The Life and Career of Gerry Spence : Legendary Criminal Defense Attorney

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Spence, who has written several books on criminal defense, defended former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos, Idaho separatist Randy Weaver in the Ruby Ridge case, and the family of corporate whistle-blower Karen Silkwood.

Spence boasts he has never lost a criminal case and it appears he will now retire with his record intact.

Throughout his 55-year legal career, Spence's view has been that the American people are all enslaved by "the new slave masters" who, he says, are big business and big government. He sees himself as a champion for "We the People". Although it's typically dubious to make blanket attacks against big business, few would argue against the idea that big government is an ever-growing problem that does seem to desire the enslavement of its citizen. And Gerry Spence was always ready to defend the lone citizen against those organized bringers of malice.

In addition to his illustrious legal career, Gerry Spence has been a noteworthy writer—including poetry—and a photographer. He is very sensitive to the human condition. The books he's authored include: How to Argue and Win Every Time, From Freedom to Slavery, O.J.: the Last Word, The Making of a Country Lawyer, Murder and Madness, A Boy's Summer, With Justice for None, Give Me Liberty!, Gunning for Justice, Gerry Spence's Wyoming, and Half-Moon and Empty Stars.

These days, Gerry Spence continues to run The Trial Lawyers College. Founded by Spence at his Wyoming ranch, The Trial Lawyers College is dedicated to educating and training lawyers and judges who feel loyal to the American jury system and who deeply desire to represent and win true justice for individuals. Often times these individuals are the down-trodden of society, including the poor, injured, and marginalized. Students of the Trial Lawyers College wish to protect the rights of such people from government oppression, as well as those high up in the corporate world who would seek to use their power for evil. The Trial Lawyers College furthers an open atmosphere of caring for people no matter what their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or physical capabilities.

The Warrior is the official journal of the Trial Lawyers College. The Warrior takes its name from the idea that Spence has always wanted to be seen as a warrior for the people. Gerry Spence is very highly involved with writing and editing the school's journal.

Spence continues to write in other venues, too. He fills his blog with insights into law and his life experiences. Back in the summer of 2008, Spence was writing about power and its potential for abuse. He iterated that more children were abused than most people suspect, and that often this abuse came from parents who simply did not understand the harmful way in which they exercised their power. As one might imagine, he finds the way to link this with our legal system and the injustice that is too often found there.

Spence wrote in his blog post "How to Survive the Tyrant Judge" that:

"We're afraid of judges because they're power-persons, which harkens back to our experiences with our first power-persons - usually a parent. Most often we don't understand that psychic connection while we stand miserable and quaking before His Honor. Instead of a judge the psychic eye sees a raging father or a scolding mother. The psychic memory has not forgotten the child's helplessness before such a power-person. Nor has the survival instinct let the psychic mind forget that should the child be cast out, the child will face the ultimate horror-death. And what if the judge should reject us?

"We are introduced at an early age to the relationship between power and helplessness. Beyond the fear of the parent power-person we are taught to fear the ever-watching God-the ultimate power. Why do judges peer down on us from on high? Why do the remnants of ancient belief systems still have us 'praying' to his Honor? From the earliest times we learn the art of beseeching that is often gilded with resentment-the deaf, unresponsive God of Job. And always we long for our own power."

Gerry Spence infuses the ideas about the plight of the individual against tyranny in high places into the Trial Lawyers College seminars, workshops, and writings. The College seeks to prepare people to face not just the tyranny of an often corrupt, uncaring, power-mad judicial system, but their own inner demons as well. This is the humanities work that the retired Gerry Spence is engaged in these days.

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