Willie E. Gary
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Willie E. Gary (born July 12, 1947), is an attorney, motivational speaker and cable television executive. Gary has won suits against large corporations, such as Disneyland and Anheuser-Busch, on behalf of his clients through his law firm, Gary, Williams, Parenti, Finney, Lewis, McManus, Watson & Sperando, P.L.
Willie Gary was born in Eastman, Georgia where he was raised in migrant farm communities in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. He is one of eleven children. He attended Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina and played for their football team. He received an athletic scholarship and co-captained the team during the 1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons. Earning a Bachelor’s in business administration from Shaw University, he continued on the North Carolina Central University in Durham where he earned a Juris Doctor in 1974. He moved back to Stuart where he was admitted to the Florida Bar and opened the first black law firm in Martin County. Gloria, his childhood sweetheart, now wife, assisted him at this newly formed law firm.
With Gloria he has four adult sons, Kenneth, Sekou, Ali and Kobie. He also is the father of girl and boy twins (born November 2000) by former Olympic hopeful Diana Gowins. Gary was paying $28,000 per month in child support. The order was reduced to $5,000 per month by an Atlanta judge in 2007 after Gary alleged that Gowins was mismanaging the child support payments. Gowins appealed the order. Gowins can frequently be seen on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, as she maintains a close friendship with housewife NeNe Leakes.
Gary has won over 150 multi million dollar suits, including a $500 million award granted to one of his clients in Mississippi.
Gary owns two private jets, named the Wings of Justice and the Wings of Justice II, along with several cars, including two Rolls Royces. A lawsuit is pending in Manhattan federal district court by General Electric Capital against Gary and his firm over the default of a finance loan on one of the planes.
His main residence is in Sewall's Point, Florida overlooking the St. Lucie River.
Gary has appeared on Oprah and gives public speeches. Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of the top 50 attorneys in the United States, and Ebony Magazine declared him one of the "100 Most Influential African Americans."
In 1999 he founded the Black Family Channel.
Recently, he was seeking legal fees equal to $22,000 per hour in connection with litigation against Motorola. A judge in Broward County, Florida has set the fee plus costs for the case at $22.9 million, the equivalent of about $1,050 per hour for Gary and his firm.
In October 2012 a federal judge ordered Gary's firm to pay a litigation finance company $12.5 million.
- Georgia Supreme Court: GARY v. GOWINS.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: How much is too much child support? at the Wayback Machine (archived February 5, 2007) January 21, 2007.
- Raymond, Nate (October 3, 2012). "Willie Gary's law firm ordered to pay $12.5 mln to lender". Reuters. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Is any lawyer worth $22,000 an hour?
- Broward judge OKs $22.9 million payday for 'superstar' lawyer -- $1,050 an hour