Society - Legal
By: - at May 15, 2013

15 Legal Counsel That Have Never Lost Court Cases

attorney making his caseIf you're defending yourself against charges in court, it can be quite comforting if your lawyer has never lost a court case. However, this may not be indicative of their success. In some cases, attorneys will decide to settle outside of court, particularly if the defendant is quite a large corporation.

Some of the most esteemed lawyers insist that their ability to win over juries and judges is all down to how skilled they are at argument. Others say the secret is a thorough understanding of the law even though it can be exercised in a plethora of ways. In the U.S. one of the challenges of winning consistently, without a losing, is the unpredictability of juries. It's important to remember both as a reader or as an attorney in the courtroom, that it is difficult to know how members of the public would react to the case at hand. In some cases, even though they are told to leave any bias outside of the courtroom, a jury member can become disillusioned when learning about battles for millions of dollars.

Given the success of some attorneys, they often become media personalities. On occasion, books are published that document their successes. Some aspiring lawyers will then use successful attorney's published legal expertise as an educational tool, picking up tried-and-tested techniques for their own legal practice. Finding counsel who has won every single court case is rare, but we're going to look at some attorneys who have extremely high success rates and are somewhat famous in the legal community.

15)  Gerry Spence
Lawyer Gerry SpenceGerry Spence is widely regarded as one of the most radical thinkers in the legal world. Practicing law in several states including California, Iowa, and Wyoming, Spence claims that he has never lost a case that has involved representing or prosecuting an alleged criminal. Meanwhile, when it comes to civil cases involving issues such as defamation or fraud, a verdict that wasn't in his favor hasn't been filed for more than 40 years. One of his biggest interests is helping attorneys to overturn a potential death penalty for their clients.

When it comes to selecting cases, Spence places a heavy emphasis on assisting people who don't have a voice. Given the extensive cutbacks seen in Legal Aid, this has been heralded as a wonderful attribute by commentators.

One of his bestselling books was called "How to Argue and Win Every Time." It had some critics rolling their eyes, considering some literary reviewers believed that yet another self-help book wasn't needed in 1995. Despite this sales have gone from strength to strength over the past 18 years. If you want to know how to argue intelligently with your head as well as establishing an emotional connection by arguing from the heart, then purchasing is book can get you started. Knowing the balance between the two is often vital for success.

14)  Nick Freeman
Attorney Nick FreemanNick Freeman is almost a legend in the U.K. and he has even earned himself a title: Mr. Loophole. This was due to his knack for helping celebrities escape points on their license when they were caught driving under the influence, using a mobile device behind the wheel, or other non-violent offenses. He seems to be quite pleased with his nickname, as he has trademarked it as part of his brand. Like Gerry Spence, Mr. Loophole has also written books with one titled, "The Art of the Loophole."

Although he hasn't got the esteemed title of never losing a case, many lawyers do believe that his techniques are impressive. A lot of the time, the defense he uses on behalf of his clients will be based entirely on a technicality. One particular example was back in 2009 when he was defending a famous comedian. In the case, Freeman's argument was that the phone was being used for dictation, as the comedian had thought of an idea for an excellent joke. This isn't illegal in U.K. Courts where the law states that using a mobile device to hold a conversation while driving is illegal. Since an infraction did not occur, the judge dismissed the case.

A lot of the time, judges love novelty in cases. In addition, if there are exceptional circumstances at hand, certain offenses can be brought into context. Perhaps Mr. Loophole is just exceptionally talented at selecting cases.

13) John Hueston
Lawyer John HuestonJohn Hueston's legal career gained particular notoriety back in 2006, when he was working on a case in Orange County, California. He was prosecuting a man who was accused of selling fake chips that would be used in computers, making millions in the process. However, when evidence that was obtained through the use of an investigator turned out to be difficult to prove, the attorney had to think outside of the box.

Instead of continuing to dwell on this problem, in a way that could have resulted in the prosecution losing their case, he decided to contrast the counterfeited machinery with their authentic counterparts. It was hoped that this visual aid would attract the jury towards the prosecution's argument, and it worked. Judges believed that Hueston's effectiveness at simplifying complex topics for members of the public was his greatest asset.

