On February 5, FIU Law’s Trial Advocacy Program and the Institute for Passionate Principled Advocacy presented its fourth annual Great Legal Storytellers event and welcomed renowned trial attorney Willie E. Gary.

The law school’s ceremonial courtroom was filled to capacity as Gary regaled the crowd with his presentation on the craft of courtroom advocacy, on the power of great oratory  and importantly, the obligation of each and every trial lawyer to give back and leave this world a better place – all in the context of his recent $23.6 billion verdict against big tobacco. Afterward, Gary conducted a private workshop on closing arguments specifically for Trial Team students and those students currently taking advocacy courses.

“Willie Gary is one of the greatest trial lawyers in America because of the courage he displays in the face of insurmountable odds, his unique ability to touch the souls of jurors and his commitment to never be outworked,” said Professor and Director of the Trial Advocacy Program, H.T. Smith. “Willie is one of the most generous people I know. He has given so much to so many, for so long – including giving $10 million to his alma mater.”

The Great Legal Storytellers program is an opportunity for students to hear from famed trial attorneys who share their experiences handling high profile, and sometimes controversial, cases and clients. Past guests have included: Roy Black, Tom Mesereau – Michael Jackson’s criminal defense counsel – and Mark O’Mara, the crimininal defense attorney who represented George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case.

The Institute for Passionate Principled Advocacy and FIU Law’s Trial Advocacy Program are led by its founding director, Professor Smith and Assistant Director Professor H. Scott Fingerhut.