How did you hear about the College?
Initially I heard about the college when it first started. I was just starting as a lawyer back then so it was sort of a happenstance thing. I knew somebody who went through the College who really pushed it and said it was great and life changing and all those kinds of things and had convinced one of my law partners at the time to sign up for the Georgia Regional, the same one that this cross examination is going to be taught at. They talked my partner into signing up for it, I had no idea what I was walking into. I had never read a book or knew any of Gerry’s philosophies. I knew nothing, just walked in totally blind to it. I left the Regional program with my life changed.
I sang in the car on the way home from that Regional. That was the first time that I had sang in the car in years. I instantly knew that I had touched something that was missing in my whole life, not only in my life as a lawyer but … to anybody that has ever felt different than or apart from… Trial Lawyers College helps you understand that and how to work with it. I don’t know how to say that the right way. It is an incredible community that comes together in a safe way to work on intense human experience. We do it in order to learn how to best tell our clients’ stories in the most compelling way to other human beings.
How did attending that first Regional in Georgia change the way that you practice law?
Before I went to that TLC Regional Seminar, I was really conflicted between what law school teaches you that you are supposed to be as a lawyer, versus what my own internal human was telling me to do as a lawyer. I was really unauthentic because I was afraid and the way I dealt with that fear was to not always be honest and not always be forthcoming. I was too afraid that if people saw me for who I was that they would reject me and I wouldn’t be effective. Now, through the work that I’ve done at TLC and psychodrama – I understand where that fear comes from. What I learned through the Trial Lawyers College is that my credibility is tied to being honest and still allowing myself to be vulnerable. Essentially, what I learned is that all of my fears and all of my feelings of inadequacy and all of my feelings of vulnerability – once I understood them for what they are, they can be the most incredibly powerful parts of who I am when my goal is to communicate with other people.
How often do people from the Trial Lawyers College help you on your cases?
I get helped on my cases anytime I do anything for Trial Lawyers College. I learned that by helping others. What ended up happening is I started to see that there are some universal stories and it almost doesn’t matter what the case is that is being worked on, I got help with my issues by just delving in. When I came out of the Trial Lawyers College, my next big trial was the biggest trial of my career at the time. I was up against a notorious, 50 year trial lawyer who ran a 1,000 person law firm, and he was specially coming in on this product case to take me out. To me it was the battle of my life at the time. The case was in California. I am from Atlanta, so I was far away from home. I showed up there to go and strike a jury and start a trial. Imagine the fear; everything coming to fruition at that point in time. Then imagine the feeling I had when I turned around and saw my classmates who had, on their own dime, through a gesture of their own love, come all the way to California to sit behind me so that I could turn around and see friendly faces. When you ask the question “how often am I helped in my cases” – that happened in 2002-2003. That still helps me today. It is very much a community and we help each other by rolling our sleeves up and helping on each others cases. I spend a fair amount of my life helping other lawyers figure out how to handle their cases or their problems in cases. Mostly through the Trial Lawyers College and people that I have met through my involvement in the College; teaching and helping – some of it is mentoring – part of it is helping – I don’t know how to say this except to say it is sort of my way of giving back. We help each other by being true to each other and being able to call each other out in ways that you could never do with other people unless you have a longstanding trusting relationship.
About Joe Fried:
Joe Fried is one of only a few lawyers in the USA who focuses almost 100% of his practice on handling truck accident cases. Based out of Atlanta Georgia, he has successfully handled cases in more than 25 states with results in excess of $300 million. He has authored a number of books, book chapters and peer reviewed articled on handling truck crash cases and advanced trial techniques and has presented on these topics around the country on over 150 occasions. Joe is an officer in the Trucking Litigation Group (TLG) of the American Association of Justice and is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable. He has received a number of awards for his work including the American Association of Justice Trucking Trial Lawyer of the Year for 2013 and 2014. Joe brings a unique background to each case that includes real world police investigation and reconstruction experience, an education in physics, human factors and engineering, and advanced training in psychodrama, storytelling and neurolinguistic programming. Joe is on the faculty of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College and is known for his unique approaches to developing and presenting the compelling human story in each of his cases. Joe is retained into 95% of his cases by other lawyers and he enjoys teaming up with these lawyers to maximize results for the client.
Come join Joe and the rest of the faculty team in Georgia in February 2016!
– See more at: http://www.triallawyerscollege.org/BlogPost.aspx?g=8ee85cdf-c97b-459b-82cc-445af4ac4ae1#sthash.brrECHve.dpuf