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Sept. 6, 2022

Marie Henein: Who Ya Gonna Call?

If you are famous and in trouble, she is the one you call. She’s Canada’s pre-eminent criminal defence lawyer. Marie Henein defended Jian Ghomeshi. Was she doing her job or a “traitor to women”? We found her defiant, in love with her job, and surprisingly funny! She dishes on marriage, her favourite tv shows, and the stupidity of trying to find a “work life balance”.

Marie Henein is a criminal defence lawyer who’s fought for a lot of infamous Canadians and become famous herself. She’s defended Jian Ghomeshi, and Michael Bryant. Mentored by the recently departed Eddie Greenspan, she now runs her own large firm and dared to bare her arms in a staff photo. Oh my! She has written a memoir about her love of the law, hating being called exotic, and how to identify a Canadian.

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Voiceover 00:00:02
The women of illrepute with your hosts Wendy Mesley and Maureen Holloway. 

Mo 00:00:02
Well, here we are. Wendy. Fullfledged podcasters and parttime cowgirls. How does it feel?

Wendy 00:00:12
I don't know, because it's weird. Wonder, are there people out there? I mean, sure, there are like hordes, but it's kind of like TV. You imagine that there are people out there. It's like when I was reading the news late at night on the national at CDC, and I would think, okay, on the other side of that lens, there's all these people and they're watching and maybe, God forbid, they're naked, but I sort of imagined them in their jammies and tried not to think about what might be happening. But you were there at the other end. You were doing morning shows.

Mo 00:00:41
I was there in the morning, yeah. And I would imagine people in their jammies doing things I'd rather not imagine. So I actually don't like being with people. I'm an introvert. I just want to make them laugh and then go back to bed. But today we're going to talk to somebody who really is at the top of our list of women of ill repute.

Wendy 00:00:57
Yeah, because she pissed off a lot of people. She is a criminal defense lawyer. She represented Giangomeshi, who of course, was at CBC when I was at CBC.

Mo 00:01:08
Yeah, it was a really juicy case. It got a lot of attention for all sorts of reasons.

Wendy 00:01:13
Yeah. So it's Marie Hannan. She's probably Canada's best known criminal defense lawyer. She defended Gianco Meshi, who, of course, was accused of violently assaulting women. He, thanks to her, or to hit the facts of his case, was found not guilty. And a lot of people are mad at her for defending him, and they're probably well, I'm sure they're still mad.

Mo 00:01:35
For doing her job. Well.

Wendy 00:01:37
It was so controversial. The ruling. That at one point she writes in her book. Because she's written a book now about how people haven't wanted her to go and speak at universities and stuff because people will complain. Saying.

Marie (Guest) 00:01:48

Wendy 00:01:49
Yeah. But she represented that guy. Even the Toronto school board. It came out. The person who organized their book club said that having her speak would send the wrong message.

Mo 00:01:59
And also, and I'm really looking forward to talking to her about this, she pisses people off because she doesn't look like a lawyer. She's got this fabulous hair, she wears super expensive clothes, and she posts sexy pics. And she's written a book, as we mentioned, called Nothing but the Truth. And it is a really good read. I highly recommend it.

Wendy 00:02:17
Yeah, so it was it was a great book. I read it, and it's funny because I did a little research on her and read that she refused to answer the question, is she a feminist? And yet you read her book and she sounds so much but anyway, here she is now. Yeah, here she is. It's quite something because I think you started your own firm with a partner. And I hate to start a serious interview this way, but we all are thinking of that photo spread that you did that created such a shock because you showed your bare arms. You hired an ad agency to do a photo, and then everybody was so shocked. What did you think when that happened? It was very glamorous for a law firm.

Marie (Guest) 00:03:02
Yeah. It didn't occur to me that I was doing anything alarming or shocking. What happened is that my sister, someone said you had to improve your website. And so I spoke to my sister in law who was a bookkeeper for an ad agency and had a good friend who is involved in the industry, and she said, maybe he'll do this as a favor for you. So we met him. They advertise Hostess potato chips and products and kept asking us, like, what do you do? And so we're trying to explain it. And then they showed us options for photographers. And of course, I was going to choose the fashion photographer because I thought that was the only point of this exercise. And so we did this fashion shoot and a shoot for our pictures. And I just dressed the way I would normally dress. I dress the way I dress if you come into my office. So it wasn't designed to shock or alarm anybody. It was designed for my own entertainment, to be honest. And I just never thought it would cause the impact it did. But even yesterday, someone commented about it and said to me, it really changed the way they did their website.

