About Jack

Jack is a criminal defense attorney, former CIA officer, journalist and storyteller.  As a lawyer, Jack practices exclusively in the areas of criminal defense and DWI/DUI defense.  He is unique across the entire state of Minnesota and the U.S. as the only criminal defense attorney who is also a former Central Intelligence Agency Officer as well as a former prosecuting attorney. Jack's extensive experience, aggressiveness and passion speak for themselves and he is most proud of his reputation as a fighter for the rights of his clients. He has a national reputation and can be seen frequently on MSNBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, and other networks across the country.  He is also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.



Lake Calhoun Center

3033 Excelsior Boulevard, Suite 550

Minneapolis, MN 55416

Telephone: 612-227-1339

Fax: 612-824-0311

email:  jack@jackrice.org

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[The Jack Rice Show] August 30th: Jack Talks War and Life During the Vietnam Era with Col. Khao Insixiengmay.

This is a pretty wild conversation. When we think veteran, what do we think?  Contemplate somebody who fought during the Vietnam era but fought for the Royal Lao Army with the Americans.  I honestly believe that after listening to his story and his voice, you might reconsider what makes an American Veteran.  Seriously.

 Khao Insixiengmay is a Veteran who served honorably in the Royal Lao Army during the Vietnam War as Colonel of a Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU) and Commander of Group Mobile (GM) 33. The 3,000 men led by Insixiengmay secretly served for and were trained by the U.S. government to intercept and interject supplies in Laos and were responsive exclusively to U.S. direction and control.

Under his command, GM 33 participated in the Battle of Khong Sedone, where his unit helped destroy two North Vietnamese regiments. After the Battle of Khong Sedone, his GM was asked to carry out the heliborne operation and successfully destroyed enemy tanks in the only such event of the war. He also worked to evacuate many men to the U.S and continues to advocate for these men and getting them recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Insixiengmay was a critical force in getting the Lao Veterans Memorial deciated at Fort Snelling and is now working on a Congressional resolution to recognize the military service members who served in Royal Lao Army. Insixiengmay continues his work with U.S. and Lao Veterans; without his service these soliders would be forgotten and the stories of their service lost. 

Click here to listen to Jack's interview with Col. Khao Insixiengmay


[The Jack Rice Show] August 23rd: Jack Talks Quality and Longevity of Life with Dan Buettner.

I'm really pleased to catch up with an an old friend, Dan Buetter.  Dan is a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times bestselling author.  He has discovered, through multiple expeditions with teams of research scientists specializing in population studies, the five places in the world – dubbed Blue Zones – where people live the longest, and are healthiest and happiest. His New York Times Sunday Magazine article about these places, “The Island Where People Forget to Die,” was one of the Times’ most popular, as was his National Geographic cover story on longevity, “The Secrets of Living Longer”.   A chord was struck, and thus subsequent books and a company which seeks to share the distilled wisdom of Blue Zones cultures with American cities and corporations were born.    

Blue Zones, LLC, puts the world’s best practices of longevity and wellbeing to work in people’s lives at the community level.  Buettner works in partnership with Healthways, municipal governments, and various insurance companies to implement the program in more than 20 cities so far, and has dramatically improved the health of more than 5 million Americans to date.  Their strategy focuses on optimizing the local environment – walkability for citizens and kids, availability of healthy food options, social connectivity, pursuit of life purpose, and ongoing coaching and support for creating homes which effortlessly bring forth wellness and happiness.  

Writing in Newsweek, Harvard University’s Walter Willet called the results “stunning.”  In one project alone, Buettner and his then partner, AARP, applied principles of Blue Zones to Albert Lea, Minnesota, and lowered health care costs by 40%.  

His books The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest and Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way have remained bestsellers, along with his new book THE BLUE ZONES SOLUTION: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People, and have appeared on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, NPR, and Oprah.

Dan also holds three Guinness Book of world records in distance cycling (and is possibly the only person to have cycled through the Sahara desert without sunscreen!) and has won an Emmy Award for television production. He resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is particularly proud to be the father of three (nearly) grown children.  Visit him at www.BlueZones.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bluezones. 

