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20

TLC: The Top Ten Contributors

Who are the top ten donors at the Trial Lawyer's College? As of June 2, 2009, the leaders of the charitable pack are as follows:

1. Paul Luvera, a lifetime grand total of $205,250, with $25,000 contributed thus far this year.

2. Morris Dees, a lifetime total of $125,000. Dees last contributed in July 2000.

3. William Trine, a lifetime total of $117,610. Trine last contributed in March 2008.

4. Mark Mueller, a lifetime total of $110,065. Mueller last contributed in May 2009. His contribution this year is thus far $500.

5. The Spence Law Firm, LLC, a lifetime total of $110,000. The firm last contributed in October 2002.

6. Alejandro Blanco, a lifetime total of $89,676. Blanco's last contribution was in September 2008.

7. NAME DELETED AND CONTRIBUTOR'S REQUEST, a lifetime contribution of $83,000. Last contributed in August 2008.

8. Thomas Metier, a lifetime contribution of $79,675. Metier last contributed in December 2008.

9. R. Rex Parris, a lifetime contribution of $73,825. Parris's year-to-date contribution for 2009 is $100.

10. NAME DELETED BY REQUEST OF DONOR, a lifetime contribution of $72,450. She has contributed $3,000 thus far this year.

Trine and Parris are the only board members on the top ten.

Next: 11-20. Preview: contributor 11 is Gerry Spence.
Comments (46)
Posted on October 14, 2009 at 2:36 pm by Anonymous
So, you have over $ 1 million in donations, and a ...
So, you have over $ 1 million in donations, and a big gross amount from fees from the session stuff at Warrior camps. and meet-ups
Look, get this straight, Norm, it is not inexpensive maintaining two very high end multi-million homes in ritzy Jackson Hole, and in Santa Barbara, CA.
Spence is a master at selling, marketing, and
cash flows.
Some bash Spence because they see he surrounds himself with riches.
Ironic, he wants you to take cases to big awards, for you to become rich, also, Warrior
raiders.
Do you not engage in law, with your cases, civil and all to cash in.
All of a sudden, all the carping, like you were fooled that Spence in not running a
Monk's retreat, and vows of silence at The Christian Brothers poverty vow club.
Get over it, Spence made you feel like you were special for a short time, better than others who never made the trip to the Mt....
If you had gone instead to the Mineral rights sessions in Houston, you may have been bored out of your gord, besides you are Warrior
full bloods, off the reservation, ready for some rough rides, now.

Posted on October 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm by Anonymous
Methinks the lady doth protest too much! Truth has...
Methinks the lady doth protest too much! Truth has a way of making people scream loudly in protest.

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm by Norm Pattis
V
Oversight on Foreman. By the time it was pointe...
V

Oversight on Foreman. By the time it was pointed out voting had begun and it was too late to correct list. Doesn't seem to warrant a poll all his own. As we both know, I am prone to error.

N

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm by Vicki Slater
Anon: Buying a dinner (with a banner) is advertis...
Anon: Buying a dinner (with a banner) is advertising. Purchasing something at a public auction is a purchase. Contribution is money in exchange for nothing. These have been made anonymously. You have ascribed to me an agenda and so has Mr. Pattis -- what's yours Anon? What's your agenda and why do my contributions perturb you? Longing to remain anonymous in my giving presupposes an agenda, according to Mr. Pattis. What is your agenda in remaining anonymous?

Norm: you left Rafe Foreman's name off of your Board list.

V----

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 9:19 pm by Vicki
Yes but most contributions I made on the condition...
Yes but most contributions I made on the condition of anonymity -- not seeking recognition but instead seeking to avoid it, just as you seek to avoid revelation of your identity in this public forum.

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm by Anonymous
Again, there can be no expectation of privacy for ...
Again, there can be no expectation of privacy for a donor whose pledges and donations have been made in a public forum and who seeks out and obtains recognition for their contributions.

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 5:51 am by Vicki
Indeed.
V----
Indeed.

V----

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 5:49 am by Vicki
Anon: it is not dishonesty just respect not to di...
Anon: it is not dishonesty just respect not to divulge matters which donors consider private, IMO.

