From the Vault -- Gerry Spence, "The Storyteller"
June Editorial Showcases Both the Young and Tenured
We were honored to sit down with Gerry Spence for the cover story of the 2010 issue of Mountain States Super Lawyers magazine. The legendary trial lawyer discussed everything from education to why he choose to focus on representing the marginalized. An excerpt:
When I first went into the law, if you were an important lawyer you represented an insurance company. That was proof that you had made it. I can remember how proud I was when I went rushing home to tell my wife that I'd been hired by an insurance company.
Then, as I matured, I began to see what was really going on in the legal system. I saw the power of money, and the power of insurance companies, and poor people that couldn't get representation; and poor people who, if they could get representation, were represented by lawyers who couldn't afford to take the case and deal with it in a correct fashion. And if you are sensitive to and become educated from your experience, there comes a time when either you respond to that or you become calloused against it. And it just so happens that I grew up with poor people so I recognized the helplessness of ordinary people against the power structure. And there came a time when I couldn't represent the power structure anymore.
Read the rest of the Spence Q&A in the full feature article on SuperLawyers.com. And be sure to check out the latest edition of Mountain States Super Lawyers Magazine here.
Super Lawyers in the News: Making A Murderer, Trump and the FBI
Super Lawyers selectees are a diverse group of attorneys working for their communities in ways that inspire others, encourage participation in the law and advocate for justice no matter the client. Here are a few of their stories.
2017 Florida Super Lawyers Magazine
Eugene Pettis is one of seven children from what was once referred to as the "colored side" of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He grew up with hand-me-down shoes filled with cardboard to cover the holes and a speech impediment, but that didn't stop him from graduating law school or serving as the first black president of the Florida Bar Association.
Pettis takes pride in helping underserved members of the community and has been working for others ever since starting the Horizon Club, his high school's first inclusive service club. He is seen by colleagues as a dogged and hard working attorney. He has spent the majority of his career in personal injury and medical malpractice defense and has also served on the South Florida Water Management District's governing board.
He is currently a partner and the co-founder of Haliczer Pettis & Schwarm. He has been a Super Lawyers list selectee for eleven years in a row and elected Top 100 Miami three of those years.
2017 California Super Lawyers Magazine - Rising Stars
Jessie Kornberg wasn't destined to be an attorney. It turns out that in college she was looking for a way to best serve underprivileged communities. Her answer was a law degree that eventually led her to her current position as president and CEO of Bet Tzedek. In her time leading the advocacy group, Kornberg has helped secure financial backing and rolled out new initiatives to help low income families and individuals who have trouble understanding complicated tax structures that exist in areas like disability benefits.
Kornberg was born and raised in New York, the child of an architect and a poet. She graduated from Columbia Law where she was studying when the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 affected her view of the world and helped shape her into the advocate she is today. During her time in law school at UCLA she went to New Orleans with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
She currently manages a budget of $8 million in cash and about $15 million in services while reporting to a board of 55 members. Even with all this responsibility she is "so inspired by the energy and ferocity [with which] my staff is responding" to the problems poor L.A. residents.
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Super Lawyers listees are a diverse, uniquely talented group of individuals who thrive in a variety of practice areas. Because of their success, Super Lawyers selectees oftentimes make headlines for a number of reasons. This could be because of newsworthy cases or important causes they champion. Here are just a few headlines Super Lawyers selectees made in the month of June.
Jerry Buting and Dean Strang- The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently ruled that Brendan Dassey's confession was coerced by police. Said confession was a key piece of evidence used to convict Steven Avery, the subject of the Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer," whose defense attorneys were Super Lawyers listees Jerry Buting and Dean Strang. Read more about how the three-judge panel said it determined the confession was involuntary not because of a single statement or question, instead calling it "death by a thousand cuts." Read the full story here http://n.pr/2syii0V.
Martin Singer- Corinne Olympios, who was involved in an incident that shut down the 4th season of the reality series "Bachelor in Paradise," has hired longtime listee Martin Singer. We featured Singer in our 2008 Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine in an article entitled: "Why is the National Enquirer Afraid of This Man? Martin Singer may be a mad dog, but he's crazy like a fox." Read it in its entirety here: http://bit.ly/2rW2pCS.
Christopher Wray- President Trump's nominee to replace James Comey as FBI director is Washington D.C. Super Lawyers listee Christopher Wray, a criminal defense litigator at King & Spalding. One of his best-known clients was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whom Wray represented during "Bridgegate." Wray served as a top official at the Department of Justice under President George W. Bush. Read the full story here http://cnn.it/2qXwyNv.
John M. Dowd- President Trump's legal team has added John M. Dowd, who once headed Akin Gump's criminal litigation group. Our 2007 article on Mr. Dowd focused on the baseball part of his career, representing Ted Williams and investigating Pete Rose.
Above are just some of the stories our list selectees are a part of every month. To keep up with more Super Lawyers news follow us on Facebook and Twitter.