As well as securing damages for high-end clients when a case goes to court, he has also secured settlements of millions of dollars. One police officer in the state commented that when he was working on behalf of the government as a prosecutor, he secured successful results every time. As such, you'd be feeling pretty nervous if you were batting for the other team.

12)  Ray Beckerman
Ray Beckerman Court AttorneyRay Beckerman has enjoyed considerable success defending members of the public who have been sued by record labels and production companies. The main reason why such legal battles occur is because RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America,) believes that it is important to prosecute Americans who download copyrighted material illegally, or view it for free via unauthorized uploads on websites such as YouTube.

Beckerman's contention is to have a thorough understanding of technology, but to also focus on ensuring that the law is practiced in a traditional way. He believes that many of the RIAA lawsuits that have been brought involve bullying defendants who may not have the cash to defend themselves. They can feel powerless even if the case against them is unclear, and the evidence isn't concrete.

Based in New York, he also has a partner in his law firm with whom he shares more than 50 years of experience. One of his greatest achievements is a blog, which has been established to help other attorneys who are battling large media corporations. Entitled Recording Industry vs. The People, it has resulted in him gaining an extensive following on Twitter.

11)  Catia Saraiva
Catia Saraiva LawyerNext up is Catia Saraiva. She may be young, but she also has a strong track record which originated from her concrete understanding of the law. Even though she has only been a member of the bar for eight years, Saraiva has focused on representing those who have been injured in incidents that weren't their fault. According to DBBC, the firm where she works, she has successfully secured hundreds of settlements for her clients, sometimes extending into millions of dollars.

In some cases, she has focused her career on medical malpractice. One recent contest saw her nominated for an award. Saraiva was representing a family whose unwell parent died because restraints used on the family member were found to be unfit for purpose. Not only was the remuneration significant, but it also resulted in positive changes being implemented at the hospital where the incident occurred. As such, the family could rest assured that such a terrible tragedy wouldn't happen again to someone else.

When selecting an attorney, it's important to remember that it isn't necessary to focus on whether they always win. One of the leading benchmarks of a lawyer's efficiency is through Peer Review, as this involves other legal professionals performing an assessment on how ethical and successful they are. Catia Saraiva has one of the highest ratings available, and has been labeled as "Distinguished."

10)  Kathleen Koh
Kathleen Koh LawyerKathleen Koh who is able to speak six languages has also been recognized as an attorney with one of the best success rates in her areas of law. Specializing in immigration, she usually focuses on representing those who currently have a dispute with governmental organizations. They may include the USCIS, which is known in long form as the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service.

One of the main ingredients for success, and for continually winning cases, is to ensure that developments in the law are constantly monitored. After all, bills are constantly proposed and passed, meaning that the requirements for those who want to live in this country continually change. A lot of the time this is a highly emotional area of law, and one that is controversial. Immigration is a very difficult area of law to practice considering that there are people who believe U.S. immigration policy has spiraled out of control.

The main focus is to ensure that a lawyer isn't blinded by the fact that they haven't lost a case. Often, it's a promise that they can't keep, especially considering there are factors out of their control. In addition, there's also the issue that a foreign national who has secured citizenship could lose it again. This is a process known as denaturalization, and one that constantly needs to be remembered.

9)  Phil Beck
Phil Beck AttorneyOften, an attorney who is on a winning streak is also an asset. After all, riding on the high of their last case, they will be keen to assert their talent with another case they are confident of winning. One such example of a lawyer like this is Phil Beck, who made headlines during the iconic Bush v. Gore case. This is the famous recount situation during the presidential election and some strange occurrences down in Florida. George Bush's family member happened to be the Attorney General and the governmental official responsible for overseeing the recount.

As well as offering services in politics, Beck has also focused on accounting irregularities in the past. This is something that his firm, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, specializes in. Just four years ago, he ensured Ernst & Young didn't have to pay some $300 million in damages. A sum that could have drastically affected the confidence of investors and financially destroyed the company.

Academic experts have said before that Phil Beck works by making small steps that add up to a winnable case. In some ways, it could be compared to paper cuts. After all, whereas just one might not be too harmful, the addition of hundreds more may result in disaster. In an interview, the attorney himself opined that it was important to have a rapport and trusting relationship with the jury. Thinking two steps ahead, his aim is to ensure that the jury doesn't think he is being patronizing, and to try and predict how witnesses may answer questions during the all-important cross examination.