Mo 00:04:04
But that being said, Wendy and I devoured your book. On top of everything, you're terrific writer and great storyteller. And one of the things that really struck me is that you're glamorous and you are glamorous. People don't usually go around saying I'm glamorous. But that is part of your arsenal, I would say. And you grew up loving fashion, and fashion is part of your family. And your mother had a dress shop and so on. I remember reading about one of the very famous trials that you were a defense attorney in and describing your shoes. This was serious coverage of a trial, and they would mention in your stilettos, and I thought that was fabulous. Of course, other people thought it was inappropriate, but it is. Is it not part of your toolbox?

Marie (Guest) 00:04:49
No, it's not part of my toolbox. It's part of who I am. It's not put on. It is who I am. I would dress like this. And I did dress like this in high school. It was a girl's uniform school, Catholic girls school. And on the one day we could dress in our own clothes. I was in leather pants and purple lizard shoes that my uncle had bought for me from New York. I would shave the side of my head. I would dive my hair different colors. That was always part of the stuff that I did because it was just interesting to me. So it's not put on. And I think people have to be comfortable in their own skin and do what they like. So that is who I am. I don't view it as an arsenal. But on your point that there is that coverage, that is quite striking because the coverage of women is obviously very gendered, even when you're being covered by other women. And the commentary on your physical appearance is part and parcel of many articles and that is pretty consistent. When you think of Hillary Clinton, they were just commenting on the color of her pantsuit and what she was wearing when she lost the election. The commentary was on what she looked like and whether her hair was done or not. So that is a very gendered approach to comment on a person whose job it is not to be a model, it's to do a particular thing, to focus on their appearance.

Wendy 00:06:07
I found it so interesting because when I worked on the Hill, I mean, we all dressed up as men, basically, like our parents. Like your mom was taught that your role is as a wife and as a homemaker and as a mother. And then my generation was sort of taught to fight back against that and raw, raw. And then my daughter is like, no, more like, why can't we have both? And then, so I was so struck in reading your book about the whole thing because back when CBC used to allow people to give speeches, I used to talk about women and work and work life balance and all that stuff because it was a question that I was asked all the time and I thought it was relevant. And then in your book you're like, Hell no. I think your quote is I'll gladly speak to a room full of men on how they can adjust their work life balance. But any invites to talk about that?

Marie (Guest) 00:06:53
No. I'm still waiting for a group of men who want me to tell them what they can do better. I'm happy to do it at any point in time. But it's classic, right? We view it as our problem and as though we are the first people on the face of the earth that want to have careers and families. But, you know, I always say there is actually a model for that. The other sex has done it very successfully for many, many years. So why don't we look at what they did to achieve that balance? And what they did is they had partners that were supportive, they outsourced a lot of things. They are entitled to be focused on their work. And nobody would ever say to a man, how do you have a family and have a job? Nobody would think of asking that question because what is buried into that question is how do you have a family and a job is that it's your responsibility and yours alone, and that there is consistent things. So I don't subscribe to that view at all. I think it's impossible, quite frankly, I think it is impossible to do it all. And I think it's a bill of goods we're being sold, that it's our obligation to do it all. It's not our fault and our problem. I think the answer lies elsewhere.

Mo 00:08:00
Well, it's talking about family, and family is extremely important to you, despite the fact that, admittedly, you've spent probably the better part of your waking life at work. I want to ask you a bit about your relationship with comedy. I mean, when we said we wanted to approach you, and Wendy and I agree that you were at the top of our list for women of illegal repute, and Wendy said she's going to be very serious. This is very serious. And then after reading your book, you have a strong relationship with comedy. Your Uncle Sammy was a performer. You had an aunt who was a comedian, and your brother also worked as a comedian, like a successful comedian, before becoming a lawyer. There's a deep sense of humor running through your veins.

Marie (Guest) 00:08:38
I hope so. I don't think I'm the funniest in the family. Certainly I think my brother takes the cake. But I like to think I can be funny. And I don't take everything I do seriously. I don't take myself seriously in certain respects. So, yeah, comedy is pretty important. I used to go to comedy clubs when I was super young. I mean, even in New York, I remember going to comedy clubs. Probably my first introduction to comedy clubs were in New York. I've always loved it. I think it's insightful and brilliant. I certainly am not of that caliber.

