Friday, January 25, 2008

A Pretty Good Start

“A pretty good start.” That’s the punch line to a famous lawyer joke. Don’t get me wrong I heard it from a lawyer friend of mine. I only speak of it after sitting in on a long murder trial, the Kevin Moore case, which got me to thinking about lawyers and courtrooms, etc.

If you’re not familiar with the case Moore was accused of bludgeoning his wife to death with a cinderblock. A jury found him guilty of the murder charge after nearly 13 hours of deliberation. Moore’s lawyer is the legendary Gerald Boyle. It’s the first time in my travels that I’ve covered a case in which Boyle was representing someone. His most famous client was Jeffrey Dahmer.

Speaking with my reporting colleagues a few feel Boyle’s best days are behind him, but I think he gave Moore his best shot. He certainly had the jury’s attention throughout the case. Compared to his opponent in the courtroom, Assistant State Attorney General Tom Storm, they are a study in contrast. Storm was the Fond du Lac County District Attorney when Moore was originally charged.

During his closing argument Boyle explained to the jury how he operates and made no apologies for at times bouncing his raised voice off the courtroom walls. He quoted from General Douglas MacArthur, Popeye, and the Constitution. Okay so the Popeye thing was the line “I am what I am,” but I couldn’t resist.

In his rebuttal Storm had a little fun at Boyle’s expense quoting from a Theodore Roosevelt speech where the president had written in the margins, “argument weak, speak louder.” Storm got his arguments and questioning across in the case without raising his voice.

While waiting for the jury verdict Boyle shared with myself and a reporter for Channel 5 that he was disappointed that Court TV had decided against carrying the Moore Trial. He felt it would be compelling television. He also showed us a photo of his Newfoundland and his granddaughter. He says the dog goes wherever he does and was in fact happy to sit in his car for hours at a time.

One of our sports guys at KFIZ knows of Boyle and had his own story he imparted. He says there’s a picture that hangs in the Press Box in Fond du Lac that was taken of Travis Diener. It’s the only picture of Travis taken during his Marquette basketball glory days that hangs in the tavern. Boyle, who is an amateur photographer, took it. He occasionally eats there when he’s in Fond du Lac.

As for Tom Storm I know he has a good sense of humor, but goes about things quietly. I covered my share of court cases he’s prosecuted and he’s a good lawyer. He may not have the big reputation that Boyle does, but in a courtroom is just as imposing.

Kevin Moore got a good lawyer when he hired Boyle. However for the family and friends of murder victim Dawn Moore, Tom Storm as prosecutor in the case was more than “a pretty good start.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


That was a great blog! Did you ever consider a career as a writer? You tell and express a good story in words.