second flash.

  57. The lone post that so miffs
    Jo Hanna R is most baffling—to her. Was it the magnificence of waters from the high Peaks, or the notion that life with DNA is not defined by money, at least not in some research labs ? Then, Jo Hanna does her universal of none of the responses are helpful. Helpful to what, may any muse ? Like we are here for some universal master, which she–Miss Jo has the inside code on. Chung must have hit a nerve about the limits of the cyber-WWW connections in electric vapor world. The notion that electrical beams on some net is going to produce some instant Nirvana seems to ignore fundamental human nature.
    Think about it, cyber war fare, a hacker gets in shuts down the FAA system, the grid, the FDIC wire transfer funding networks, etc.
    Why, there is a whole UNIT in DOD dedicate to cyber security.
    I am sure Gerry knows that most humans are complex beings, with many sides to their being.
    One thing which is the nature of cyber world is the stretch, people self serve, some embellish who they are what they do, or did, etc.–at a mere stroke of a key, sending electronic beaming messages.
    I am not saying this about Gerry.
    The things I like about Gerry’s books are his candor, etc…
    In many ways, the WWW is as much as a disinformation ORG as an INFORMATION ORG.
    At almost the speed of light stuff can be spread.
    It is not all true, not all accurate, not all solid.
    In some ways, a computer, hooked up to a modem, hooked up to the WWW, is like a trip through an artifical jungle, and all of it is not
    real.
    I know Gerry is real, because his life was real.
    None of us know most of the others who are sending electronic stuff, here to this clearing house.
    One has to discern the medium is not always the message as to the full real picture.
    We are only a community in the sense that our keyboards touch a central point, that is hardly the stuff of human depth in a broader sense.
    The Network/ cyber-plex is the greatest disinformation machine ever to come down the pike, and it is one that can be exploited by powerful politicans.

  58. A question with the wrong answer, is still a question, but do you know if the answer is wrong, if you are in the dark.
    A tree falling in the woods makes a sound, but if some say there is no sound if nobody is around to hear, is that a wrong answer to an egocentric question.
    As to some answers, some have no clue what to raise in any questions.
    My dog knows what the answers are to his life, I don’t question that.
    Lawyers don’t have many answers, they mostly ask questions, not to say that
    Einstein knew all the answers.
    So, if the topic is where to we go to get the answers,
    then the sooner you (we) realize that you will never find all the answers, or even some of the questions.
    The area of unknown unknowns may be so vast we do not know what we can never know.
    Thank you for allowing me to prove I know not much. But, then I discovered some time ago,
    I know very little, but I could impress you with all my schooling, and stuff, but that would mean nothing.
    I am now content to simply exist, knowing so little in the fuller scheme of things.

  59. We are going to go on a new adventure each day,
    that is where we are going,
    Each day is a new dawn.
    you are on it with us.
    here we go….

  60. Gerry,
    Ed raised a profound question, hope you can respond to Ed’s excellent question.
    Kel

  61. What in the world is Jo Hanna delving into that some “lone” commenter is so “mean” as to what ?
    Like she is spotting him out of the herd, the dark sheep, the slanted eyes, the tight lips, the, groko expressions. Really. Big Sis, by the Space Needle
    There are not exactly a lone comment on the board, and not helpful, says Jo, like what ? Is this some victim thing of Jo ?
    Then, she goes on about Gerry can protect himself, but still she feels defensive.
    What in the world is she driving at ?
    Gerry wants people to lay out their feelings, he made that request, for their gut spilling wrenching all, and Ms Jo, is going to play off that.
    Oh, just swell. Real touchy feely a la Jo.
    How many Bo, Sammy comments never make it on the board, because they deal with major tragedy in some aspects of the legal 2-stepping, ex rel, pro hace vice, per su spontate, carpus diem
    Well, well, the club, from the NW, to the Snake to the Tetons to the notions of helpful.
    I suppose that “helpful” thing must be another one of those in the eye of the beholders.
    It is ironic, I like Gerry’s book, the part where he goes to this Denver Shrink, and tells the situation. It was such candor, such riveting prose. It took courage to tell, it was stuff like that —real, honest, no varnish.
    That is what I most like about Gerry’s books, the human dimension, no flat screen stuff. The lone wolf–on the board, SIS Jo, has her cornered, spotted, & has him in the
    eye of the frame, in her view of the world, all cyber packaged. So, WWW made for the Net.
    Did any of you others spot this “mean” & “lone” poster, or is it just the specal powers that Jo has ? Lets see, and the nationality of that “lone” poster, my my some profiling, of Jo… How clever.

  62. Code for: The lone ‘wolf’, Wyoming wants to make it open season on wolves, here we go again, little Red Riding hood, and the big bad wolf, among the sheep, and the Ewes, and the high range herder. I feel bad when a wolfe is shot from a State of Wyoming airplane, it bothers me. All those state politicans ragging on the relative of the dog, and targeting the “lone wolf” off the green zones.

