St. Louis Attorney, Zane Cagle, Attended Gerry Spence “Discovering Your Story” Conference in Washington
Posted on April 5th, 2019 by Zane Cagle
In 2011, I attended Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College regional event in Washington State. The purpose of the event was for lawyers like myself to gain the ability to discover each of my client’s personal stories. As a trial attorney, it is my job to tell my client’s story to the jury. The ability to effectively tell my client’s story and be completely truthful with a jury is an approach that I have always advocated.
During the event, I was exposed to an honest client story, discovering a training approach that has been proven incredibly effective by some of this country’s most successful trial attorneys. The event stressed the power of being totally honest about all aspects of a case, including assessing my own strengths and weaknesses. In order to truly know and understand a client as an individual with a story to tell requires that I know myself extremely well. In this day and age of multitasking and overscheduling, it is easy to get too caught up in numbers and statistics and not take the time and energy needed to truly ask yourself the hard questions such as: Who am I? Who is my client? What life experiences do my client and I have in common?
Often, trial attorneys suffer the poor reputation and the perception that they are “putting on a show” for the jury so that they may recover money for themselves. However, honesty and truthfulness is an approach that most defense attorneys simply cannot compete.
In discovering the basic truths in life and learning from our shared personal experiences, I learned to more effectively tell my client’s story to the jury. The mere process of being truly self-reflective and analyzing one’s own life and attitudes is an intense experience. This training assisted me in realizing how hard it is for my clients to openly share their stories. As well, I learned techniques to discover my client’s story and reinforce the genuine caring and interest I have in each of my clients. This ability to tell a story is truly what sets great lawyers apart. Attorneys such as David Glenn of The Glenn Law Firm in Grapevine, Texas, shared how he has used various approaches to tell his client’s stories and sway juries.
While at the event, I shared many of my personal experiences with many other trial attorneys and in doing so, realized how hard it must be for my clients to share their personal experiences with me. Thus, I will make a greater effort to learn each of my client’s personal experiences in the future so that I can accurately tell their story. If you have been a victim of an accident caused by the negligence of others in Missouri or Illinois, call Zane T. Cagle at The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 for a free consultation so I can learn more about your story.