With Trump's historic federal espionage indictment, you have to ask WWGSD - What Would Gerry Spence Do?

“Give me an effective Voir Dire and Opening Statement, and as long as the trial lawyer maintains his or her credibility, the case is won.” G...

“Give me an effective Voir Dire and Opening Statement, and as long as the trial lawyer maintains his or her credibility, the case is won.” GERRY SPENCE. |

One of the most successful and famous criminal defense attorneys in American history is Wyoming native Gerry Spence. Although retired from practice, the 93-year-old Spence remains a towering figure among trial attorneys.

Among the clients he has successfully defended in high-profile federal cases have been Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge fame and former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. Both defendants were considered dead-to-rights, but Spence gained acquittals. 

Spense has never lost a criminal defense case. Case selection plays a role in this record, but Spense has a proven method to defend unpopular clients. 

One of the keys to Spence's success has been Voir Dire - jury selection. Spence has written books and, along with associates, has trained attorneys on his methods.

Spence's trial methods are worth remembering as tomorrow, former President Donald J. Trump will be indicted on federal espionage charges in Miami. Even though the indictment has painted a bleak picture, the story is far from completion. 

Among things favoring Trump are the venue and, as luck would have it for Trump, the judge conducting the case. Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, has already ruled favorably for the former president, although her ruling was overturned in a scathing rebuke by the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.   

If this matter goes to trial, and Trump can retain competent counsel, a big if given his difficulty as a client, the key to victory for either side will be voire dire. 

While the state has to gain a unanimous verdict, the defense only needs one juror to have a hung verdict, resulting in a mistrial, tantamount to a defense victory. You can bet jury selection will be a lengthy process. 

Although the trial is months away, and barring a plea - something unlikely for the former president - once it starts, closely monitor jury selection and ask, What Would Gerry Spence Do?   


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