Peace --

Vicki

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 5:47 am by Norm Pattis
V:
We have finally found common ground.
N
V:

We have finally found common ground.

N

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 5:46 am by Vicki
Norm: because I hate meetings--
regards,
Vicki
Norm: because I hate meetings--

regards,

Vicki

Posted on September 27, 2009 at 10:32 pm by Anonymous
Since when does TLC teach honesty? Norm's blog and...
Since when does TLC teach honesty? Norm's blog and the questions raised establishes a complete lack of honesty on the part of TLC. As a 501(c)(3), TLC has an obligation to share its financial information. The refusal and failure to do so could result in a loss of it's non profit status. If it does loose it's non profit status the donations it receives will no longer be tax deductible. So why is TLC refusing to share such information? What is it hiding? It has been a month and no information has been shared or revealed by TLC. Is this honesty? Or is it secrecy? Or is it the stupidity of an arrogant board? TLC has become what it professes to hate, just another corporation with leaders who hide, evade and obfuscate the truth.

Posted on September 27, 2009 at 12:59 pm by Anonymous
If a person donates publicly, at TLC's auctions an...
If a person donates publicly, at TLC's auctions and fundraisers where everyone in attendance both sees and hears the donor's pledge, that is certainly not a pledge done anonymously nor privately. And when someone sponsors a dinner and both seeks out and gets public recognition for doing so, that donation is also not done anonymously or privately. To claim donations have been given privately in the face of such public giving and in a forum where recognition is given and all who are present can see and hear the pledge made is simply disingenuous. If this donor who is now complaining that the world knows of such donations, then why were they made in a public forum to begin with? It is pretty obvious that this person has an agenda!

Norm has asked TLC and the leaders to comment and they have failed and refused to do so. The no comment position says much about both TLC and the leadership.

Posted on September 27, 2009 at 8:11 am by Norm Pattis
Vicki:
I don't recall ever meeting you. And I do ...
Vicki:

I don't recall ever meeting you. And I do not recall your ever sitting at the table at which I ate. The notion that you recall me and my manner of eating amuses, in a chilling sort of way.

I, too, enjoy the compansionship of others, and, from time to time, I commune with other lawyers. But, frankly, when I need simple companionship I don't spend upwards of $80,000 to get it, as have you. Your money speaks to your obsession, and your demand that it be kept a secret speaks volumes about an agenda and needs that you can't even acknowledge, much less be honest about.

Keep giving, but why so satisfied as a permanent second stringer?

Norm

Posted on September 27, 2009 at 5:31 am by Vicki
No not a nerve struck but I donate money to severa...
No not a nerve struck but I donate money to several 501(3)(c)'s and prefer not to trumpet my donations for the world. Giving is a personal thing for me and no one's business to blast across the pages. So I was mortified and hurt that Mr. Pattis decided to make what is a personal matter for me public to the world.

As for the "anonymous" contention that I donate because I am vying for a space on the new Board (1) My largest donation was made at the first regional I attended when I did not even know there was a Big Board or an alumni Board or anything about the College but I could see that there was a great need for a community of like minded lawyers -- those who believe in justice for the individual against giant corporations and government; (2) You can see from the list of donors and the paucity of Big Board members in the top 10 that donations obviously have nothing to do with Big Board membership. Many Big Board members who have much more money than I do not appear on this list, Zelbst and Basile, for instance and (3) the Board is being reorganized? news to me.

The only nerve struck is that what I considered to be a private matter and a sacred personal matter -- charitable giving -- has been made out by Mr. Pattis to be a public matter and something sinister which it is not.

Norm sat three seats away from me at the Ranch dinner -- he could have asked my permission to publish this. Also, I am listed in the alumni directory on the college website -- he could have found me and contacted me easily after the reunion and asked my permission or my comments. Investigative reporters (I know some of the best) always try to get both sides of the story then report all sides. This Mr. Pattis has not done in any of his TLC pieces. Therefore, he is not an investigative reporter -- he is something else.

