Spence tells about some of the cases he worked on during his career. Some were nationally famous, others not. He offers comments about various topics, and also talks about his life. This book lacks an index and photographs. The wordiness of this book reminds me of 19th century novels. Spence tells about his career as an insurance company lawyer. In effect, he showed up after the accidents and halted compensation to the victims. Until he rejected this work and vowed never to work for a corporation again.
Spence represented the Silkwood estate against the Kerr-McGee company. Karen was killed on her way to meet a reporter. Her plant manufactured plutonium for breeder reactors; this was a deadly threat to the profits and influence of Big Oil and their puppets in government. Karen allegedly fell asleep at the wheel after leaving a cafe. Didn't something like this happen to one of the witnesses at the Grassy Knoll?
Page 183 tells how support for the anti-nuclear movement came from "certain charities and funding organizations". Are these the hidden hands of Big Oil? Page 216 quotes a witness "there is no safe level for radiation". Spence argued "if the lion gets away, Kerr-McGee has to pay"; any deadly thing (like plutonium) requires absolute control by the owner. He won the case, but it was overturned by appointed judges (p.458-460). Page 328 tells of advice on cross-examination of a witness. "Don't get angry. Don't rise to the bait. Answer only when you're ready. And if you're confused, say so, and above all, tell the truth. Its easy to remember the truth."
Spence is opposed to the death penalty (like Earl Rogers). But pages 367-371 give the strongest argument that I've read for the death penalty. Not as punishment or a deterrence, but simply so society can survive without fear. Pages 379-383 gives his talk to an ABA convention on the subject of trial lawyers. They are the foot soldiers in the front trenches of the justice system. I think this is one of the most important parts of the book. Our lawyers are the virtual descendants of warriors who settled trials by combat.
One case was the murder charge against Ed Cantrell. I wonder if he was the scapegoat for the alleged corruption in Rock Springs Wyoming> TV and newspapers created something out of nothing (pp. 453-457). Anyone who believes everything the media broadcast and print must read this. You may then be able to understand the reporting on some other trials.