Mo 00:09:08
There's a performative aspect to everything, whether you're in court or on stage, that there are commonalities there. I think you're funny.

Wendy 00:09:16
I wondered why you chose criminal law. And it just seems like for a woman in particular and you talk a lot in your book about growing up feeling like an outsider. Did you choose that because it was the hardest, most important thing to do, or where does it drive come from?

Marie (Guest) 00:09:34
I have to tell you, for much of my life, I think I was zoned out as to what was going on around me in the sense of the things I was supposed to do and not do, because of the way I was brought up, because of my personality. I fell in love with criminal law for a number of reasons. One was the subject matter. That's what you see on TV, when you think of a lawyer, you're seeing a criminal case. Everyone sense of what lawyers do, and certainly mine was litigation and defense work. I found it exciting and it's my natural inclination. I am a fighter. And so the other part of it that is significant is it was suitable to me and my personality. So when I chose this, for much of my life, I didn't think that was an unusual, shocking, outrageous thing to do. And I didn't think that it was going to be gendered. It didn't occur to me because I guess it's my mom. I had such self confidence in my ability to do this job and my right to do it. I didn't think I would be viewed any differently. But I think as you get older and there are a few of you in the profession that stick around this long, three decades into it, you definitely begin to feel it because there's very few of you around and there are certain keys to the room that people don't willingly give up.

Wendy 00:10:51
Well, I can ask more serious questions in a moment, but you mentioned TV. What do you watch? Do you watch, like, billions or Scandal or do you watch all the law shows?

Mo 00:10:59
A good wife. Good Wife.

Marie (Guest) 00:11:01
I did watch The Good Wife. It used to make me very mad. I always thought I'd like to do a show called the not good wife, and she's extremely passive, in my view.

Mo 00:11:12
But Christine Baranski wasn't her the senior partner.

Marie (Guest) 00:11:15
I know, and I love Christine Baranski, but for her constant ethical challenges. But I love Christine Baranski. I watch that. I watch any documentary that's related to anything remotely legal. I'm obsessed with it. I watched the bachelor. I watched Love Island during the pandemic. I watch anything with a costume and every iteration of Pride and Prejudice that has ever been published. I watched Bridgeton. I hope everybody does, because it's fabulousness, all of it.

Mo 00:11:48
Have you watched the Gilded age?

Marie (Guest) 00:11:50
I started and then stopped.

Mo 00:11:53
You should go back again for Christine Bransky, if nobody else. She gets all the best lines, of course, and eats all the scenery.

Marie (Guest) 00:12:00

Wendy 00:12:01
Yeah. I'm just curious. You've been asked about the me too movement, and you've sort of said, yeah, but it sort of ties into TV because I guess a lot of the people who came forward during the early days when it was getting so much attention anyway, were people who were on TV. So is there change happening because of that?

Marie (Guest) 00:12:21
I think there was. It brought to attention, I think, the challenges that women face and the challenges that they face and the impact it can have on their lives and their careers. I don't think we talk enough about what happens in the workplace and the profound challenges and frustrations that women felt and feel because of that harassment. So I think it brought it to the fore, but it's not like we're unaware of it. I just think it was really interesting when it was Gwyneth Paltrow, but not so much the black factory worker that also experiences that daily. So I think that it was the right time for something to be brought forward and push these issues forward, and I think there have been responses, including adjusting the percentages and dynamics of who's in the C suite, which is important. I think the importance of women in determinative leadership roles has become particularly critical because if it was a woman in Harvey Weinstein's office, we wouldn't have had that. So I think those are all really important changes. I don't think that that movement is inconsistent with a defense. The presumption of innocence or the way our trials work. None of that, in my view, are inconsistent things, just like I don't think a lot of things we assume are binary or not.

Mo 00:13:41
I want to go back to something that we touched on earlier and that you go to considerable lengths in your book to explain. And I'm surprised that it needs to be explained. And that's the fact that after one particular trial, you were accused of being a traitor to your gender. And I was really surprised, personally, that people have such little understanding of what a defense lawyer does, and you must run into this all the time, think that you only defend innocent people.