  63. “Pure” responses to Gerry’s questions is not what I expect he was looking for, if any “grok” what Gerry is looking for,
    and what matters were about on his back to you all post.
    From the feedback from—-out there, I expect Gerry will get his own feel on the cyberworld, and in relationship to things going on in society.
    I would like Gerry to speak to service, public service, how people can best serve the United States of America, and help it to deal effectively with its problems.
    Public service is important in America(IMHO), and i hope others do not negate it.
    We as a society, are the Nation of Debt, we demand, we want, we have stolen the future generations fiscal well being, we (as a Nation), have had leaders who have not acted wisely, or prudently.
    We are a nation at peril, I hope citizens, be they Gerry or others ask our leaders to wake up, they are hurting this Nation through their reckless ways.

  64. Groking is not easy, in a medium, where you–Gerry- likely do not know so many of the people, so how many persons do you or Jo really know, that have posted here ?
    Some of the comments are really good, like do you have any “regrets”, in what it took for you to achive all that renown, and fame, and riches, and
    why Ed(Ed the poster, or ??)) split off as a Pard(others) from the firm in the late 1990’s, and what is the dynamics on a Firm practice, where money, and pards, and expenses make Firm practice much more complex than it used to be
    I will hang up now, and be listening for your reply,
    Thanks.
    And by the way, I thought your best book was Making of a Country Lawyer, I read it—more than once. Appreciate any replies, and hope you and FIRM prevail in the subject matters, that are tough plowing. Many have no clue on some of the tough slogs faced in civil practice these days, the AG swamps, and DOJ(Gov) back stabbers, and political fat kat connections that interweave—with court cases, in some audacious ways, it is really shocking, and if want to wade in there, be most curious to hear what you have to say, as always…If can’t or don’t post this up, understand, but you asked for some feed back, and so being true to curosity, just had to raise.

  65. Linda Shelton

    Gerry –
    I expect nothing, but I have a suggestion. I meditate regularly – it clears the mind and brings connections, new ideas, and global thinking that is not possible without this renewal. It brings me great peace and simplifies my thoughts. It is art of the mind. Look at the sky at sunset. Look at the mountains. Close your eyes and smell the sweet grass. Listen to the birds. Feel the breeze. Then when your mind has reached a very peaceful place, and after you have emptied it, and you are connected to the world in the most abstract and global infinite sense tell us what you think. Let the river flow. Your vast experience, empathy, and wisdom will do the world good. Peace!

  66. Why not just keep frollicking with those —the insane, who you note post here, with Jo giving her notes on “mean”, lean, and beaned.
    I see no reason to desist all the follicking, after all Argus sees faithful values in some inverse porportion to how some discern what is real.
    It is all real here, real interesting. Thanks for maintaining the Deli,
    I will take a corn beef, over rye, and a slice of turkey, with some munster cheese.
    Skip the pickles.
    Pickeled pigs feet, and some Rocky Mountain oysters on the side.
    I have worked up quite an appetite reading through so many “pure” responses, and they were
    most helpful to my sense of navigating the Gulf of
    Eden, post one bite of the apple in the garden

  67. ” When I die one epitaph that I pray will never be chiseled on my tomestone is: ” Here lies a nice guy”. From How to Argue and Win Every Time, Gerry Spence(1995), St Martins.
    The fact of the matter is there had never been an attorney in a Firm on earth who practiced, more than 6 years, who wins “every time”.
    Every day, some attorney(Firm) is on the losing side of some motion, some pleading to some judge. So, what is Jo’s beef, we are not all totally insane who post here are we ?
    If only 2 % of civil cases go to trial, in federal court, that means a lot of motions are faced by a Firm, one with Pards, one with Sr Pards.
    I care not to eat any mutton on Friday.

  68. Where do we go from here? Furthur baby, as we are bound to cover just a little more ground.

    What do I expect of you? You!!!

    How do I feel? Everytime I turn on the news or TV I feel like shit caught in a giant turd whirlpool.

    When I am wadding in a remote lake, in a northwoods forest, with the sound of loons and my fly line whipping back and forth, I feel like all the energy in the world is corsing through my body. I feel fragile in the vastness of our world and yet indestructable in the eternal sense, knowing that even if my body is torn and tattered, my spirit is free.

    What I want to know Gerry is the following:

    1. Did you see, did you see, the face on Mars?

    2. Do you think we really landed on the moon? If so, why do you think we have not colonized it? Lack of natural resources to exploit? No place to put ski slopes and condos for upper class?

    3. Do you see space travel in the future?

    4. Can you dig zero gravity?

    5. Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the the Universe and why?