8)  Evan Chesler
Evan Chesler IBM LawyerNext on the list is Evan Chesler. Again, he focuses on large multinational clients particularly in the technology sector. Recent clients include IBM and he was involved in a case that ensued for over 13 years. The tenacity and determination of an attorney during such a long trial is often indicative of how successful they will be. After all, how would you feel if you lost after battling for something with passion for over a decade?

This attorney prides himself on adaptability, and intensive research to ensure that he is fully prepared in the courtroom. No matter how strong a case, an attorney's credibility and success rate is often placed at risk if they are seen spluttering and unsure on how to proceed. The impression a lawyer gives to a judge, witness and jury matters, even if they have crystal-clear evidence and a compelling case.

Chesler is part of the Cravath, Swaine & Moore Law Firm. His success is also documented by how he has secured a series of honorary degrees in Law, adding to the education he received prior to joining the bar. In addition to overseeing a series of complicated cases, Chesler even finds time to teach aspiring attorneys at New York University. In many ways, this is an admirable attribute, as it ensures that there will be more great lawyers during the coming years as old talent tutors young novices.

7)  John Quinn
Attorney John QuinnTestimonials that are found on a lawyer's website are one thing, but the opinion of leading entrepreneurs, judges, and the media are far more valuable. This is the case with John Quinn who puts his success down to a continual flow of coffee, and he has the ability to act aggressively to witnesses whenever it is needed. Not only have law journals in California tipped him as one of the state's leading three litigators, but this esteemed title was extended worldwide by Euromoney.

In the past, the cases that he resided on include the landmark battle between Mattel and MGA Entertainment. These two entities are better known for being home brands like Barbie and Bratz respectively. During 2009, Mattel was facing extreme costs because MGA Entertainment had accused them of copyright infringement. The lead argument was that the Bratz dolls had an extreme likeness to Barbie dolls, proving to be a modern alternative to the traditional Barbie doll. However, despite continued publicity during the case, he was able to convince jury and judge that the company was not at fault.

With an excellent power of recall, Quinn has a highly desirable attribute for being an attorney: the power to remain calm although the case may be crashing down around him. If anything, this offers assurance for the client, as they may be distressed and exasperated already at the potential implications a bad verdict could bring for their company.

6)  Steve Susman
Steve Susman LawyerA named partner in the firm Susman Godfrey, any losses that Steve Susman has made in a case are hard to discover. Since the 1980s, he has featured annually on a list of the finest attorneys in the U.S. One recent landmark case was back in 2009, where he was representing employees who had been hired by the State of Indiana. They were aggrieved because of how their salaries hadn't been paid in full, or in the manner that they had been promised. On their behalf, he secured damages of $42 million, which ensured that they weren't left out of pocket. Some of his key abilities include getting up to speed on a highly intricate case quickly, sometimes with less than 60 days' notice.

A lot of comment has been passed about Susman in legal journals throughout America. The journal compiled by the country's bar association once said that he even has the potential to intimidate and frighten those who are working alongside him, not to mention opposing counsel.

In interviews, Susman has revealed little about what makes him such a powerful attorney in the world of commercial litigation. However, it is believed that his 4 a.m. starts, giving him many hours to digest legal documents, is one deciding factor. The lawyer also likes to focus on etiquette, with a dignified and respectful manner adopted to the attorneys they are up against. Susman has a dislike for arguments over things that are ultimately insignificant.

5)  Mark Geragos
Mark Geragos LaywerAn attorney would have to boast a strong success rate for celebrities to ask for representation from them. Mark Geragos has worked with a long list of celebrities in recent years, with some of the most prominent names including the late Michael Jackson and Winona Ryder. Respectively, he helped with the allegations of molestation the singer experienced, while helping the actress to fend off claims that she had been shoplifting at the department store Saks.

One of the biggest challenges Geragos faced came from the advent of social media. After all, with Twitter and Facebook now enabling photos to spread like wildfire, an incident such as the pictures of a bruised Rihanna would be instantaneously problematic. One of the main techniques he uses is to ensure that there is regular communication with media outlets that might be following the case. Geragos believes that it is better to keep TV stations and newspapers informed, rather than to let the rumor mill churn out speculation and get in the way of the facts.

