Adam Reposa: Lawyer, Lunatic
I hate to use unfair generalizations, but lawyers are, as a group, festering, money-grubbing piles of shit. Adam Reposa, a criminal defense attorney from Austin, Texas, is definitely in this category, but at least he's got something of a sense of humor, as evidenced by this bizarre commercial that slapped the internet in its collective dick a couple of months ago:
The video was made by Bob Ray, the same guy who made Total Badass, a documentary about Chad Holt, a cocaine-addicted competitive guinea pig breeder and Adam Reposa's legal assistant. Bob had intended the commercial to be just one small part of a much larger multi-part reality series on Reposa and Holt, but after its release a fancy-pants Hollywood producer shoved a TV contract in Reposa's face, which he signed because again, the money-grubbing pile of shit thing. Bob and Chad were thrown under the bus. What followed was a retarded web of backstabbings, hurt feelings, a forthcoming Playboy feature, and a nonprofit organization called Drunk Drivers of Texas whose point remains an enigma. In an effort to better understand this idiotic and hilarious saga, I called up Bob for a chat.
VICE: Hello, Bob. What was the original idea behind these Adam Reposa commercials?
Bob: Chad, Repo, and I had been farting around with the idea of making a reality show ever since Total Badass. We filmed a handful of things and were inching it forward as we were figuring it out. I thought this angle sounded pretty good: Chad, the lifelong criminal, now working the halls of justice as a legal assistant for Adam Reposa, the batshit crazy lawyer. As part of that journey, we made these commercials.
The first commercial was born when Reposa received a big-ass truck in place of payment from one of his clients who couldn’t afford to pay up. Chad called me and said that he and Repo were itching to smash the truck into another car and they were hoping that I’d be interested in filming it. I was. We figured out what it was exactly we were doing while on location and then later as I drunkenly edited.
You say that Reposa said the commercial made him look like "an unhinged individual and a lunatic spaz." Wasn't that to be expected when he was screaming about freedom and ramming his truck into a parked car?
Well, he didn’t really say that “lunatic spaz” stuff. There are a few not-entirely-true elements in the “Saga” short film. But it’s not so much a lie as a dramatic interpretation of actual events.
What were the “actual events”?
Well, back when the commercial got internet famous, we had a huge boost of energy and were more committed than ever to making our reality show. Repo was so committed, in fact, that he real-fucking-fast signed an exclusive one-year contract with a Hollywood TV man who had popped up in the wake of the commercial, effectively breaking up the team and excluding Chad and me from any TV show action. I think from Hollywood’s point of view, Chad and I were dead, cancerous weight. And Repo was so excited that a “legitimate TV person” was keen on making a TV show about him that he shed that dead weight faster than a somethingsomething that sheds dead weight real fast.
Why did you decide to make a second commercial for the guy who screwed you over?
At first I was a bit butthurt, but after a few days passed I finally found the inspiration to do the second commercial. I thought the message that Repo insisted on putting forth, a rant about NYC’s large soda ban, was shit. The new stuff also lacked the subtle badassedness of a truck crash. But, being the total pro that I am, I got all drunk and cut that shit together. I found the end result to be really funny. But Adam (and Hollywood man) didn’t see the humor, I guess.
What sort of person hires Reposa?
Two kinds, I think. Desperate folks and fighters. And Chad’s friends. I guess that’s three kinds of people. Some people seek him out because he will fight their case. He won’t take a plea to save time and energy. It’s likely his most redeeming trait, fighting injustice. It’s arguably his only redeeming trait.
Is he any good as a lawyer?
I know that prosecutors hate him, and that has to be a good thing, right? Judges aren’t too fond of him, either. Not so sure that’s a good thing. He forces a ton of jury trials and the system does not like that. The system is set up to just move people through like a sausage factory, assuming sausage factories are quick-moving affairs. It’s easier, cheaper, and more convenient for someone to plea to a lesser charge and take the guilty conviction than it is to fight to prove you’re innocent. It’s fucked up. I do know some other defense lawyers who think he’s a piece of shit, but there are just as many who think he’s a badass.
How did Chad start working for Reposa? I never thought he would be working in the legal world.
Chad has explored those halls for a long time, and now he gets paid to walk them. He is fully qualified for this job. Gainful employment was also a bit of a necessity. After Total Badass, Chad couldn’t sell weed like he used to.
How's Chad doing otherwise? Any more arrests?
Post Total Badass, I know of one: Both Chad and I got busted and locked up at the border checkpoint while on a film tour for Hell on Wheels and Total Badass. And when I say border checkpoint, I really mean a checkpoint on I-10 that’s easily 40 miles in from the Mexican border. We never crossed the border to Mexico. Hell, we never came near it. They put a sniffer dog on every single vehicle that drove down I-10 through El Paso. Other than that, not that I know of. He’s been arrested about 21 times, so it’s entirely possible one snuck in there that I don’t know about.
And Reposa? How’s his legal career going?
Well, he recently moved into a new office, was featured on the local news, did interviews on a zillion web sites and radio shows across the globe, has a reality show in the works, and a feature article in Playboy coming out soon. So I guess he’d say that life is sweet. All of this is a result of that one dumb commercial. That’s the weirdest part.
I heard he is suing you. Is that true?
Not yet. But give me some time; I might be able to provoke him. I re-purposed some of the old Reposa footage for use in the Drunk Drivers of Texas PSAs, so he might get to litigating soon.
I have to be cool with Repo, though, because I want to shoot a short film in his office in a few weeks. So, there’s that. At this point, we’re all just pretending like we’re not all lying and fucking each other over. It’s very soap-opera/ high school.
What is the deal with Drunk Drivers of Texas, exactly?
Working with DDT is one of the great things to come out of the Reposa commercials. It’s an official nonprofit registered with the Secretary of State here in Texas, and Chad and Reposa are the spokesperson and celebrity spokesperson, respectfully. Basically, DDT just gave me the keys to the organization and asked me to make some PSAs. They let me redesign the site in order to better present the PSAs. I suck at site design, so I thought that was funny and/or stupid of them.
Right, but what is their mission?
I actually have very little info on their specific mission statement and whatnot. And that’s part of the fun. I get the feeling that they are totally pro-getting fucked up, but just anti-drunk driving. Their target audience doesn’t seem to be the kids or the normal people out there, but the fuck-ups and drunks and stoners and hard-core partiers who are frequent drunk drivers.
Do they have meetings? What are those like?
They’ve had a few meetings where guest speakers have come talk to about DWIs and they provide info on alternative forms of drunken travel. Their meetings also have 50 free beers and some bands. You need bait to lure those drunks in. I know that they are currently planning some big-ass party events where they ensure everyone in attendance has a safe ride home.
To shoot the spots, we had a Fourth of July party at a bar in South Austin and just filmed a bunch of crazy shit. I got drunk and edited the stuff and we have 14 public service announcements that will freak people out. Hell, we might even save some lives.
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