Longtime WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt was on the Tuesday episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast where he discussed his relationship with WWE with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman. McDevitt explained when and how his relationship with WWE began.
“I started with them back in 1987,” McDevitt stated. “I was doing basic commercial work at the law firm I’m with here in Pittsburgh, and one of the wrestlers Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, who was, at that time, part of The Hart Foundation with Bret Hart, was flying into Pittsburgh to do an event up at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. Him and Brett were then the tag team champs of the WWE, which I didn’t know it’s time because I really didn’t follow wrestling that much at that point in my life and at the end of the flight, Jim got arrested by the FBI and charged with interference with the flight crew with the allegation being that he had gotten in a fight with one of the flight attendants in a dispute over drinks during the flight and charged with a federal felony of interference with the flight crew.
“And I had been, at that point, working on a case out in Colorado with the lawyer who was then representing the WWE. We were working on a case oddly involving air pollution control devices out in Colorado together, and is his name was Ted Dinsmore. Ted called me that night and asked me if I would represent Neidhart, which I said sure, I’d be glad to represent him and did represent him and got him acquitted of all charges and brought a malicious prosecution case thereafter and got him with a lot of money for his trouble. And that’s how I met Vince and Linda, and the rest is kind of history.”
The rest was history but very few non-wrestlers get to be close friends with Vince McMahon. McDevitt talked about what that is like saying that he has joked that he could write a book on it.
“Well, you know, it’s an interesting thing that someday I always kid that I’m going to write a book if I ever get done doing all these legal cases and have time to write a book, but the first words Vince ever said to me, when I met him personally, was, ‘I hate lawyers,’ and I think I said something to him along the lines of, ‘well, I don’t really like them all that much either,’ which is true. I don’t,” McDevitt said. “And now, it’s not that uncommon, when we have a conversation 30-40 years later now, at the end of the conversation to say, ‘I love you Jerry,’ and I love him too.
“I mean, you know, that’s what happens when you go through 40 years of the kind of ordeals that he and the company have had to go through, to do what they do. It’s just been an amazing journey, and so we’re very close. It’s not your normal lawyer-client relationship anymore. It’s more like family.”
While he was not involved in the case, McDevitt commented on the CM Punk and Colt Cabana case against Dr. Chris Amann. McDevitt agreed with Hausman that lawyer work is very detail-oriented and requires on to recreate history the most accurately and truthfully to a jury.
“Yeah, it’s very detail-oriented work,” McDevitt agreed. “I’m familiar with that trial. I wish I would have been in that trial, but we weren’t. But in any event, it is what it is. It’s basically, all we do is recreate history, and the one who wins is usually the one who recreates it most accurately and truthfully and honestly with a jury and that’s what we try to do.”
McDevitt’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.