Gerry Spence

Photo by Greg Westfall

Imagine practicing law for 60 years, both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney- and never losing a single case before a jury.

That was the enviable record racked up by attorney Gerry Spence.

And his record in civil cases was nearly as perfect.

A brilliant legal mind, coupled with a charismatic personality and courtroom demeanor made him one of America’s most effective trial lawyers.

So it was with more than just passing interest that Spence sat in the courtroom every day as a spectator at the trial of the century, the murder trial of OJ Simpson.

Two years after the verdict in that case, Spence wrote a book called OJ: The Last Word. And that was when Spence and I had one of our many conversations.

So here now, from 1997, Gerry Spence.

Gerry Spence is 94 now, and still lives in his native Wyoming.

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Sarah Weddington


Last week the United States Supreme Court overturned the nearly 50-year-old Roe vs Wade decision, which afforded women the constitutional right to an abortion.

That was a court battle fought, and one, by a young Texas attorney. In fact, Sarah Weddington was only 27 when she argued the case before the high Court on behalf of her client, the pseudonymous Jane Roe..

When 20 years later, Sarah Weddington was still gravely concerned about the future of the ruling that she won.

And now, we see that her concerns were well founded.

And Sarah Weddington, as it turns out, had a personal interest in the outcome of Roe vs. Wade.

So here now, from 19932, Sarah Weddington.

Sarah Weddington died last Decembmer. She was 76.

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Catherine Crier

Catherine Crier had a remarkable legal career. By age 30, she had become the youngest elected judge ever in the state of Texas.

But the number of years and Crier became a journalist and television personality, eventually hosting her own show on Court TV.

And along the way, she developed some strong opinions about the profession that she began her career in, the law.

Her 2002 book The Case Against Lawyers became a New York Times bestseller. And that’s when I first met her.

So here now, from 2002, Catherine Crier..

Catherine Crier is 68 now, and is a partner and a firm that develops TV, movie and documentary projects.

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William Kunstler

The New York Times once labeled William Kunstler “America’s most controversial lawyer.”

What earned him that distinction was his defense of the so-called “Chicago Seven,” a group of young radicals who tried to disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

But the Chicago Seven were hardly Kunstler’s most controversial clients. He also represented clients ranging from Jack Ruby to U.S. Marine and Russian spy Clayton Lonetree, to the man known as The Blind Sheikh, the man behind the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

I met William Kunstler in 1994, when he wrote his autobiography, a book titled My Life As a Radical Lawyer.

So here now, from 1994, William Kunstler.

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William kunstler died just a year after our interview, in 1995. He was 76.

Polly Nelson

Name a famous serial killer.

There’s a good chance that one of the first names that came to your mind was Ted Bundy.

Over a period of years, mostly in the 1970’s, Ted Bundy killed at least 30 people that we know of, but probably more.

Finally, in 1979, the charismatic 33-year-old was caught, tried, and convicted in Florida.

He spent the next eight years in prison, as appeal after appeal went through the courts. Then, in 1987, he met the woman who would be his last lawyer: Polly Nelson.

A freshly minted lawyer with a big Washington law firm, Nelson was chosen to do some pro bono work – it turned out, it was the Bundy case.

For the next two years, Nelson worked on his case, trying to find some way to keep him off death row.

Bundy was executed in 1989, however, and five years later, I met Polly Nelson, when she wrote a book about the case.

So here now, from 1994, Polly Nelson.

Attorney Poly Nelson is 69 now.

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Gloria Allred

She is one of America’s most high-profile lawyers.

In a career that began in the 1970s, Gloria Allred has become especially known for taking on cases involving sexual harassment and women’s rights, especially in the workplace.

In 2006, she looked back on her career in a book that she admits may be the closest she will ever come to writing a full-fledged autobiography.

So here now, from 2006 Gloria Allred:

Gloria Allred will be 80 in July. And still practices law.

Johnnie Cochran

You may know defense attorney Johnnie Cochran best for his participation in OJ Simpson’s dream team in his 1990s trial.


But Johnny Cochran had a long legal career, and the Simpson case was just one of hundreds that he participated in.

I met him in 2002, when he wrote A Memoir, of his long, storied legal career.

And believe it or not, he said in that book that the Simpson case was far from his most challenging.

So here now, from 2002, Johnny Cochran.Improvement

Johnnie Cochran died less than three years after our iterview, in 2005, at age 68.