Marie (Guest) 00:14:07
I think people don't really know what the role is. I think there is confusion because of what you see in the media on shows of what our job is, and you're constantly presented as being ethically conflicted. I don't think they get how you fit into the whole system, and I think we have to do a better job of explaining it. But I was looking at one of the things from the United Nations about the role of lawyers, because they have a whole set of principles they adopted. And one of the principles is that you do not identify a lawyer with the client or the offense or the cause that they are litigating, that you have to separate those two things. But it's natural for people to conflate the two and not understand what your role is and not understand why you do it or why you choose to do it. We just have to do a better job of it. I don't have a problem with that. I don't have a problem with members of the public having those questions. I do have a problem when it's propagated by members of the government, though.

Voiceover 00:15:09
The women of ill repute.

Wendy 00:15:12
I'm sort of curious. Like, I know you don't want to go into the Giant Gamachei case, and I sure don't want to go into that, but some of his accusers, like, they went to the police and they spilled their guts with no representation. And you've said that people need better access. Everybody needs better access to justice. And you've set up a volunteer program for inmates who want to do appeal. And I just wonder, like, do people and you've said, even for the police in particular, that they need to do better. What needs to be done?

Marie (Guest) 00:15:41
Well, there's a lot that needs to be done to do better. First of all we represent in our office and I have victims as well of crime. And often one of the things that you're trying to do is to navigate the process and to prepare them to testify, to prepare them and answer questions when they're interfacing with the prosecution or the police because they don't know, they've never been through the process. And it is very important to be able to give them information, give all participants information about what's expected, what a judge is doing, the assumptions that people have about if they say something, are people going to disbelieve me? They're often just wrong. So you have to go through that process to educate a person who is making a decision to go through the criminal system. So number one is access to representation. That is fundamental. It is the most important thing. It's like asking you to perform surgery on yourself. We never ask people to do that. It is as necessary when you're navigating the legal system to have representation, to have professionals who know what they're doing. And the police need training on how to deal with complex cases. And I think there's a feeling that if they don't ask a question, the defense lawyer isn't going to ask it. And that's the biggest mistake you can conceivably make and the greatest disservice you can make to a witness. You have to ask the tough questions because often there are very good answers to those tough questions. So shying away from that and being gingerly in terms of interacting with witnesses I don't think is an effective investigation. The best investigations are the ones that are thorough.

Wendy 00:17:17
So Sarah Pauly, she's kind of well known. She's come forward with this book now saying that she decided not to come forward with any accusations because she had sort of made jokes and she had been friendly with the person on the air and that she was told that she wouldn't be taken seriously. I'm just wondering, like we all know, I'm sure, women who have said, I have been told that there is no point that the system won't work for me, what needs to be done so that women who are telling the truth can feel like the system will represent them if we can move on after.

Marie (Guest) 00:17:48
This, which probably means a better lawyer to give her advice. So that is not accurate and it would require a fairly lengthy discussion of how the courts deal with that sort of thing. But we know, and I'll give you an example that I think we're pretty familiar with now and sensitized to. It used to be that there was an assumption that a woman that was abused by her husband would automatically leave and eventually through a lot of litigation and expert evidence, that assumption was completely set aside. We know about the cycle of violence. We know that people can continue to have friendly relationships with their abuser. They can remain in relationships all those sorts of things. So number one, that is inaccurate because the law does not assume that it depends on the nature of the contact, whether it's voluntary. So for example, if you say, I was terrified of this person, I never wanted to speak to them and I did not speak to them, and then you say, hold on a second, you did speak to them ten times. The relevance of it isn't that you spoke to them. The relevance of it is that you lied about speaking to them. So there are very significant distinctions and it is incorrect to make those assumptions and those statements because they're not born out in cases. They really are not. It is a lot more factually, precise and courts have done a good job, I think, and have a long way to go still of disabusing themselves as gendered really archaic views about how women behave in certain circumstances. So that advice may have been relevant 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, but in my view would be incorrect legal advice now.

Wendy 00:19:29
And yet don't you know women who are told by the system that it'll ruin you, you won't win? And some of these cases, I'm sure, are true, some may not be. But it is a common sense of people who are lawyers and judges that if you've been sexually assaulted, that good luck, you probably won't come out ahead. So I'm just wondering if anything can change for that or if you think we are getting somewhere.