Finally, there are a number of 501(3)(c)s which I regularly support NOT just TLC. But I am proud that TLC is on the list; I believe in justice for the people. Contrary to Mr. Pattis's contention, the method taught there is never pronounced as the ONLY method but by all staff and by Spence as more tools for the toolbox of the people's lawyers.

Good lawyers know they need all the tools they can get for the humongous tasks before us. Good lawyers like to commune with like minded lawyers. Good lawyers are honest and real and care about their clients. These are things that TLC teaches -- nothing sinister about it.

If Norm's relationship with TLC is twisted and colored by his personal problems he had with his dad, and he admits that, that is Norm's problem not TLC's. Apparently it is a problem that colors the way he views the entire organization and every person in it, including me. He can't see the individuality of anyone involved with TLC or their value as people with feelings, motives and lives of their own. Because he is obsessed with TLC, he believes everyone is and ascribes intent as he sees fit.

Do not credit Mr. Pattis as an investigative reporter -- he is just an injured soul in so much pain, he has devoted much of his blog to sobbing about it. Therefore, I bid him my wish that he get help with this and peace. Over and out.

Posted on September 26, 2009 at 10:58 am by Anonymous
Norm, I think you struck a nerve!!
Norm, I think you struck a nerve!!

Posted on September 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm by Norm Pattis
Vicki;
thank you for dinner. You had the meal cate...
Vicki;
thank you for dinner. You had the meal catered at your own expense for several hundred, correct? And by the time I left the auction of Spence memorabilia at half-time you had dropped about $5000. An expensive night, but all for a good cause, right? This petulance of yours is a little raw; work on that with Gerry. There is an art to asking for tribute.

I'll pass your recommendation about help on to my psychoanalyst. You should try it some time. Cheaper than buying meals for strangers and then watching them eat.
Norm

Posted on September 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm by Vicki
Norm: You sure were eating up that dinner I bough...
Norm: You sure were eating up that dinner I bought for you in Wyoming like there was no tomorrow. Get my name off your blog and do not ever write about me again. Get some help, dude. Vicki Slater

Posted on September 23, 2009 at 7:15 pm by Anonymous
I have raised questions with Lynne Bratcher and ha...
I have raised questions with Lynne Bratcher and have never not received an answer. I trust her integrity completely, whether or not I agree with her on a particular issue.

I also don't think it's incumbent on her (or anyone) to read a blog and interpret it as raising questions that she (or anyone) should answer--if you have questions, why not ask her directly? Some of you people are just pissing me off to no end, and anyone who knows me even remotely knows that I am the antithesis of a fringesucker or sycophant or blind loyalist.

Beth K.

Posted on September 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm by Anonymous
This is Lynne Bratcher. I will bring all of these...
This is Lynne Bratcher. I will bring all of these issues to the Board. I am not concerned about doing that. I also understand that people have a lot of different feelings about TLC. I think that is normal. Frankly, I suspect that the poster above is Joane. Joane, I know you and I had a falling out, but I do care about you and I want you to prosper. I want the best for you. If this is not Joane, so be it and I apologize.

To Jo - I love and care about you.

Lynne Bratcher

Posted on September 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm by Anonymous
I love your blog and your posts about TLC. Please ...
I love your blog and your posts about TLC. Please keep sharing info with us as you are the only source we have for the truth.

From what I have read, seen and heard, it sure looks like TLC is filled with blind worshipping sychophants who don't want to see the truth because it will make them look like fools for buying into a charismattic leader's bluster, lies and bravado. The anonymity of posts indicates the level of fear people have that if they speak up, Daddy won't love them any more and may turn them out. He has done it to others. The board is a prime example of sychophantic adoration. Haven't heard word one from the board, except for Lynne Bratcher's posts requesting alumni give her questions to raise with the board. Earth to Bratcher - the alumni have raised questions via this blog but apparently that isn't a good enough forum for you. I seriously doubt we will get any answers from Bratcher or the board.