    Let’s talk about space, Gerry, the final frontier.

    On a side note, one question that has always puzzled me and perhaps you being a U of WY alum could explain it to me. Why or how did y’all let Bob Devaney leave and go to Nebraksa? We Nebraskans are forever thankful, but it is one of those head scratchers that I and many other Good Lifer’s have wondered about for decades now ; )

    • Speedlimit, :

      You ask great questions. I have no answer. Remember, I am only a poor country lawyer. Don’t expect too much from me. In the meantime, I share your fun.

      Gerry

  69. One final question:

    What are your thoughts on reincarnation? Have you ever had reoccuring dreams that you think may be from a past life? If so, would you be so kind as to share those? What do you think you will be in your next life?

    Love and Peace!!!!

    • Speedlimit: I would like to come back as a bank robber. I don’t have such dreams, but just on the brink of falling asleep I will sometimes see faces I have never seen and places I have never been. They are modern faces and places, however.

      Gerry

  70. Gerry, I hope you don’t come back as a robber. I can’t imagine you with the purple die pack splattered all over your fringe coat. Are you saying you would be the one that got away?

  71. I took my car to get some work done yesterday and got a loner. The next morning everything was as normal, had breakfast and it was my turn to take the kids to school. My boy got in the car did up his seat belt and looked at me confused and said “What’s this” pointing to the window winder. I really had to think what he was talking about and then asked what he was talking about. He asked what this is for.
    I didn’t know whether to laugh or what; my son gets a B+ average in school.

  72. That is great, David, your son has a great future ahead of him. Most parents are lost about 8th grade on the math kids do in school, now and can no longer help them with home work.( Parents are lost, clueless about that point).
    School for kids now is so much tougher than when we went.
    Nice to see a dad, so into his Kid, etc. Wonderful, David.

  73. Zero gravity, such as you are getting into Speed-Limit. Wow, some Space
    tripper.
    Most things now are zero sum games, as is a lot of law stuff.
    One side wins,
    The other side loses, and gets zeroed out, hammered. Sometimes oblierated. SMASH ball, almost.
    If there was zero gravity, we all would fly off the face of the earth. Gravity is what keeps you grounded to the earth.
    Why would any want zero gravity to just be sucked into outer space ?
    Under the topic, where do we go… I prefer to stay grounded on earth. PERIOD. Also, U of W lost Erickson to U of Miami.
    Ever since the black arm band incident in the late 60’s, Wyoming had never gone to another Sugar Bowl.(F-ball)
    But, it has one heck of a great law school, and it now has a new Dean at U of W law, who is an expert on trials, and an author on the subject.
    If you want to go into(on) space voyages, C U is where you want to go, it is a really trippy place.
    U of W has always had the best law school in the Rockies, a hidden secret, and lets keep it that way before it gets over-crowded, OK

  74. Rahm Rabani III

    Shall we go to D C and lobby, like get on a TARP list, or a WARP list, get the booty, become a D C player, all the wash of trillions, among the taker class.
    The taker class has taken so much, there is not enough tax money that can be raised for the TAKER class demands, and ever present needs.
    Nah– few citizen are part of that disgusting D C process, but it is the order of the day, for the RED INK, Republic, USA, change we can almost puke over, if not in a trance. Where are we going as a Nation: down a drain of red ink, and I believe Mr Gerry Spence has a few clues on that, given the developing clouds over the destructon of accountability that can be evident in many ways.
    But, lets pick the roses, and smell the flowers, it is the next generation who will be most impacted, and Gerry knows that, too. Fame, and being well known will only take one so far.
    I am glad I am not well known, I am so unknown, I am almost an invisible Ameican, but still I have my debit cards

    • I am just trying to stay off or get off the ever growing “terrorist watch list” our gov’t is compiling and according to the ACLU is over 1 million strong now.

      Not that I care that the secret service got pissed when I mailed Bush a letter calling him war criminal and may have put me on a list.

      Didn’t Stalin and every other dictator in the history of the world compile these lists?

      Speaking of lists; )

  75. Gerry, sounds like a desire on your part to be in Congress, real close to the vaults. So many bills out of D C are nothing but robbery of Americans @ large.
    Debt sky high to the moon.
    Staggering.

  76. Gerry,

    I feel let down and disappointed by you. I was promised by one of your staff that you would put out DVD’s on trial lawyer skills. That conversation occurred a long time ago. No DVD’s have been put on. People who I represent go to jail because I am not a good lawyer. Your DVD’s would have helped those people because I would have watched them and learnt something.

    • Advocate, I don’t blame you for feeling let down. There is just not enough of me it seems. I have intended, year after year to do this. Perhaps you can come to one of our seminars. That will be much more helpful to you. You will not only get acquainted with our methods, but with yourself. It all BEGINS WITH YOU.

