15 Legal Counsel That Have Never Lost Court Cases
If 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
Gerry 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
Nick 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
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
John 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 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
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
Next 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
10) Kathleen Koh
Kathleen 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
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
Often, 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
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
Next 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
Testimonials 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
A 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
An 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
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
Allen 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
3) Gerard Shargel
Next 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
The 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
The 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
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
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