Marie (Guest) 00:19:56
A criminal case is different than a civil case. In a civil case, you're suing to win or lose. You win money, you get a settlement or you would lose. That is a very different construct than a criminal case where the only issue is do you deprive the person of their liberty? Do you send them to jail? So there's no winning or losing. There's a determination of guilt or innocence. So as a witness in any criminal case, and that includes murder cases and fraud cases and sexual assault cases, witnesses have to come, they have to tell their version of events. They will be tested like anyone else and a judge will make a determination. It's no different than any other case. And the determination at the end of it is not you want or you lost. Because witnesses don't win or lose. It's whether or not they're satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that this person should be sent to jail. It's a very different inquiry and we shouldn't conflate it and we should never forget. And that is one of the reasons why lawyers are very important in the process, because it's important to not feel that you lost if someone is acquitted or that you want if they get convicted. The importance is that you're able to tell your version of events and to be heard and to be treated fairly and decently. But beyond that, you don't win or lose in these cases as a witness.

Mo 00:21:12
You love the law, don't you?

Marie (Guest) 00:21:14
I do, yeah. I really do.

Wendy 00:21:16
I love it's.

Marie (Guest) 00:21:17

Mo 00:21:18
I can see why your husband's a lawyer as well. I have two boys. My youngest is in law school. Are your kids interested in the law or? I don't know how old they are.

Marie (Guest) 00:21:27
Yeah, I know. It remains to be seen. We'll see.

Mo 00:21:30
I take it you have a fairly vocal dinner hour when you're altogether I just get that impression.

Marie (Guest) 00:21:37
We do. Part of that is not because we're lawyers, because if you went to my family, it's Middle Eastern, it would always be vocal. I remember my husband being stunned during our dinner, thinking like it was acrimonious. I said, no, this is how we interact. So there is always that year.

Wendy 00:21:54
I was struck by you talking about when your parents first met his parents and your mum or your dad saying, I thought you said that they were Canadian. Or anyway, tell that story, because I just think that's so funny.

Marie (Guest) 00:22:06
Yeah, it's classic. So we went to meet my husband's mom. His father had passed away and I told her, I said, Mum, they're Canadian. And so we went, we had dinner and then we left. When we're driving home, he was driving us and she says in Arabic to me, you didn't tell me. I said, I didn't tell you what? She said they're real Canadians. I said, yeah. I told you they are Canadian. She said no. They're real Canadians. I said, what makes you say that? She said, the kids, they were eating at a table. She was just done because we were relegated to the basement. You would never have in our culture, kids don't sit at the adult table. Like kids are never to be seen at the adult table. And my mother would send my brother and I to the basement now if she could, and sometimes wants to, and we annoy her. So she just was stunned. Like, there were kids and people were paying attention to them. I remember she said they were talking to them and paying attention to them. What is going on? That, for her, was the sign of a real Canadian.

Wendy 00:23:02
So it's not a blonde, blue eyed person.

Marie (Guest) 00:23:05
Partly that, but partly it's the family dynamic and it's sort of interesting. There is such a cultural difference, there really is. And it's quite evident we deal with things differently.

Wendy 00:23:16
It's funny, though, because you talk so much about your mom and the pictures of her, she looks so much like a madman sort of woman, which was, I guess, the era. And my own mom, who was completely different, like, she never dressed properly or got her hair done or anything, but I think they would have really gotten along just because they had such strong views and they felt like my view matters. And I think that stuff really shapes us. And you say it had a profound impact on you.

Marie (Guest) 00:23:43
It really does when you're looking at it's true. And that's one of the reasons I included the pictures, because I don't think people understood when I'm trying to describe her. She is living in a very traditional Middle Eastern country in Cairo, and she dressed like she was Audrey Hepburn, and she went out of her way to dress like that. She did love that. And she wanted to be very North American, and I guess that was part of her way of resisting what that environment was. And of course, it did very much shape my attitude because it was very much part of her that she didn't like being put in a box and she didn't like the limitations on women.

Wendy 00:24:21
Well, it's funny because you sound so I don't know, Fembo? Raw. Raw women. Women can do everything. I got my own law firm. I've done all of this stuff, and men need to step up. And yet you don't like the question or you refuse to answer that question. Are you a feminist?