      Gerry

      • Thank you for being you, you’re right, the process of self-realization is the answer to all of our “problems”.

        I would be curious to know how you feel about the Patriot Act and mandatory flu vaccinations, the Food Safety Modernization Act, the act of auditing the Fed, and the fact that it is now illegal to be a patriot.

        Peace & Love from your little brother,

        another being creative

        P.S. I would still like to help spread some aspects of the G. Spence perspective utilizing video, maybe a “Seven Simple Steps” series…. just thought I would throw it out there

  77. I want to read anything you want to write about. You are one of the best advocates I have ever encountered (and I’ve been in the profession 25 years). Your practice has given you experience with types of and ranges of human behavior few of your readers can match, and you are gifted with language.

  78. All I ask is that you continue to be true to yourself, and in turn, those who respect and admire your wisdom. I’m sure that all of us here would ask no more, or less, from you.

    It is probable that you will never meet me, and if you were to pass me on the street I’d appear to be little more than a young adult who hasn’t quite grown out of her rebellion phase. But your words and messages have done more for me than some of the people I’ve known for years, and you deserve to know. You’ve instilled me with hope, as well as confidence, to be myself despite what the world might wish of me. I now strongly believe that if I continue to stay true to my own person, and extend my own love beyond myself to help others, that I will stay afloat in this ocean of a society. I’m no longer plagued by the fears of achieving success in ways that have been pressed on me. I believe with all my heart that simply doing what I feel is right will lead me for success, whatever form it chooses to take.

    So, that is where I’m currently standing. Many thanks for opening your words to the world and allowing me to take them in.

  79. Gerry,

    I live in a small country town near the Grampians in Western Victoria, Australia. It has roughly 9,000 people. It is roughly 400klms from the nearest commercial airport which is in turn around 13798 km (as the crow flies) from Jackson Wyoming.

    If you can guarantee me a place in your 22 day course I will borrow whatever money I need (I do most of my work pro bono) and I will quit my job if they don’t give me time off or will negotiate leave and I will travel to Wyoming to do your course.

    I have never been to America. Saving people’s lives as a trial lawyer is probably a good reason to travel there.

    • Wish I could take you up on your good offer. Would be honored to have you with us. We have so few spots, and they are taken up immediately by lawyers in this country who have terrible burdens of justice for the clients.

      Best wishes,

      Gerry

  80. Dear Gerry,
    I look at you and see a man who is not only unafraid to feel another’s pain at having been wronged, but is willing to embrace it and work from his soul to right that wrong. This is the gift I have received from you, and I thank you with all my heart as I work to do the same. Please continue to show what moves and motivates you and the lessons which life has bestowed on you.

  81. I would be curious to know how you feel about the Patriot Act and mandatory flu vaccinations, the Food Safety Modernization Act, the act of auditing the Fed, and the fact that it is now illegal to be a patriot.

    Thank you for being you, you’re right, the process of self-realization is the answer to all of our “problems”.

    Peace & Love from your little brother,

    another being creative

    • To Another Being Creative: Thanks for your kind response. I represent Brandon Mayfield against the government. We took on the Patriot Act in the 9th Circuit and the District Judge there held it unconstitutional. That decision is on appeal to the Court of Appeals.

      Gerry

  82. Bob Casale : The case is almost always not about the client but you as the Lawyer.

  83. Dear Gerry, I’ve read nearly all of your books. It’s easy to respect the job prosecutors do; you opened my eyes to the more difficult, soulful and honorable work of defense attorneys. I’ve especially loved that you permit your readers to witness your personal life, struggles, conflicts, frailties as well … and I love your writings about your family and Imagery. The images of your home inspired me. I follow your blog as I find you interesting, imaginative, reflective, and honorable in character and enjoy walking along with you now and again with you on your highly evolved life journey. Thank you for letting folks like me keep company with you. Sarai’s Nightjar

  84. P.S. I’d love to hear more on your political opinions … both domestically and globally; in particular of our new President Obama, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, and China.

  85. Dear Gerry,
    It has been my feeling for quite some time now that those of us who are not lawyers or law students need to read as much about the law as possible to know how it works. Sadly, there aren’t as many caring and zealous trial lawyers like yourself to fight for their clients, especially in criminal cases. Average citizens are too often overwhelmed by what we don’t know if the worse ever happens, and they are too often forced to settle for attorneys who are neither caring nor zealous in their defense.

    I am always looking for titles of books to read that will help me know more, and what I have read has been tremendously helpful. Including one of your books, THE SMOKING GUN, which was about one of your criminal cases. What other books would you recommend, either by yourself or other attorneys who teach by writing? I would be grateful for any titles you can offer. Thank you.

