spent a fair amount of money trying to do
that, but … you see, I don’t have to own
that real estate and say, “Here I’m shaking
with Obama. See how important I am.” You
asked me the question. That is my reaction
when I walk into somebody’s office and it
looks like celebrities on parade. It’s almost
a gag reflex.
Q: Would you ever consider running for
A: I wouldn’t have a chance. I have
committed so much to my ideology. It’s
way left. Can you imagine the ads? But
I think I accomplish a lot with media. I
can go on the air and say things that a
politician could never, ever say.
Q: You’ve written several books. Which is
A: At one point I wrote a book about
Clarence Darrow. It was called Clarence
Darrow, the Journeyman. I wrote that after
In Search of Atticus Finch, and I was trying
to analyze: “What motivates and what
characterizes a trial lawyer?” “How do they
think?” “What should they be?” So I started
off sending out questionnaires all over the
country, and the remarkable thing was the
response was really good. So I knew they
wanted to talk about it.
But by the time I got to Resurrecting
Aesop: Fables Lawyers Should Remember,
I had a really very honed idea about
what gave people satisfaction and
dissatisfaction practicing law. It’s my
favorite book. It gave me time to process
everything that I had learned over the
years. And the things that I learned
were so counterintuitive. You’d think, for
example, the most sustainably successful
trial lawyers are the loudmouth cowboys,
hard-drinking, two-fisted … but they’re not.
Those are yesterday’s images.
The people who are doing the best now
Q: What’s it about?
are people who have a family center; they
care about their children, their families.
They are going to work hard enough to
succeed, but they have got a good spiritual
center. It’s amazing when you look at all
of these similarities in these people. They
are so different from the trial lawyer of
yesterday. Racehorse Haynes, God bless
him, I helped him get into the [Texas
Criminal Defense Lawyers Association] Hall
of Fame and he was a wonderful lawyer
but ... that image is no longer relevant. The
people who do the best for themselves and
the best, I think, for society in general are
the people that just have a better center.
They really invest in their communities.
So Resurrecting Aesop gave me the
chance to focus on those qualities. His
fables weren’t for children. His fables were
for leaders, people who felt compelled to
try to do better. It takes all of his fables …
and draws parallels [to] relevant issues for
lawyers. So people can better understand
what he was trying to say.
Hopefully by June, I will have my first
A: It’s based on fact that has been tweaked
just a little bit and put into the form of a
fiction. People who know our firm, or know
me, may know what the parallels are.
We’ve had such an incredible
experience—whether it was tobacco,
whether it was environmental, whether it
was pharmaceuticals, whether it’s Wall
Street, qui tam, you name it. We have done
just about every kind of consumer-oriented
law. So we have all these great stories to
pull from, and what I’m doing is I’m taking
these stories and adapting them. This
particular book deals with three different
Q: What would you like to be
remembered for as a lawyer?
A: The willingness to take on those fights
that nobody else would take. I hate to
oversimplify it, but there are so many law
firms all over the country that are asked,
“Would you do this, would you take on
DuPont in Ohio?” And they’ve said, “Oh,
my God! I can’t spend all that money;
I can’t take the chance.” I’d like to be
remembered, I guess, as the person who
did that. Who said, “Sometimes you’ve just
got to, you’ve got to bet it all.”
This interview was edited and condensed.