Gerry Spence Warms Up Jurors, Even If He Is a Bit Grumpy
Posted May 2, 2008 8:49 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Well-known trial lawyer Gerry Spence, coaxed out of semi-retirement to represent Geoffrey Fieger on charges of making illegal campaign contributions, has attracted several lawyers to the trial who want to see him in action. So many came, in fact, that several observers had to be turned away.
Those who got a seat saw that Spence has many courtroom personas, the Detroit Free Press reports. He portrays himself as a country lawyer. Sometimes, though, the 79-year-old Spence “comes off as a grumpy old man with creaky bones and a bad memory.”
But underneath his grumbling lies a sharp wit, the newspaper says. At one point he complained about the electronic noise that U.S. District Judge Paul Borman plays so jurors won’t be able to hear the lawyers talking.
"If we could just play some good music instead of that static!" complained Spence.
In opening arguments, Spence portrayed his client as a good lawyer who was unfairly targeted by prosecutors, the Detroit Free Press reports in a separate story. "You would have thought he was Osama bin Laden," Spence said of his client.
"If the government can do this to Mr. Fieger," he said, "they can do this to any of us.”
Spence’s website boasts that he’s never lost a criminal case.