  86. Susan:
    Not sure if this is your cup of tea, but the “War Behind US”, by Deborha Nelson, is most provocative.
    In terms of genuine caring, I would put the lawyer for Mr Weemer in that category, the S S had recorded him(Sgt Weemer), on his feelings of guilt, then denied him a job, and then indicted him, most recklessly, when all is looked at.

    See:
    http://blogshevik.com/2009/04/09/marine-sgt-ryan-weemer-acquitted/

    You probably never heard of Mr Weemer’s attorney, Paul Hackett
    http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=30620

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Hackett_(politician)

    Paul Hackett is one who deserves not to be unrecognized for his service to America in many ways.
    Apparently, Mr Hackett represented Weemer pro bono, and had many expenses in representing Weemer in CA, as Mr Hackett lives in Ohio.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=DUeR22aS7yAC&dq=war+behind+us+nelson&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=dcTePixxts&sig=VPY69tTObXVa-QdRU6zxfGiEj_k&hl=en&ei=Bf1USsmvGYbisQO5hoHRDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

  87. To Noonan: Thanks so much for the book title and the links you provided. I’ve made note of the book you mentioned and will look for it when I’ve finished reading the ones I currently have. Right now I’m reading PRESUMED GUILTY, When Innocent People Are Wrongly Convicted, by Martin Yant. It’s a frightening look into the criminal justice system, and the ignorance and stupidity of those who prosecute the accused.

    What is really scary is that these attitudes are far from gone, and how easily an innocent person can still be wrongly convicted. I think it would benefit all citizens to read this book, and others like it. In my view it is dangerous to believe myths about the system that have no basis in fact. Again, thanks. 🙂

  88. Some people do criminal acts, and are not convicted, or even charged.
    Some are wrongfully accused by the powers that be–who did noting wrong, or criminal.
    Some have really standup caring attorneys.
    Some have attorneys who barely go through the motions, little genuine caring.
    Of course, it is more than a game, people’s lives are impacted.
    There are many myths.
    Of course, power is surounded by immunity, soverign immunity. The king decides if the State, or Feds can be sued.
    So, few ( % wise) cases go to trial, in America in the civil area, maybe 2 % of those filed, lately in federal courts, its dockets congested.
    The federal court dockets are clogged by criminal cases, and some act like the Court’s jurisdiction must be limited on civil matters. Very few indigent persons will get a defense(in a criminal proceeding), like that provided by Mr Low in the Nelson matter.
    What happened in Iraq in the fog of war is to be determined, yet—by the
    “system”.
    Every year many more people are killed on the streets of America in its strife, and struggles, than the number of U S military personnel killed, now in Iraq, and Afghan.
    Not all those killings–in America– are by nice people.
    It would be folly to presume that–as well, that all homicides are by boy-scouts, wrongfully accused. Myths come in many different shades.
    Most probably care not to confront that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a fabrication, as then 58,000 names ended up on a Memorial, each a story of a human, whose life was cut short because the “best and the brighest” did not give a damn about the truth, and were too lazy to dig for it–at the high tiers of decison making.
    Myths abound— there are so many.
    Some(most) are so busy just making ends meet for the bills, they really can not go into what is a myth, and what is the real deal.
    One persons so called truth, is not necessarily another’s “truth”.
    Power often bends what the truth is, so it is hidden from society.
    Of course, my banal self evident generalizations, are not keyed into any particulars, other than
    what Admiral Stockdale noted. Google Admiral Stockdale and the Gulf Of Tonkin, then clear away a giant myth.

  89. Camillia Olson

    If there is no punishment, is there any law?
    If the USA Constitution sustains Us, to truth,liberty , justice, peace,equ/a/lity, and those who are elected by the people to a trust of lawful represenation, ( oathe ) to Constitutional representation… and there is no penalty when they do not sustain the Constitution.. where is the integrity of law in our country.. if not in the people to restore and initiate petition of recall of reps who violate oathe of office ? to restore constitutional represenation..?
    http: camilliadolson.wetpaint.com

  90. andrea gilles

    Hello Jerry,
    Back in May you wrote of loneliness. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I am reading your autobiography. It is giving me so much to think about and I am deeply grateful. Please know that what you have experienced, and shared with your readers, has the power to open people’s eyes and hearts.
    Maybe this thought will come to you when the loneliness is creeping up…the thought that another soul is so very grateful for you and your teaching.
    Peace and gratitude,
    Andrea

  91. Keep doing what you have been doing.

  92. In regard to Andrea’s comments on loneliness I’d like to add another.

    A sure fire way to nip-it-in-the-bud is to be around giggling, laughing,happy children on a regular basis. I dare anyone to feel lonely for long with a group of children at a swimming pool, the beach, and especially reading funny stories to children in the pediatric ward of your hospital as a volunteer. Laughing children are contagious and would ask : “What’s loneliness mean?”

