May 2005 Issue
Oakland, Calif., trial lawyer J. Gary Gwilliam doesn’t feel comfortable talking about his losses. He would rather forget them. But he can’t. They have taught him too many valuable lessons.
Gwilliam estimates he has tried more than 175 jury trials to verdict in his 40 years of practice. The vast majority of them have been wins.
But Gwilliam believes that trial lawyers rarely, if ever, learn anything from winning. He thinks that some of life’s most important lessons come from defeat. And he admits to having lost about 30 jury trials in his career.
The full-page color newspaper ads that ran March 9 carried a chilling headline: “It destroys your jobs. It raises your taxes. It takes your money. And it’s all legal.”
Angus was the last of four speakers at a trial strategy program. The first speaker talked about “Winning the War of Attrition--Creative Use of Rule 56 for Partial Summary Judgments.” The second suggested “Hamstring Your Opponent’s Expert with Daubert,” and the third ran through “Ten Neglected Ways to Get In or Out of Federal Court.”