Marie (Guest) 00:24:36
Well, it's not that I refuse to answer that question. It's that it's obvious. It's like asking me, what color is your hair? Well, you can see it. So if you can't figure out the answer, what you're really asking me is to convince you, and I'm not going to justify myself.

Wendy 00:24:51
You sound pretty feminist to me.

Marie (Guest) 00:24:53
It's fairly clear. So when people are asking that question again, I think we take shots at women. They're not really asking you that question. They're saying, Justify yourself. There's no day I'm going to explain myself to anybody.

Mo 00:25:05
That is so true. Justify yourself, and to hell with that noise.

Wendy 00:25:09
I liked how you talked about turning 50. Like, to me, I don't know, anyone under 60 is like a child.

Mo 00:25:16
Those 40 year olds, they're just so shallow.

Wendy 00:25:20
But it's so true. Like, my husband worked in a law firm for a while, and you talk about how all the 50 year old or 60 year old guys, like, they're in their prime, they're sexy, they're successful, and yet women maureen and I have talked about this. You've become invisible at 50.

Marie (Guest) 00:25:36
Did you feel that? I mean, I definitely it was weird. You can go to town, you think you're going to make a grand entrance, and you're lucky if someone doesn't ask you to pass them a drink. You're just completely a nonstarter. And it is stunning. It's actually stunning because I would look at my colleagues and I would think, just wait a second, hold on. You're in the prime of your life. You're not in the primary life. I hate to break it to you, but you think you are and everyone's treating you like you are. Like you have not only hit the top of the hill, but you're like, you're attractive, you're successful, and all my friends, all these awesome women, really incredible women, we're feeling crappy about ourselves, and it's not because we. Don't think we're great because when we sit in a group together, we're just loving each other.

Mo 00:26:23
But the rest of the world doesn't.

Marie (Guest) 00:26:25
Feel that way about you. And the silencing of women, the marginalizing of women at every stage, right. There's so many different iterations of it. But when you're older, pretty stunning, and I have an ego, and, yes, I want to feel good about myself. And it hurts being overlooked.

Mo 00:26:41
It hurts. It does. And it happens. Like you said, suddenly. We were talking about it the other day. There's like a day that I remember the last day that a couple of guys turned around as I walked past them. I remember that day because it never happened again.

Marie (Guest) 00:26:55
You know, when you were younger, I'd get really annoyed if someone in the street said anything, but now I'm like, thrilled. Oh, my gosh, thanks for noticing.

Mo 00:27:03
Really, thank you, you creepy old guy. Thank you.

Marie (Guest) 00:27:07
Thank you for saying anything to me. I have not been graceful about it. And then you've got people like Jennifer Lopez, and even when she does everything she does, people are still referencing her age. And I think, wow, even Jennifer Lopez can't be just called beautiful. She's beautiful for 50. The worst is when there was this tweet I referenced in the book where a body rug parlor tweeted marie Hannan is kind of hot for 50. I couldn't even get a job there at 50. It's very hurtful to my fragile ego.

Mo 00:27:40
Well, thank God you have a lot to fall back on, seeing as how that career options close to you.

Marie (Guest) 00:27:46
I had a backup plan.

Wendy 00:27:48
Yes. Someone tweeted once that, oh, my God, I was watching the news last night, and Wendy's kind of hot, and I just looked, and she's like, 60.

Mo 00:27:56
How could that be? I'm like, that's one thing you don't have a lot of control over. You can have a practice. You can have a show. You can be the top of your game. You can be a good mother, whatever that means, a good wife, whatever that means. But you can't make the world think you're hot.

Wendy 00:28:11
Well, we're going to change that.

Marie (Guest) 00:28:13
Look, that's why when we're talking about all these things, like, as I said, work, life, balance or all these other issues, I really think we have to stop thinking it's our problem. Right? We're not the authors of this, because if they asked us, we have all sorts of suggestions. We'd say we think we are hot at 50 and over. But even the magazine, I mean, it drives me nuts. I'm in the 50 and over category, lumped in 50 and over. We all wear the same thing. So now I'm going to just wear what 20 and 30 wears. I do not care. I'm going to look at I just refused to be marginalized in the 50 and over categories.

Wendy 00:28:47
Dress for your age, Marie. Dress for your age.