  93. Dear Gerry, I’d like to know how you feel about the Crowley-Gates situation in Cambridge. For me, it was about abuse of power. The PD have guns, in this case there were three officers with guns and one home owner without a gun probably indignant and behaving in an angry manner. However, isn’t “disorderly conduct” defined as “disruptive, tumultuous behavior inciting violence”? I keep remembering your defense of the Ruby Ridge case. And wondering if our country learned nothing from the OJ verdict about the PD and abuse of power. I’d so appreciate your take on this. Many thanks, Sarai

  94. I feel grateful that there are still good people in the world such as your self. I feel grateful that you are willing to share yourself with us, and are willing to listen to us in return.

    I feel that as long as there are people like you in the world.. there is hope.
    I feel afraid… where is this great nation of ours going? Why is our culture so driven by greed? How can we turn it around?

    As for my expectations… thanks for asking but I have no expectations for you. I can see that you are real. That is enough for me. As long as you are willing to share, I am willing to listen. I may not always agree, however I will always respect your opinion.

    From our community, I expect respect for eachother. I expect that regardless of if I agree or not that I may learn something useful. That I may be empowered to make a possitive difference in this world.

    I would like to ask of you how do you feel about the current trend in public education…
    of administrators who are now using allegations of educational neglect against innocent parents as a form of manipulation and intimidation …
    and of course …
    retaliation???

  95. To Camillia: I realize the necessity of punishment for crimes, particularly violent, heinous ones. I only wish that we as caring people could focus on preventing crime as much as humanly possible. Right now, it seems to me that all we do is focus on punishment of crime, even the most minor and trivial ones, than anything else. I just don’t see that particular focus as a positive one.

  96. to Susan:
    I appreciate the comment, and I appreciate the opprotunity to be present on this webpage, and I believe it is the hope of renewal and of real protection of the rights of the people, indicative of the respect held for Gerry Spence as a defender of the rights of people…. If we ever needed it before, we need it now… I believe that the cause and effect of taking something such as the standard of USA constitutional law as something to be ignored, trampeled and not recognized as the sceptre of honor that does and would sustain equally the rights of the people, and if that were our focus… we could probably avoid most of the wars that have plagued our nation.. and we could remove the international banksters whose intent it appears is to bring our nation ( people ) to bondage, by distorting honest weights and measures into sort of a Ponzi scam scheme called federal reserve banking.. making the people dependent on them.
    Honestly , I would love to see honest reprsentatives who believed in the cause of America , to the extent that they would work without pay if necessary , until or unless the honest weights and measures that empowers to liberty and not dependency is recognized.. and order of governing instrument of USA constitutional law is recognized for the equality and justice it represents…

  97. One thing about yourself you seem to take for granted is apparently unlimited physical energy. Could you talk about that? I’ve been a trial lawyer for 22 years and as I get older I seem to be getting very interested in the topic.

  98. Dearest Mr. Spence:
    We have never met, yet I have listened to your audio tapes. So, your voice has sustained me at times; I have borrowed your faith and been calmed by your wisdom.
    I am not a lawyer, though the men in my Texas family have practiced for
    many generations.
    I believe they were good
    men; my father was a fine and noble soul.
    He died at the young age of 52, leaving his younger
    brother, an Austin attorney, as trustee for his two children, one a minor.
    This man, a man I grew up loving as an Uncle, has converted, concealed,
    and stolen assets from his own brother’s estate.
    With a little help from his
    friends …
    His Honor in the Western District, Austin, will end all soon, for best
    or not.
    Know that you are loved,
    that you have comforted,
    that you have dried the tears of the small girl inside me.
    Though we will never meet, Mr. Spence, you will always be so very important to me.
    Go with G-d.
    tAugusta

  99. How did all those President’s, who were Yale, or Ivy League grads, leave this Nation with so much debt, it is rather astounding, as we wonder where we go in the sea of red ink.
    Piggy hogs are noted by Gerry, and the disease of money.
    None have the maladay worst than all those Party politicians, hooked on creating more red ink,
    as we sink deeper in red ink, as a Nation.Nation.

  100. To Camilla: I wouldn’t be comfortable asking our representatives to work for NO salary. They have to eat like we all do. 🙂

    I understand what you mean, though. I also wish they would work harder and do what they can to improve the lives of ALL citizens of this country, not just the few with the most money. More often than not, that’s who they appear to be working for, not the little people like us who elected them.

  101. Hi Gerry, more than quite a few seem perplexed by what you call a gift from your mum. I imagine what you are saying Gerry is that you have put your mum’s love into your work professionally. This has been rewarding for you because of the love you got back from everybody over the years. So that I see as a compliment to everyone whose lives have been touched by your work. The corollary is, if you had not put your mum’s love into your work professionally, you could never have come to that conclusion. While others work on the dark side of the law, I see you have always tried to work towards the light. I see this is reflected in your questions. They are beautiful. So I’d like to take the liberty of answering them.

