Gerry spence wisdom

Gerry Spence and I are in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We’ve been here since Saturday for a week of traveling around with our cameras and taking photos. He is a professional photographer and I am not, but we both enjoy photography.  Since there are only the two of us, we have spent a lot of time talking about a lot of subjects. Of course, law is the primary one. The trial approach of the Gerry Spence Trial College is unique from that of standard teaching and it is devoted only to criminal defense and plaintiff trial work. Many of you have attended either the regional seminars or the college itself in Wyoming and understand the program. Gerry continues to amaze me with his energy and bright mind at seventy nine years. But, we are, in fact, two old men because I am seventy three and have the same aches and pains along with memory lapses he does. 
We are comparing notes on books we have brought with us and he is reading Human a book on how the brain works. We’ve noted the substantial research that indicates how much of our decision making and motivations occur at a non conscious level. Up to ninety percent of all decisions we make are made at a "gut" level and then ratified intellectually. Jurors are motivated to act by issues that even they are not aware exist. Gerry says he has used the theme of "betrayal" in many of his trials. Betrayal of trust by the doctor or the drug company or the government. We have a strong drive for survival and personal protection is part of that drive. When personal protection is threatened we react. When our client’s situation shows that the drug company has violated the trust we place in them to protect us by safe drugs, we feel betrayed. Betrayal means we our personal safety is threatened and our survival endangered. We react by punishing  to restore the trust we are entitled to have. These kinds of concepts have little to do with the traditional way we view trials, but are of great importance to us in our work.   —–

About Paul Luvera

Plaintiff trial lawyer for 50 years. Past President of the Inner Circle of Advocates & Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Member American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy, International Society of Barristers, member of the National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame & speaker at Spence Trial College
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