DUI Lawyers and the Trial Lawyers College
By Andrew Mishlove on September 03, 2014
Those who know me are familiar with my commitment to the National College for DUI Defense. During the 15 years that I have been active in the NCDD, I have seen some great lawyers. I noticed that a particular group of lawyers seemed to have a real knack for eloquent story-telling, which is a critical part of the lawyer’s art. Those lawyers had, invariably, studied with Gerry Spence, the great cowboy lawyer from Wyoming. You will know Spence as the man with the deep baritone voice and the fringed leather jacket, who was often a law commentator on television. He has handled many famous cases, including the Karen Silkwood case, the Imelda Marcos case, and the Ruby Ridge case.
Spence has a school for lawyers on his ranch in Wyoming, called the Trial Lawyers College. For a number of years, I have occasionally attended weekend seminars put on by the TLC. The real TLC, however, is more intense; it is twenty-three days of strenuous training in the art of lawyering. There are a number of different kinds of trial lawyers that attend TLC seminars: personal injury lawyers, civil rights lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, and DUI defense lawyers. Of course, I am biased, but I think that the DUI defense lawyers are the cream of the crop.
Spence does use some controversial techniques in teaching. The primary example is psychodrama. This is a tool, used by psychologists, to help a subject understand and cope with life traumas. With the aid of professionals, TLC lawyers are trained to use psychodrama to better understand themselves; to be a more genuine person. Bringing a more genuine, authentic self into the courtroom allows a lawyer to be a more eloquent teller of his client’s story. Psychodrama is also used to discover the client’s story from the client’s point of view. It is a powerful tool, and it has its detractors.
You cannot argue with success, however. TLC lawyers win. Its that simple.
I am very pleased to say that I am about to leave on a real journey of rediscovery and professional rejuvenation. I am getting in my truck tomorrow and driving to Dubois, Wyoming, where I will spend the next twenty-three days at Spence’s Thunderhead Ranch, honing my skill as a lawyer.
When I come back later this month, I expect to be an even more formidable force in the courtroom. Oh, and since it is in rural Wyoming, I am bringing the mountain bike!
Related Article: The Importance of Emotional Factors in DUI/OWI Trials
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