    What I’d like you to do Gerry is put a post up about the throwing of stones in modern times. I refer in particular to America’s stripper mom. Do you think America could learn something about itself from this story, like the story of the woman they wanted to stone two thousand years ago, what might your mother have said. I have looked at the relationship dynamics. As dishonest and guilty as this ‘immoral woman’ looks, I believe that she is completely innocent of conspiracy. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity. My detailed hypothesis has no lose ends whatsoever, it all ties in as I see it. I appreciate she looks guilty as sin from those emails but I feel I can easily explain it all. If I were qualified I’d fly over there from South Africa and get her out. Perhaps in the spirit of your mission Gerry there might be someone in this community who has the ability to also deal with the enormous publicity that helping her would inevitably bring. She has an 8-year-old daughter who is now being bullied at school I imagine. I’d say do it for her little girl. She asked why did the good persons vote to take her mum. Do it also for her doctor husband who has done service. I could offer to email you separately about my motivation shortly, my personal story. I’m not sure whether you’d want that posted out here, it’s pages long. I could do that next week perhaps as I am going away canoeing for a few days. Just to say, lawyers have mortgaged the doctor husband’s future earnings already as far as I know. So they are cleaned out it seems. This would have to be a case pro bono. I feel I see the case extremely well, particularly the human relationship side goes toward intent. That is what this case is all about as I see it, simply intent. In view of the publicity and your work’s mission, it would be very important that the case is won completely. Setting the right precedent for the throwing of stones in America is also needed for the rest of the world. Anyone interested please email me for details. ModernLegal@yahoo.com

    How do I feel, I’d like to answer that also. I found this site because I recognised your name on her wish list where two books were listed. You are the author. She donates the books on to others to read afterwards. A kind neighbour of hers compiled her wish list. So to answer the question how do I feel, first of all, I am shocked to find that you are past fifty something and almost an octogenarian. I am pleasantly surprised, however, by what I see you have done the last 15 years about this college. This gives me faith in the spirit of America again.

  102. Most in the Senate increase their net worth by millions, during their terms(gaming the system for personal gain, with their POLITICAL CLUBS.).
    Plus, they have the gold platted health care plan, like Kennedy, on a freebie at tax payer expenses.
    With the U S leading the world in trade deficits, budget deficits, all they (professional political Kats) know how to do is create debt.
    Now, we see Ex Gov Palin, leaving(quitting) to cash in.
    But, her first big “Face Book” twitty splash is to call the Obama Health care plan “evil”, and a death “rationing ” plan”.
    Nobody escapes earth, alive.
    The boomer generation left the x, y, z and T generation a legacy of debt(trillions of mind boggling staggering red ink).
    Now, it is face the music time.
    Where do we go from here, some wonder:
    Face the music time on the debt, it is not free lunch time for ever.
    You may not have gotten the free lunches, but if you did not care what the politicians were doing to your childern(the younger generations) you gave them an open check book to loot your childerns future, and
    so put that in to your schedule on where you all go, or we go as a Nation.
    We have reached the tipping point.

  103. Gerry, what do you make of our recent High Court’s Bent Logic. Do we really stand a chance as a society – or is it just a cold day in Hell?

    COMMENTARY By ALAN DERSHOWITZ: I never thought I would live to see the day when a justice of the Supreme Court would publish the following words: ***This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is actually innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged actual innocence is constitutionally cognizable. ***Yet these words appeared in a dissenting opinion issued by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas on Monday. Let us be clear precisely what this means. If a defendant were convicted, after a constitutionally unflawed trial, of murdering his wife, and then came to the Supreme Court with his very much alive wife at his side, and sought a new trial based on newly discovered evidence (namely that his wife was alive), these two justices would tell him, in effect: Look, your wife may be alive as a matter of fact, but as a matter of constitutional law, shes dead, and as for you, Mr. Innocent Defendant, you’re dead, too, since there is no constitutional right not to be executed merely because you’re innocent.

  104. My question to ask.com was; where does a person go for help when the legal system has let them down? Your blog came up as an answer. My questions are many, my problems are more, my desperation is unmeasureable. Where do I begin?

  105. Suzanne
    Your post reached me, I
    empathize in many ways.
    The legal system will always let us down. Even when we prevail. Sometimes it make sense to keep knocking on that legal door, finding a different route. Sue a man, you have to mean it.
    Like your daddy said about a gun “…don’ t take it out unless you mean business; when you shoot, shoot to kill.” (gun as metaphor please.)
    Reading again, I hear “I’ve done all I can,
    I am here, alone, it hurts.”
    And it does hurt. I am sorry. If answer comes, I’ll share!

