Leading researchers debate whether or not the Napoleonic complex—in which a short person overcompensates for their height by being an overly aggressive dick—really exists. But anyone who witnessed the recent W.R. Grace criminal trial in Missoula would have to agree that such an inferiority complex exists. How else to explain the complete courtroom dominance of superlawyer David Bernick, lead council for the defense? The diminutive Bernick, whom Forbes once cutely described as a "5-foot-6 dynamo," spent most of the three-month trial articulately steamrolling anyone who dared stand in his way. He mercilessly ripped the government for prosecutorial misconduct. He grandstanded in District Judge Donald Molloy's courtroom, demanding the case be dismissed. He dismantled the government's key witness, former Grace executive Robert Locke, on cross-examination. He crafted a closing argument so deft that he managed to applaud the government's efforts to fight for Libby while berating them for being recklessly ignorant of the law. And he prevailed. The little dynamo who represented the big company suits won handily, and walked out of that courtroom feeling just a little bit taller.
© 2016 Missoula News