Meet David BoiesBoies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Armonk, NY
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (914) 749-8200
On The Art of Trial Advocacy
You’ve said, “A trial is essentially a morality play. You’ve got to have a narrative.” How do you go about creating that narrative? Does it come to you quickly and intuitively, or do you struggle like a tortured author who needs to write several drafts before the story takes shape? Tell us about that process.
One of your tenants of trial advocacy is to simply outwork the other side. You say that at the start of every trial, the other side works as hard as you do. But at some point, they stop working as hard as you. How do you physically and mentally stay sharp during trials that last weeks, even months?
Let’s talk about your cross examination of General Westmoreland when he sued your client, CBS, for libel back in the 1985. You’ve said that patience played a key role in that cross examination. Can you tell us how?
Last October the Wall Street Journal published an article that said that the company’s claims about its diagnostic technology were false. First of all, was the Journal’s reporting flawed and if so, exactly what facts did they have wrong?
U.S. v. Microsoft
Bill Gates is arguably one of the smartest people on the planet and the richest. He had every legal resource available to him. Yet, he was a terrible witness. You destroyed him. How did that happen? Was he that bad or were you that good?
In one of your most famous moments in deposing Bill Gates, you showed him a document sent to him by a subordinate that said, “We need to continue our jihad next year.” Gates responded, “It doesn’t say ‘Microsoft.” You followed up with the simple question: “when it says ‘we’ there, do you understand that means something other than Microsoft, sir?” Were you anticipating this response from Gates and were you prepared with your follow up question? Or was this a spontaneous moment?
Let’s turn to your work on behalf of Maurice Greenberg in the AIG bailout case: For the casual observer of this case, it seems you’re making an outrageous claim: That the shareholders of the company, including your client, Mr. Greenberg, were harmed by the government’s $85 billion bailout loan, without which the company certainly would have gone insolvent and the shareholders would have had nothing. How exactly was your client harmed?