Marie (Guest) 00:28:50
I will not dress for my age. Whenever I was going out to an event last night, my son came down and he said, mom, you look really emo. I said, Bud. I always have been. I'm always that, and I'm always prone to that.

Wendy 00:29:04
Look, you're very squishy in your book. You seem like such a hard ass as a lawyer, but you're very squishy in your book. So it was a good read.

Mo 00:29:12
The book is great. The book is fantastic. I didn't even skim through it. I actually sat down and read right through to the end and enjoyed every bit of it.

Marie (Guest) 00:29:20
Well, that's awesome. I think we're more complicated than people want to give us credit for. And I think women in particular again. I'm going to go off on this. But we really put in a box. And that was part of the reason for writing the book. Is I'm not there to make people like me or to say I'm squishy. Is that I'm a human being. Which I think we all are. And so you have different components to you. Some are good, some are not good, but we are human, and I don't think any of it minimizes your toughness or your seriousness or any of that. So it's important to me to convey that we're a little more than one thing or the other.

Wendy 00:29:56
And defense lawyers are not murderers generally.

Mo 00:29:59
Well, you never know. It's not out of the realm of possibility. Marie, we're so grateful that you took this time because you're one of the busiest people that we know, let alone are having on the show. But it's been such a pleasure. Hope to see you again. Never professionally, but if ever I need.

Marie (Guest) 00:30:15
You'Ll be my first choice, I'm here for you.

Wendy 00:30:18
So great to talk to you, Marie. Thank you so much.

Marie (Guest) 00:30:21
Well, thank you so much. It's always fun chatting with you.

Mo 00:30:28
Well, we have a new best friend.

Wendy 00:30:31
Yeah, I mean, I'm kind of conflicted because I don't think she really dealt with a question. Like, I get that I should pay more attention to different kinds of law and different kinds of cases, so I get that. But I think we both know people who have been told by people in the business that there's no point in saying that you were raped two years ago or saying that you were choked. I think she doesn't quite see that. And yet she's fighting for so many things, and she's trounced for things that she shouldn't be criticized for at all. Like, lawyers are not murderers, they just represent them because you need that in the system.

Mo 00:31:05
But as a lawyer, she is never going and she loves the law and she loves the precision of it, and she's never going to say that she agrees and admits that the legal system is not serving everyone that it should. And that obviously changes have to be made. But she will never, or she shouldn't ever say, oh, no, the law can't help you.

Wendy 00:31:23
Yeah, the law sucks.

Mo 00:31:24
You're not going to get that from her. Even though I'm sure she has days where she probably comes home and goes, what the hell am I going to do with this situation? I mean, it's got to be the most brutal thing to defend someone that you know, and Giann was only one of them. She has defended some of the most heinous people you can imagine successfully.

Wendy 00:31:44
Yeah. And she says she's not funny, but she's funny. I found this quote that I didn't want to throw at her because the whole Giann thing is so complicated now, but just before he hired her, she was like, oh, well, we're going to talk about how we represent all these heinous people who do all of these terrible acts, or what Jungomeshu would call foreplay.

Mo 00:32:03
Oh, wow.

Wendy 00:32:05
Yeah, easy for us. A lot. Anyway, I didn't bring that up because, I don't know, there's only so far you can go in an interview.

Mo 00:32:12
She's hilarious. That brings up the whole thing about a sense of humor. A sense of humor isn't necessarily somebody who tells a good joke. It's somebody who gets it.

Wendy 00:32:20
I found, like she said, she may not love the word squishy, but it's very like I guess that's what you and I try and do in this podcast a little bit, is to try and talk about stuff that or at least I have kept to myself, either because I was at CDC or because I was a journalist and you're not supposed to have opinions on anything. And now I'm just like, whatever. I'm kind of like Anna Maria or Sharon Stone or whatever. Shameless, I think they call us.

Mo 00:32:44
Yes, we could have called it shameless. We could have called the shameless. We may yet call it shameless.

Wendy 00:32:50
Well, we are shameless. Or almost.

Mo 00:32:53
Yeah, well, I'm a little ashamed of a few things, but anyway, that was Marie Hannah. She was fantastic. And on to the next. 

Voiceover 00:32:53
The Women of Ill Repute with Wendy Mesley and Maureen Holloway. Available on Apple Podcasts Spotify, Google Podcasts or@womenofilreputecom produced and distributed by The Sound of Media. Any.