  106. Well, before going off-the-air for a while to give you a real vacation…..your self-appointed private detective for the defense wonders if you would comment on the legal ramifications of that wonderful and unforgettable classic movie: “Witness for the Prosecution” with Charles Laughton and his real-life wife playing his nurse. (Both educational and entertaining for we lay people) Thank you for considering it. (No responses from here, just reading, promise!!)

  107. J R(above), speaks of the plan, and war, and Ike, and throwing out plans, on the theater of battle, and going forward.
    Custer went forward.
    The Little Big Horn.
    He was looking for glory, he got a lot of gory.
    Then, the Great White Fathers, send a curse to kill all the buffalo, the bread basket for the sons of the Rockies, and Wounded Knee came, and
    a great cultural clash of the dominate society, held the Native society to a hostage of oppression.
    Forward, past present.
    Past is prologue:

    “Whereof what’s past is prologue; what to come,
    In yours and my discharge.”

    The Tempest Act 2, scene 1, 245–254 (Shakeapere)

    Thus, where do we go from, here: Depends on where one has been, and is, and what one is carrying, and a whole array of factors.
    One Director of the Warriors, he brings up Crazy Horse.
    It is written in the Moment, by your fellow traveler. The winds of the future are speaking to you.

  108. I am no one in legal fraternity Gerry but you have touched the centermost cord of my life. For the first time I feel that I am no loner any more. I am inspired by you candor especially in exposing the rot in our so called civilization. It has never stopped me to feel a victim and powerless when I see so much abuse of the dignity of the human race by people who should know better. Thank you so much.

  109. When contemplating where one goes, one must factor in where one has been. It is linked.
    So, the baggage, do we bring it along, or leave it at the station ?
    On the travel gear, I gather, it will be into the
    thin air. We are ready for the journey, have the maps, and on the “we” part, I gather most never took the side trip to the New Orleans cemetary on housing arrangments.
    I think, we(the we) will make our own housing arrangments.

  110. As only you could do it, an article on “Laughter, the greatest gift of all .”

    Back in the 60s during the Cold War, was sitting in the cockpit in Bangor, Maine waiting to board a charter of “The Ancient and Honorable Artillery”… (“We may b e ancient but we sure ain’t honorable!”)

    Directly to our right with our cockpits lined up flush, was an Aeroflot Commercial craft awaiting a charter group too. We were trying to avoid looking at each other from being uncomfortable for what seemed ages, when out of the blue THEIR CAPTAIN IN THE LEFT SEAT OPENED HIS WINDOW AND GAVE US THE UNIVERSAL HELLO SIGN!!”

    You could hear the laughter from both cockpits all the way in the terminal. Laughter, the saving grace.

  111. Wish you good health for a long, long time, sincerely. Au revoir

  112. (ie. when the tension was so great you could cut it with a knife…they (cockpit) gave us the finger and our co-pilot (Ed Wucik) gave it back to them. They ended up waving good-bye, as did we, when they were taxiing on the tarmac , leaving before we did.
    These were the same people (pilots) who could have been told to kill each other at any second. You never forget it.

    Will miss George. He was intelligent and normal.

  113. Gerry,

    I’m a 22 yr old advertising student in Canada; although I’ve had an interest in criminal law from the young age of 10. I’ve just started reading some of your work and I am extremely impressed. Maybe it was fate that I stumbled upon your book “How to Argue and Win Every Time” in a used book store and purchased it for just $3.77. Recently I read an excerpt from “From Freedom To Slavery, The Rebirth Of Tyranny In America” where you wrote to Alan Hirschfield regarding the defense of Randy Weaver. I have to say that this excerpt blew me away; your arguments are the perfect mix of the facts, your soul, and the reflection of your client’s soul.

    Now I must decide whether to argue for non-people — to ‘corporations, money and power’, giving people reasons to buy products and services they don’t really need, or argue for people, and systematic justice in law. I’ve always thought about my career decision in a monetary fashion as it seems I’ve inherited my father’s firm belief in the omnipotent mighty dollar.

    Your work has made me question if my career choice in advertising is the right one; not because I’ve misinterpreted anything you’ve written to mean you are against advertising or corporations, the reason is your advice on authenticity, and letting your essence through instead of concealing it; this is wise advice for law, advertising and probably every other profession out there. I am sure I will be much more successful in whatever I choose to do with this advice. I wonder what it will feel like to wake up in 20 years and be an advertising guy that will sell products and services as best I can, as opposed to a lawyer who would defend clients for the sake of what is right.

    Maybe my initial intention of this long rambling note (I’m not a great writer) was to tell you I’ve enjoyed your book and what I’ve read thus far, and it’s made me think very hard about my life, what I do, what I do, what I want, and it all came out of my curiosity about bettering myself in winning arguments.

  114. Hope you are doing well Gerry.

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