A curious email came in from Dubois, Wyoming the other day. Scott Trimble, chargé d’affaires for the Trial Lawyers College, which is either one of the top three programs for criminal defense lawyers or a dangerous cult bent on getting grown-up lawyers to wear cowboy jackets with fringes, had a question.
I’m wondering if there’s any way you can help us get the word out?
Me? Because I’m one of those “get the word out” kinda guys? Being that sort of fellow, I replied to Scott with my usual, thoughtful aplomb:
So I’ve notice that lawyers of a certain age look quite good in those fringed cowboy coats they have up there in Dubois, Wyoming. While I normally charge for advertising conferences, one of those cool coats might just do the trick. And maybe a hat. Hats are good too.
I’ll be damned. They took me up on it. See what happens when you think you’re just being snarky? I should have asked for boots, too. So my offer having been accepted, I am a man of my word, and here goes:
Gerry Spence founded the Trial Lawyers College 20 years ago, and since then, a number of exceptional lawyers with whom I’m very well acquainted attended and think it added enormously to their skill and will. TLC “Warriors” get a secret handshake, decoder ring and free beers at lunch on Tuesdays.
Want to hang with Gerry? Want to be a Warrior? Here is your chance:
“Discovering the Story” – 4 day seminar in which we teach how to discover the powerful core of the real story of your client’s case and effectively communicate it to your jury.
February 27 – March 2; Braselton,
“Gerry Spence on Voir Dire” – 3 intensive days spent learning the TLC methods to identify the danger points in your case, re-frame them as power points, and approach the jury selection in an “inclusive” rather than “exclusive” way. Taught personally by Gerry Spence, John Sloan, Jude Basile, John Zelbst and 40 other TLC faculty.
April 4-6; Dallas-Fort Worth,
“Death Penalty Seminar” – 8 day conference in which we bring together teams to discover the story of the client; we work on direct examination of the family of the accused and the experts presented in the mitigation stage; we look at jury selection and how to seat a jury that can hear the evidence that justifies life.
June 6-13; Dubois, Wyoming
I observe in passing that each of the locations happens to be a place where a grown lawyer can wear a cowboy coat with fringes without people thinking, “What the?” In New York, you just look like Jon Voight. Creepy. And if you can’t make any of the seminars above, there are more to choose from, so check out what’s close to you.
Love or hate Gerry Spence, there is no denying that he’s one of the foremost criminal defense lawyers of our age. Feeling outgunned in the courtroom? Can’t bear the thought of going in, again, to battle the crushing weight of the government with everything against you? This is an opportunity to hone your skills, bolster your confidence and get recharged in the camaraderie of fellow criminal defense lawyers.
Note: There is no seminar on how to use an iPad at trial or how to craft a website that will be on the first page of Google. This is about how to be the most effective lawyer you can be, how to better defend your clients. You know, be a better lawyer, if that’s the sort of thing that interests you.
Now that I’ve kept my end of my deal with the devil, I’ll be waiting by the mail box for my coat and hat. Scott Trimble tells me Laurie, the marketing director, is out at the Dubois haberdashery picking one up for me as I type. It hasn’t arrived yet, “[b]ut, she said to assure you she’s good for it.” She better be or you’ll be hearing from me, because I kept my promise and you can bet that if Gerry Spence doesn’t keep his, there will be hell to pay.
When it arrives, I promise pics. Without pics, it didn’t happen. Well, you know that already.
Go to one of these seminars. Gerry Spence won’t be around forever, and think how you would feel when you tell your grandchildren that you could have learned from him and passed up the chance. Not to mention, you owe it to your clients to be the best lawyer you can be. It’s your duty.