On the TLC list serve today, questions were raised about treatment of ranch employees, their housing (not sufficient bathrooms for them), whether or not Kay was forced out and whether or not Don was fired for hurting himself and forced to leave. Wonder if Bratcher or anyone else on the board will answer these questions? I am not holding my breath!

Posted on September 23, 2009 at 11:07 am by Norm Pattis
Anon:
Not obsessed by TLC, just drawn to the spec...
Anon:

Not obsessed by TLC, just drawn to the specter of a Narcisiss sole potent in its fragrance that it disarms lawyers and transforms them into cowering anonymous sycophants and donors. I was a journalist before I became a lawyer. Even then, exposing hypocrisy and cant was something I enjoyed. I don't know why.

But worry not, I won't be back.

Norm

Posted on September 23, 2009 at 10:51 am by Anonymous 20
In your previous post, you wrote: "Love it or lea...
In your previous post, you wrote: "Love it or leave it, I say of TLC. I left it years ago; a brief look back recently confirms it was the right choice." It appears you have NOT left TLC and are still obsessed with it. If was the right choice for you to leave it, then put it in the past and move on to something else. If you feel compelled to write about TLC, try to help fix what is wrong in a positive way--not by writing in your blog and posting the names of donors. Yes, I am a donor and I hope my name does not end up on your blog. Whether I donate is neither yours, nor anyone else's business.

Posted on September 23, 2009 at 5:33 am by Anonymous
People should know the truth before they are asked...
People should know the truth before they are asked to donate. I don't think that is too much to ask for. And why won't TLC tell us the truth? Many alumni are willing to accept whatever Spence does or says whether or not it is ethical, moral or legal. Sure sounds like TLC is filled with a bunch of idol worshipping sychophants. It is pathetic. Norm has not asked for nor said anything improper. He has raised issues and questions we should all be concerned about. And we are entitled to the answers. If we own TLC as Spence likes to profess, then give us the info that is our due. To do otherwise is to hide and obfuscate.

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 8:51 pm by Anonymous
Norm-
At the ranch, He came into the training sess...
Norm-
At the ranch, He came into the training session and it was the first time I'd seen Him. He cut down the way I did cross and I felt like an idiot as the person whose books and work I admired thought little of my abilities. Then a staff member spoke up and said he loved my cross, that he thought Gerry missed the point.

When the "master" sauntered off, the staff member rolled his eyes and said, "he thinks he helps but he always screws everything up."

I wish you could have seen it because it demonstrates that you and others (even those who love it blindly) seem to suffer from a conception of TLC rather than a perception. Many of your descriptions are correct, but you seem unaware that there are many non-sycophants still around, trying to make sure one ego does not doom all that TLC has become and that something good endures.

But you are right that it's announced that "Gerry gave the ranch to TLC." What you contributed was to point out that Gerry, like the Lord, can also "taketh away."

People should know that before they donate.

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 7:23 am by Anonymous
Norm--on my way out of town but would be happy to ...
Norm--on my way out of town but would be happy to discuss when I get back. Hope you sleep better--BK

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 6:21 am by Anonymous
Why is no one talking about the treatment of women...
Why is no one talking about the treatment of women and minorities? Guess those groups aren't important enough to matter. Gerry Spence has been known to talk derrogatively about both groups. To their faces and behind their backs. In 1994 or 95 he allegedly threw a chair across the room when some female students complained about how they were being treated. I hear nothing has changed.

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 5:19 am by Anonymous
Beth makes good points. But the reality is that th...
Beth makes good points. But the reality is that there are no secrets at TLC. If two folks know aobut anything, then it soon becomes known by the so called "tribe." I don't think any of the names on the top 10 list are surprises.

