But not all personal injury firms are created equal. For the Law Firm of Gary, Williams, Lewis, and Watson, P.I., “low-budget” is a concept that just doesn’t exist. To the contrary, the firm wants to make it clear just how baller the life of a private injury attorney can be.
Dubbing himself “The Giant Killer,” the firm’s larger-than-life head partner, Willie E. Gary, never misses an opportunity to make his wealth and success known. Touting hundred-million-dollar verdicts and rubbing elbows with celebrities, Gary is on a one-man mission to prove that chasing ambulances is much easier when you’re driving a Bentley….
Everything we never needed to know about Willie E. Gary is conveniently summed up in this video on his website (warning: turn your sound down or off before visiting). Against a backdrop of Rocky-inspired tunes such as “Eye of the Tiger” and “Living in America,” we get to hear “one of the greatest success stories of all time.” Apparently modesty is also not a word in Gary’s vocabulary.
After some dated footage (featuring some fabulous 80s hairstyles) about the huge verdicts that Gary has won against companies like Disney and Anheuser-Busch, the video serves mainly as one big bragfest about The Giant Killer’s excessive wealth.
We are assured that, “whether by ground or by air, his mode of transportation is definitely to be admired.” Translation: Gary has lots of fancy cars and private jets. After a camera pan of at least six cars that appear to be Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, we learn that Willie Gary has not one, but two private jets — “Wings of Justice I” and “Wings of Justice II.”
Elsewhere on the site, we are treated to an up close and personal tour of “Wings of Justice II” via a slide show of the 737’s finer features. And in case you didn’t appreciate the opulence just from the pictures, we get a description:
The aircraft, which sports an interior renovation that cost more than $11 million, includes an 18-karat gold sink, plush leather seats, carpet, a $1.2 million sound system, and a full-service kitchen.
It seems that Gary doesn’t care enough about Wings of Justice I to give it its own webpage. Ah, how quickly we forget our first private jet once we’ve upgraded…
Back in the original video, we get to hear all about how the extravagance doesn’t end with the planes and cars. Gary’s law firm has posh offices in a hotel where he used to work as a dishwasher. They also seem to offer exercise machines logically located in the middle of the office amidst fancy bookcases and period furnishings. You know, for when walking all the way from your office to a separate workout room is just too much hassle.
Willie Gary’s home is equally lavish. The 25,000 square foot, $10 million mansion is a far cry from the three-room shack where Gary apparently grew up. The home boasts the same Versailles-meets-South Beach décor that is splashed all over Gary’s office and private plane. No expense was spared in purchasing shiny gold chandeliers. Without them, how else would Gary’s champagne wishes and caviar dreams have been featured on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”?
But times weren’t always easy for Willie Gary. The video informs us that “He was turned down by virtually every college he applied.” But those humble beginnings didn’t keep him from befriending a seemingly endless line of athletes and celebrities. Given his social circles, I’m surprised he couldn’t get the real Michael Buffer to narrate his video rather than the cheap, growling imitation that we get here.
But fear not, Gary has made a point of giving back to the community. He once even went so far as to take a bunch of kids to Burger King, a story that is even more touching when accompanied by the sweet strains of “I Believe I Can Fly” (R. Kelly being the poster child for child welfare and all).
Gary’s website offers a number of additional videos for your viewing pleasure. The centerpiece is “Spiritual Impact,” the talk show hosted by Willie Gary himself, where he highlights the religious devotion of various celebrities such as Evander Holyfield and Chris Tucker. More entertaining is the Judge Hatchett episode where she straightens out a troubled 16 year old by sending him to visit The Giant Killer. After a day of cleaning Gary’s gym, being shown Bill Clinton’s guest bedroom, and riding in a Bentley and one of Gary’s private jets, our wayward teen is committed to turning his life around and going back to school. It seems there’s nothing Willie Gary can’t do.
Except stay out of debt, that is. This week, a federal judge in Albany ordered Gary and his firm to pay $12.5 million to a litigation finance company for defaulting on loans they had taken out since 2009 to finance the firm’s contingency-fee cases. The financial troubles don’t end there. Even “Wings of Justice II” is not immune from the drama, as Gary and his firm are facing a separate federal lawsuit in Manhattan for defaulting on a loan to finance the plane. Since the start of 2011, seven partners have left the firm, including three former name partners.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Robin Leach might not be so impressed now. Maybe Gary should call upon some of his famous friends to help bail him out. If not, he’s going to have to kill a lot more giants. Or maybe learn to cope with having only one Bentley, just like the rest of us.
Willie E. Gary – Lawyers for Personal Injury [official website]
Willie Gary’s law firm ordered to pay $12.5 mln to lender [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]