Episode 137 — Camille Vasquez — Authenticity is the Advantage
There were plenty of big names that stood on the Game Changers Summit 2022 stage, but there was one that took the legal community — and the entire world — by storm.
Camille Vasquez is the attorney best known for representing Johnny Depp in his 2022 defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard. As the trial captivated audiences everywhere and Depp received the winning verdict, Ms. Vasquez became an overnight celebrity in her own right.
Now, on this special episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast recorded LIVE at the Summit, you have the chance to get to know her on deeper level, including:
- Her strategic navigation of one of the most publicized trials in history
- How great privilege comes with great responsibility
- Why she believes authenticity is the ultimate advantage
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Authenticity encourages growth. “Just stay true to who you are. Be authentic, especially as a trial lawyer. I think juries and judges can tell if you’re not being genuine and authentic, but when you’re doing what you love, then it doesn’t come off as anything other than genuine. I’m really lucky that I get to do what I absolutely love to do, and I feel this is something that I was meant to do. I feel very privileged in the sense that I get to make money doing something that I really enjoy doing, and I think that’s what everyone should do if they want to keep climbing the ladder.”
Know your weaknesses. “I think I’m really self-critical, and I think that that’s something that we probably all suffer from — maybe the women in the room probably understand that a bit more. But I use it as a strength too, because it inspires me to work harder. I want to have the answers in the room because I know I’ll be challenged. Especially as a woman in this profession, you’re gonna be challenged, and the best way to overcome that to make sure you have the confidence is to overprepare.”
Preparing for the trial of the year. “Truth be told, I didn’t think that filing this lawsuit was a good idea, but it was an incredibly personal lawsuit for him — hopefully the last lawsuit he has to engage in. But after it was filed, he approached me along with my partner Ben Chiu, and asked if I would join the team. I was one of the few women on the team and I really think that this case called for a woman’s perspective, so it was my honor to be able to represent him in this matter because it meant so much to him.”
Losing is not an option. “This might sound strange, but no, I never thought we were going to lose. I know it’s a defamation case. I know it was an impossible case to win; A lot of people said, but I knew that we were on the right side of it. I believed Johnny. I had no question in my mind that he did not do this. Now, was he a perfect person? No, but no one is. Did he have his own struggles? Absolutely, just like we all do. But did he commit domestic violence in this relationship with Amber Heard or in any relationships? No, and I believed him. So no, I didn’t ever think we could lose if we executed the strategy appropriately and the way that we had put it together. So I thought if things went the way that we had planned for them to go, there was no other option but a verdict in our favor.”
The hard part of becoming a household name. “I think losing a little bit of your anonymity, and feeling like you’ve lost a little bit of yourself. Johnny has said to me many times, ‘I live my life behind windows, whether it’s car windows, plane windows, or hotel windows,’ and it’s really touched me. Until it happens to you where you become famous, you don’t realize and appreciate the normal things that we all get to do, like go and have a meal with somebody you love and not be interrupted. Or, you know, get a photo taken of you as you’re like mid bite at dinner. Things like that. So, I think just seeing a little glimpse of that makes you understand what someone like Johnny has gone through his whole life.”
The difficult truth. “You can win in the court of law, but if you lose in the court of public opinion, you’ve lost altogether. Clients are realizing this, and whether they’re corporate or they’re individuals, they’re realizing that their brand and that their reputation are equally important to them. If you can work in conjunction with public relations or crisis managers and you have the skills to be able to advise on statements and positioning and even client strategies and litigation strategy, I think that’s something that we’re going to see a lot of clients asking for in the future.”