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 4:53 am by Norm Pattis
Beth
I tossed and turn some last night thinking th...
Beth
I tossed and turn some last night thinking through your points. If you ever have the inclination to call, I'd love to thrash it out with you. This was for me a very close call.
203.393.3017

Norm

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 4:46 am by Anonymous
Thanks, Norm--I appreciate it. In my experience (...
Thanks, Norm--I appreciate it. In my experience (and I get solicited by more "disease of the month" charities than you can imagine), the cards for sending in your pledge/contribution usually have a box to check as to whether you want to be listed. Many of the largest donors are listed as anonymous. On the other hand, there are those who give for the apparent purpose of being recognized as a "macher" (Yiddish for "big shot."). Beth

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 7:14 pm by Anonymous
If TLC isn't going to be honest, then I for one am...
If TLC isn't going to be honest, then I for one am glad that Norm is sharing any info he has obtained. TLC could easily avoid all of this if they became open, honest and transparent. Doesn't look like that is going to happen. I wonder what would happen if Norm called the TLC accountants and asked to see the books. As a 501(c)(3) I don't think TLC can refuse such a request. In essence, TLC has been asked to make the books and finances open to all the alumni. So far, they have been unwilling to do so. Seems they need to give up their non-profit status if they want to keep secrets. You go Norm!

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 7:09 pm by Anonymous
I love that Norm posts comments on his blog that d...
I love that Norm posts comments on his blog that disagree with him. That is more than Spence will do on his own blog. I found his post about "An Arugment for Slavery" to be incredibly hypocritical and wrote a reply post. Of course, since it disagreed with him and his view and pointed out, from my perception, his hypocrisy, he declined to post it. Whether we agree with Norm or not, at least he doesn't silence dissent!

Glad you chimed in Beth K. Too bad Mr. Spence can't tolerate dissenting views or criticism of his ideas and practices. If TLC and its board would be open about what they are doing and allow critical voices to be heard without punishment, it would be a far better place.

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm by Norm Pattis
Beth
valid points. I wrestled with whether to pub...
Beth

valid points. I wrestled with whether to publish list before. Opted not to. Not sure why I chose nondisclosure. Yours is the second comment in this vein I have received. I will go back to wrestling with this issue. Frankly, the sums are astounding and reflect a genuine commitment. I am not sure that anyone contributing to a 501c(3) has any expectation of privacy; often organizations publish list of donors. However, many organizaions will accept gifts with pledges of confidentiality.

On the other hand, the list tells a story in it's own right. Most board members are not on the list. Several folks appear on it in anomalous spots. Jude, for example is near bottom.

In any case, your decision that this is over the line carries great weight with me. I will go back to pondering this and may well refrain from further publication.

Perhaps I ought to auction the list off, with proceeds going, where else, to TLC, or, perhaps, The Spence Foundation.

Norm

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 6:42 pm by Anonymous
I've given this post a lot of thought and I believ...
I've given this post a lot of thought and I believe you have crossed a line. I don't think that people are entitled to know about others' contributions unless those making the contributions consent to their publication. Simply because this is TLC doesn't make someone's right to keep private his/her financial support of the institution any less legitimate than, say, the right to contribute privately to an organization that espouses beliefs with which others disagree, or to give to your church, or to support the ACLU or (God forbid) the Federalist Society. I think many of the people who are so eager to learn the amounts of contributions to TLC would be very unhappy to have their own charitable giving held up--on the internet--to scrutiny.

This post isn't about disagreeing with management. It's about violating the privacy of certain individuals. For example, I don't know Vicki Slater but unless she has personally announced that she is giving X amount of money in hopes that it will get her on the TLC board (which I kind of doubt), I think it's wrong for Norm to publish what she gave and wrong for anyone to chime in on her supposed motives. The same holds true for the other people about whom you are writing.

Disagree with TLC policies until the cows come home. Disagree with TLC management all you want. Disagree with psychodrama. Disagree with the color of the big barn. Disagree with anything. I bet I share some of your disagreements. But this was out of line and I hope you won't continue with what seems to be an indication that you will proceed to publish other people's contributions.

Beth K.

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 8:26 am by Anonymous
Wow! Josh Karton has given more to the college tha...
Wow! Josh Karton has given more to the college than all of the board members except for Bill Trine. He has even given more than Gerry Spence himself. Pretty sad when an actor gives more than wealthy lawyers. Josh doesn't have a mansion in Santa Barbara or a luxury home in Jackson that has been featured on TV and in magazines.