4)  Allen Grubman
Attorney Allen GrubmanAllen Grubman is another influential name in entertainment law. His success, and consistent wins have placed him with New York city's social elite. He can be found rolling with celebrities throughout New York's glitzy and luxurious social scene. One particularly baffling paradox is how he has represented famous musicians who might have had a grievance against their record label, in addition to representing the record labels on separate matters. As no grudges are held and his talents are widely recognized, things seem to work themselves out with Grubman.

Unfortunately, having such a high profile comes with a price. Once Grubman, who earns approximately $10 million a year, was taken to court by Billy Joel. The star claimed that Grubman had violated a contract, an allegation that the lawyer spuriously denied. As the argument played out within newspapers, the dispute was eventually taken behind closed doors and brought to an end through a private settlement.

3)  Gerard Shargel
Lawyer Gerard ShargelNext up is Gerard Shargel, who has handled sensitive celebrity matters that involve money laundering and tax evasion. One recent case involved David Letterman. It was Shargel's job to prove that his client, Jon Halderman, wasn't trying to blackmail the talk show host. Due to the high-profile nature of the plaintiff, it led Shargel to make continued statements on how the case was developing. The main objective of such press conferences was to ensure that Halderman's innocence was maintained.

Ultimately, his defendant did plead guilty, which meant that Shargel's role was transformed into focusing on reducing the sentence that he was given. Despite this, many accolades have been secured by his firm. Through continued television interviews, he was recognized in 2009 as being the most prominent lawyer in America's legal community.

2)  Wylie Aitken
Lawyer Wylie AitkenThe next prominent lawyer is Wylie Aitken. He's won a series of lifetime achievement awards, and notably represented a family who lost a loved one after falling off a ride at Disney World in Florida. It was believed that the machinery which was used in the ride was unsafe, and this ultimately resulted in his death during 1998. With a penchant for acting passionately on behalf of his clients, the family was more interested in getting answers rather than a sizable settlement. This was proven by how $500,000 of it was donated to an educational institution, allowing for training graphic designers to receive financial aid. This particular cause was pursued by the family because the victim was a graphic designer who died at 22.

Looking at the precedent in previous cases involving rides at Disneyland and other amusement parks, the case was eventually closed just 62 hours before the trial was due to start. It was believed that the jury was in the process of being selected. Other landmark cases that Wylie Aitken has handled included mis-sold insurance, and personal injury that resulted from malfunctioning vehicles.

1)  George Barrett
George Barrett - Barrett, Johnson & ParsleyThe final lawyer who has never lost court cases in his specialty is George Barrett, and he is from the law firm Barrett, Johnson & Parsley. Focusing solely on medical malpractice, he mainly focused on ensuring that citizens within the State of Tennessee had fair access to health care, stemming from a series of problems that originated from local government.

Barrett also focuses on constitutional matters, including a requirement for photographic identification for voters in Tennessee. Following on from a case which saw two people barred from casting a ballot because they had the wrong form of identification, he decided to take action. It was the attorney's contention that the law was a political ploy to prevent a certain faction of American society from voting. In particular older citizens were affected, with over 100,000 vulnerable but registered voters being directly affected by the legislation.

As we've explored, it's exceptionally difficult to find legal counsel that has never lost a case. At some point, a lawyer will have been on the wrong end of a verdict, but this tends to make them stronger. Losing teaches lawyers more than winning does, and the lessons they take with them they bring to their next case. Continuous wins can also be a hotbed for complacency, which means that the client's interests don't remain at heart.

Be wary of a lawyer who does say that they have never lost a case whatsoever. Although there will be rare instances where the last loss was many decades ago, this isn't always the norm. You do remain entitled to find out more about their legal abilities and reputation. All professionals will be delighted to disclose their success rate across the board, or in cases that relate closely to yours. This means that you can make an informed decision in finding an attorney who has the know-how, and legal prowess to protect your rights preventing a disappointing outcome in your case.

Not only should you ensure that your lawyer treats you with respect, but you should also explore their conduct in the courtroom. After all, they will be communicating with juries, judges, and witnesses on your behalf. It's important that they present themselves professionally in order to create the right impression for you so that legal proceeding are carried out with minimal difficulty.





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