Click here to listen to Jack's conversation with Dan Buettner


[The Jack Rice Show] - Jack Talks with The Minnesota Humanities Center's David O'Fallon

In a world where human beings are connected 24/7, why are we becoming less and less connected?  David O'Fallon, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Humanities Center, joins me to talk about connection and why we miss so much.  But we talk poetry, art, education, sexism and so much more.

This is really a fascinating and almost spiritual conversation.  I hope you can listen.

Click here to listen to Jack's conversation with David O'Fallon.


[Russian TV International Appearance] August 14th - Jack Talks Torture and Gitmo


[Russian TV International Appearance] August 13th - Jack talks Gitmo

I'm appearing on Russian TV International on August 14th to discuss the impending death of one of the detainees being held by the United States government.  He has been force fed for years and has been on a hunger strike based upon his detainment.  I will appear on Russian TV International discuss the international standards and why this is a big deal.

I hope you can watch wherever you are in the world. 


[The Jack Rice Show] August 10th: Jack Talks Law and the World on AM 950 in Minneapolis.


[The Jack Rice Show] Jack Interviews Extraordinary People Living with Disabilities

We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The number of people that this law has impacted cannot be overestimted.  And yet, the challenges continue. 

I had the privilege to interview two people whose lives have been impacted very directly by this law. Sarah Lundquist has quite the story to tell.  She has down syndrome and yet has been living an incredily fulfilling life. I also had the chance to speak with Amy Garder who has cerebral palsy but has continued to fight for independence live life on her own terms.  

With the help of Lisbeth Vest Armstrong, Chief Program Officer for Hammer Residences and went to DC to lobby for ADA’s passage back in 1990, and Mary Beth Gaasch, program manager for Sarah Lundquist, this is pretty extraordinary. I really hope you enjoy it.  I hope this interview surprises and challenges you.  It certainly did me.     

Click here to listen to Jack's conversation with people living with disabilities.



Redemption.  I’ve always wanted to believe in it.  I’ve always hoped that anybody could come back.  That no matter what they have done, what they’ve seen, they could find a way back.  I don’t know why I needed to believe, but I did.  For a long time, as a criminal defense attorney, I think that it was because it was simply a philosophy I needed to embrace, professionally.  In fact, I now realize that that was bullshit.  I did it for one simple reason.  I needed to believe that I was redeemable.  That I could come back.  That I could believe in myself again.  But to be really honest, because of how life has played out, I've doubted that, until just recently.  

And it came at me at the worst possible time and with a brutal vengeance.

I'm getting ready for another trial and this Courthouse is packed.  However, I have one goal as I walk down a busy hallway with somebody I’ll call Jennifer. I'm trying to understand how her boy, 20 year old Samuel, could be in this place facing a decade in a steel box.  At this point, this is not about me or anybody else, it is about Samuel.  

He is charged with having a gun, a Smith and Wesson 9 mm Ruger to be precise, when he’s a convicted felon.  To be entirely honest, I don’t give a shit whether he had it.  I’m a criminal defense attorney and I just wanna win.  Ever the cynic. Right?  

Jennifer is slight.  She’s small in size but strangely even smaller in presence. Not that she's not a survivor and intelligence but rather, its as if life has punched her straight in the face over and over again and she knows that the next punch is coming any second.  I have to be honest, I'd be worse than she is. I couldn't survive what she has seen.  She's younger than I am but looks much much older.  Her hands are worn from working hard her whole life.  Multiple minimum wage jobs that simply didn't bring in enough.  Unfortunately, the impact of being gone so much had a real cost on the boys which she didn’t have the luxury to quantify at the time.  I see the sadness and fear in her eyes only overshadowed by the regret that she couldn't fix it.  

Jennifer found herself pregnant and 15 with her first son and had Samuel a short 16 months later.  Imagine being 17 with two baby boys.  Poor.  Single.  Homeless.  Helpless.  Thinking you know everything and knowing close to nothing at the very same time.  As if that weren’t enough, the boys' father was shot dead in the street only a couple of years later.  Just in case you thought you weren’t alone, right?  This is Jennifer.  

I’ve seen this story again and again to the point that I’m not always sure when one starts and the other ends.  In fact, in this job, it is really hard to not become calloused and cynical.  We see pain and tragedy and brutality everyday.  It sometimes washes over us and envelopes us in a way that we barely notice, like the mortician who sees a dead child with a toe tag on a cold stainless table and only sees another job to do.  The problem is that it is really hard to leave it at the door so we carry it with us, when we see our own officemates, friends, our own kids, our own spouses.  And slowly, its easy and maybe even reasonable that we establish this strange disconnect and numbness that we use as self protection like some sick M&M candy-coating.  But, it helps us function in this setting.  Right?