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 4:59 am by Anonymous
I certainly have my disagreements with TLC, many o...
I certainly have my disagreements with TLC, many of them significant. But I'm a little concerned about this post. Is the information about contributors public (i.e., something that would appear on a publicly filed or available report) or not? If not, I don't believe this was appropriate to post.

I have never given money to TLC but there are a number of 501(c)(3) entities to which I contribute. Whether it's a dog rescue group or my synagogue or a health-related charity or a women's shelter, I would be very uncomfortable having that information made generally available. Certainly there are people who want and like to publicize the amount of money they give to an organization but there are many who prefer to give quietly and privately. That's the sort of decision that I believe should be respected. If the listed contributors consented to being publicized, fine. If they didn't, I don't think it is.

Norm--I have a great deal of respect for you, based on your writing and what I understand about your work. But I don't agree with you on this choice unless, again, you determined that these folks had no objection.

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 10:20 pm by Anonymous
All great posts. But why the silence on the part o...
All great posts. But why the silence on the part of the board members? Do they have any ethics, morals or integrity? Or are they brainwashed or simply bullied by Spence?

Fringeless makes a great point. Where would the money go if TLC ceases to exist? Is there a clause in the lease that would give the money to the Spence Foundation? Wouldn't surprise me.

But, in reality, none of us will never know since nothing is shared with the alumni - the alleged owners of TLC. I mean really, how many times have you heard it said that the college belongs to us and that it is our college. Get real. It is and always will be Gerry Spence's college. The church of Spence. We, the alumni, are only as good as our checkbooks.

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 7:12 pm by Anonymous
....because I don't want Gerry Spence or any of his ...
....because I don't want Gerry Spence or any of his primary dogs coming after me in legal or illegal ways. Spence can be one hell of a bully when he isn't making love to you. In that respect, Norm, you are doing a fantastic job of investigative journalism and I am all for you. I will back you up on anything that I know about if trouble seeks you out.
Where to begin.... Gerry has said several times in my hearing that his mother wanted him to become a preacher. Well, I think he has. And one hell of a preacher at that. If you went to a Baptist Church when you were a kid, or go to one now, you know what I mean. And you would know how they came after the money. Spence is too embarrassed to beg for money since he has got his millions, estimated at between 100 and 200, stuck away, so he sends Johnny Z out to do the job. The Zelbster, who has his own millions, some inherited, some from his shameless but effective trial lawyering, has no shame. He works the crowd just like my hometown preacher used to do and then inflates the final results: a good story deserves embellishment.

We might wonder why Paul Luvera is not on the Board. Could it be that Spence knows that Paul, who lives what he advocates would never have signed on to the lease which ties TLC up but lets Spence Foundation have the run of the pasture? Where do Board members park their ethics when they go into a Board meeting? And where do they park their initiative? How do they get the taste out of their mouths after...oops! I don't think I want to go there!

It's late. I'm drunk again. Think I better drop off.

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 7:08 pm by fringless
Just curious - if TLC ceases operations, where doe...
Just curious - if TLC ceases operations, where does all the money go?

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm by Anonymous
Great point. The lemmings believe in and crave the...
Great point. The lemmings believe in and crave the love of their false idol! Without it they don't know how to function. Will their idol and his accolytes continue TLC without the donations of the alumni and/or will the Spence Foundation permit the college to continue if their invalid lease is not properly approved by the puppet board with a quorum present? Let's see if the board can follow their own bylaws. I predict not. And if he abstained on the original vote on the lease, would Spence be willing to not attend the board meeting if they revote on the lease? Hell no. That would mean giving up control.

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm by Anonymous
Anonymous:
True. But fear is inconsistent with l...
Anonymous:

True. But fear is inconsistent with love. If you're afraid of speaking out, then you are not loved. Accept the cruel truth; move on; and get better.

Mike

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm by Anonymous
FEAR keeps most of us from speaking out.
FEAR keeps most of us from speaking out.

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 1:22 pm by Norm Pattis
As regards race, gender and mental health and curr...
As regards race, gender and mental health and current doings at the ranch, I am ill-informed. I have not been present at any programs since 2000, and my stay there was brief.

