(1923 - 2019)
Bill Wimberley served in WWII as an Army Sargent Major in the "Flying Coffins" Airborne Division. He fought in five major battles and was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, four bronze stars, a Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Bill practiced law in Spokane, Washington. In 1974 he won an award of $1.2 million on behalf of his nineteen-year-old client who suffered brain damage in a car collision.
Bill served as President of the Washington State Trial Lawyers in 1977 and became a member of the International Trial Lawyers Academy in 1979. Bill was also well known for his work in the Spokane community where he co-founded the Martin Luther King. Jr. Center.
Bill was also known for his low-key and very honest trial style which helped him become a very successful plaintiff's trial attorney. Paul Luvera shared that, Bill was one of the great trial lawyers. It was his down-to-earth and humble, honest, approach to jury trials that made him so great. I remember him telling me once that he came from such poor surroundings that he didnt own shoes until he was drafted into the Army. As apocryphal as that is, he had a small-town country lawyer approach that radiated credibility. He had a trial where his expert was destroyed on cross-examination. His approach and argument was to take full responsibility for not having done a better job investigating and ensuring the competency and honesty of an expert hed called. The jury verdict rewarded his honesty.
Bill's credibility with a jury was his greatest asset. Following are two of Bill's Wimberleyisms: 1) "A leopards spots only grow more vivid in a courtroom, and, when asked why he never chose to do any defense work, he always responded with a Southern drawl and wry grin, 2) Well, when you win a case, you cant hug an insurance company.
Due to health issues, Bill retired from practicing law in the mid-1980s and moved to Hawaii where he continued to be active in church and community affairs until his death at age 96.