As Jennifer and I stand in the crowded hallway, the punch to the head comes at me like so many that Jennifer has taken.  This is my mom.  This woman's view of the world is very similar to how my mom saw her own.  All of a sudden, its not just about looking for an angle, looking for a win.  Rather, its that Samuel deserves redemption.  But something else happens.  I realize that I desperately need it too.  That for so many reasons, I need to fight my way back to a place where I can believe too.  That I can remember who I was before all of this.  This . . . insanity.  I feel the candy-coating starting to crack and crumble.  That my efforts to survive and continue are peeling away and I think about how I’ve changed and what it has cost me, cost my family, for me to do this.  But I’m in the middle of a trial.  Fuck!

I know I have to win. I have to find a way to help her, help Samuel.  I have to sit down with him again and try to really get what the hell is going on here.  I have to.  We need this.  All of us.  Not just Samuel.  I need it.  Me.  

When I’m picking a jury, I'm trying to assess who will see this kid as I see him.  I don't give a shit about justice at this point.  I don't care whether they can balance the facts and come to a just and fair decision.  I look at them like I imagine a surgeon looks at somebody before they start cutting.  I'm trying to strip away the bullshit as I ask questions to find somebody who will see me when they see Samuel. They must. They have to.  Of course, as this is happening, I’m also thinking about stripping away my own bullshit.  Timing has not always been my strong suit.  Shit!  

I look at the spectrum of this jury.  They are quite a crew.  Fro Man, as I call him, on one end. Young, very cool, young with long hair and very hipster-like with the carefully grungy clothes purposely picked to appear haphazardly chosen. Perfect.  On the other, briefcase boy, a middle aged man with short cropped hair with grey streaks who walks in with his briefcase everyday like it is his lucky blanket.  And everybody in between.  So who do I strike?  Who won't believe?  Who won't believe in hope, in second chances, in what the police say just because they say it?  

I'm feeling the desperation grow in me.  I'm surgical still but this one is different.  I need it.  I keep looking back and seeing Jennifer sitting in the gallery.  She won't look me directly in the face as we make eye contact.  She is always looking down slightly and her eyes meet mine at a slight angle, like a wounded animal.  She looks at me with the experience of a world champion boxer's sparring partner who regularly gets their ass kicked.  In other words, nothing is going to change.  Nothing is going to be different.  She's just waiting for the punches and preparing for the pain.  I can feel every punch as I look at her, every brutal scene I’ve experienced doing this and every hole in which I tried to bury it.  This is not good.  I need to focus.    

Opening statements come and the Prosecutor is very workman like.  She’s very balanced.  Very fair.  Very honest.  I hate that.  Juries like it and I have absolutely no interest in that at this point.  I wanna win.  I sneak a peak back and Jennifer is staring at the ground like she is watching something bad that happened years before.  I feel the same, trying to remember exactly when I broke.  When I quit believing.  I feel numb.  I look at my shoes.  And I start to feel angry.  I’m not done.  I can’t be.  I just can’t  I refuse.

I stand for my chance to speak.  I try to say with confidence, “Samuel didn't do it. This cop jumped to the wrong decisions.”  And here's the thing.  After going back in to talk to Samuel, he says a couple of things that just don't make sense based upon the reports and I know these reports cold.  I could quote them.  I've been dreaming about them.  And I know all of the photos too.  And the Prosecutor’s case just isn't adding up.  There is something wrong and I can't seem to figure out what it is.  

As the Prosecutor puts her case in, I'm listening.  What's wrong?  What's wrong?  I keep asking myself.  The photos roll through my head as do the words from all of the statements.  I hear how this one cop sees Samuel with a dark black object that is a gun in his waistband.  How the cop sees the handle and the grip.  On and on and on.  The testimony is devastating and the jury is just eating it up.  Even Fro Man is swallowing it.

Here's the problem.  Its not true.  It didn't happen.  The officer’s incident report is totally different and this cop seems to be adding all of these damning facts as an additional guarantee that Samuel will go down.  I don’t believe him.