You raise good points about the mental health staffing.

There have never been many people of color at the ranch. Discussion of race never seemed to advance much beyond anger; frankly, I think the color line still looms large in American life. Not sure that TLC has anything to contribute there.

As for gender: KABOOM! If I had a dollar for everytime I heard a remark hostile to women, I'd buy the ranch from the Spence Foundation.

Those close to Spence say he has three hot buttons: race, gender and money. Since the entire operation is really but an alter ego for him, I'd say gender and race are huge issues there. It is troubling that Milton is the only person of color on the board: I hear he walked away in disappointment this past summer over the ranch's treatment of race. I do not know if that is true.

I would enourage you, whoever you are, to write about this issue yourself. I am puzzled by all the anonymous comments posted here. Some folks seem to have good and current inside information, but won't come forward. Why is that?

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm by Anonymous
Why has no one raised, nor have you written about ...
Why has no one raised, nor have you written about the college's treatment of women and minorities? It is simply abyssmal! I have seen very few minorities on the staff and few women as well. And there are only 3 women lawyers on the 17 member board of directors plus a female psychodramatist. And only one minority on the board - Milton Grimes.

And how about the lack of adequate mental health professionals on site at all times? They use psychodrama regularly which is a form of psychotherapy but don't take adequate steps to protect or be available for students who get opened up during this process. A student this summer had to be hospialized and there was no mental health professional in attendance to deal with this student or the other students who witnessed the traumatic and frightening events. This left the lawyer staff, who are ill prepared and not trained to address such issues, to handle the situation. That was very disturbing.

Similarly, the ranch does not comply with ADA requirements. There is no wheel chair ramp any where on the property and no way to access the main teaching area except by a long flight of wooden stairs. A wheelchair bound person would have difficulty using the bathrooms as well. I guess the answer to that is that they don't accept disabled people.

TLC is playing with fire on these issues. What are your thoughts Norm?

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 12:28 pm by Anonymous
You are so right. TLC is nothing more than the Chu...
You are so right. TLC is nothing more than the Church of Spence, who, during a fundraising brainstorming session during staff training in May, suggested that ALL alumni be required to "tithe" to TLC. Interesting how his firm, despite that fact that every partner and several associates have attended TLC, including 2 this July, haven't given a dime since 2002. How many of his wealthy partners will you find on the top 50 donor list? How many of the wealthy board members will you find on the top 50 donor list? Gerry Spence wants all of us to believe he "gave the ranch" to TLC and wants us to be grateful to him for his alleged "gift" that he feels he doesn't need to give any more. Where is his tithe from his recent case? He wants all of the alumni to do what he himself is not willing to do, "tithe" to his new church.

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm by Anonymous
That's an interesting look at how the times have c...
That's an interesting look at how the times have changed. Morris Dees, a legend himself, was once involved with TLC. Where is he now?

Where is Racehorse Haynes?

Where are the others who, while not living the "TLC life," were titans of the bar?

It is amusing seeing recent TLC "grads" scream at you - as if those nit-wits had any sense of the rich history of TLC.

There was a time when Racehorse Haynes was at the Ranch. Does the idiot who used an obtuse boat metaphor have any sense of what TLC once was?

It used to be more than a Gerry Spence led circle jerk. It used to be about the exchange of ideas and tactics.

TLC could have been something special. Instead, it's just another church.

Posted on September 20, 2009 at 9:08 am by Anonymous
Thanks for giving us the names of the top 10 donor...
Thanks for giving us the names of the top 10 donors. Rumor has it that Vicki Slater is donating so much because she is hoping doing so will earn her a seat on the board when the board is reconfigured (size reduced) and some current members are pushed aside. Wonder who is going to stay and who is going to go?
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About Norm Pattis

Norm Pattis is a Connecticut based trial lawyer focused on high stakes criminal cases and civil right violations. He is a veteran of more than 100 jury trials, many resulting in acquittals for people charged with serious crimes, multi-million dollar civil rights and discrimination verdicts, and scores of cases favorably settled.

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