Q: If there is one thing you could change about the legal system, what would it be?
A: I think the system in Minnesota is better than most and I was upset when [they took] away the right of the defendant to [have] the final word [in closing arguments]. I don’t think it changed anything [considering the number] of cases won by the defendant. It was a good system and it should have stayed because it didn’t make any difference in terms of the outcome. But the prosecutors were babies. They cried about everything, every time they lost a case.
Q: You were a prosecutor?
A: I tried cases for three years, right out of law school. I lost my first case as a prosecutor. I said this is not for me. I was really upset by it. After that I think I only lost three cases in the three years I was there and two of them I should have won. I probably had the best record of anybody in the county attorney’s office during that period of time, which gave me the confidence to go out in private practice. It was funny, when I went up there to say goodbye to the guys in the jail, I said, “You know, these guys all look innocent now. [Before] they looked guilty as hell.” Soon as I started getting business from them, they all looked innocent. Getting into other areas of law was very helpful. I did almost everything in law.
Q: Do you know enough to commit the perfect crime? In other words, not get caught?
A: I don’t think anybody knows it. Some get away with it. Some are very cocky. I would never attempt to even for the rottenest son of a b.
Q: Can it be that you don’t have any hobbies?
A: I don’t know if that’s true. I was flying planes for a while. I was very proud of that. I go to the movies and I love to go to theater. I’ve been going to the Guthrie since it started.
Q: Legal TV shows generally don’t appeal to you?
A: “Perry Mason,” as a kid, I always followed. He was my favorite. But the son of a gun never lost a case, so he didn’t teach me much.
Q: With the permission of your wife, Kim, I’m asking “Who You’d Rather” from CBS’ “Good Wife:” Julianna Margulies or Christine Baranski?
A: My wife. They’re not even close. She’s [Margulies] cute but I’m a married man. She’s cute, too [he said of Baranski]. But you know I’m too old for these ladies. Face it here.