I have a strange feeling inside my chest. It scares me. A heart attack?  But then I realize that I’m starting to remember me. But me in the way that I was before this case, and the thousand others like it.  And before the cynicism, the numbness and maybe even the darkness.    

I'm outraged and I take it out on the officer. The jury seems to sit up straighter and listen more carefully as I pound on this guy.  And he starts to represent all of the numbness, the darkness.  As I do this, I feel something down deep in my soul.  Something like hope that both Samuel and I deserve to find our way back.  As I look back at Jennifer, she is sitting up a little straighter too but unsure what to think.  

As the Prosecutor continues, her case seems to deteriorate underneath her.  And slowly, very slowly, I can feel a shift.  I see it in the jury, the demeanor of the prosecutor and even in myself.  It is at this point that I know.  I am this kid.  I know what it is to be without hope.  Without help and that I need redemption.  I need to know that I can come back.  I can be more.  That how I’ve changed isn’t permanent.

I look back at Jennifer.  I see that she sees that I get it.  That I somehow understand her.  That I get Samuel.  That maybe I’m Samuel.  I see a kernel of something there I don't think has been there for a very very long time.  Hope.  Is it her hope or my own?

Closing arguments are crazy.  As I listen to the Prosecutor, she sums up so cleanly that I start to doubt again.  She's very smart if a little cold blooded.  But I'm not done.  I believe.  I do.  I have to.
I get up and give the best damn closing of my life.  I feel like I'm fighting for air.  Like I'm fighting for my mom.  I imagine her sitting in the gallery and I'm fighting for her in a way she has fought for so many years without acknowledgement or credit.  But as I fight for Samuel, I am fighting just as hard for me.  And then I start to see jurors slowly shake their heads with me.  I feel it.  

All of sudden, all of a sudden, I see my mom's eyes in my head.  And I see her smile and my eyes fill with tears.  Tears for Samuel.  Tears for Jennifer.  Tears for my mom.  Tears for myself.

The problem with having lots of empathy and using it in trial is that you sometimes can’t control it.  Sure, you can pour it by the bucketload into the jury box until you hope the jury is floating around in it like its a kid’s blowup pool.  The problem if you’re honest is that it opens you up and cracks that sick candy-coating open and makes you realize the extent of your own disconnect and numbness and what you have morphed yourself into in order to do the job.  Its also makes you realize the impact that it has had on all the people you actually care about until you have no fucking clue who you were or are.  

Sometimes, as criminal defense attorneys, we have to remember the cost, the impact, and that the brutality we experience has a cost and carrying or hiding it is not the answer.  Rather, we have to be conscious of it and hopefully address the realities and maybe find the lightness in life and embrace that for the authenticity that we hopefully all are seeking.  

When the jury comes back after two days with a not guilty, I stare blankly into space.  Samuel throws his arms around me.  I look back at Jennifer.  She stares me straight in the face for the very first time, tears running down her face and I realize I’m weeping too.  And I know without doubt that not only does everybody deserve redemption, but that I do too.

And I finally believe . . . again.


[The Jack Rice Show] Jack Interviews Explorer and Adventurer Bethany Sagsveen

We all struggle to find the balance between our obligations and the things the give our lives meaning.  Some people have found that balance.  Bethany Sagsveen is one of them.

Bethany is an explorer and adventurer who has decided to live her life by her own rules.  She's solo hiked the Pacific Coast Trail from Mexico to Canada, more than 2600 miles.  She's also worked as a dog handler during the 13th run of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Alaska.  And that only scratches the surface.

This is fascinating.  Hope you will enjoy it.  

Click Here to Listen to Jack's Interview with Bethany


[The Jack Rice Show] Jack Interviews Author and Storyteller Rose McGee

This is a particualrly fascinating interview with consummate auther and storyteller Rose McGee.  I didn't see this coming. She knows how to spin a yarn but I was shocked by the fact that in many ways, she is a walking history lesson.  Growing up in the South, she talks about being taken out of school and forced to work in the fields and about being marginalized and the impact this has on a child.

She also talking about her latest project, the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Project.  This is a pretty amazing project in its own right.

So, strap in, and listen to this really amazing interview. 

Click here to listen to Jack's Interview with Rose McGee