Hey, Brother, Can You Spare $1,700?

Questions remain about the relationship between the Trial Lawyers College and the Spence Foundation. But that doesn't stop the fund-raising beat from tapping out a steady rhythm. Although the master, Gerry Spence, is retiring from the fray, he's still the college's most potent draw, and its most determined fundraiser.

Earlier in the month, college alums received a special appeal for funds from Spence. He's looking for 20 folks to commit to $1,700 each. The proceeds would be used to fund scholarships for public defenders to attend to the college's death penalty seminar scheduled for early June. Unless there are contributors, the seminar may be cancelled.

Here's the message. I am on the fence about contributing. I am sour on the college, but keen on assuring that there are well-trained lawyers to oppose the death penalty. Besides, for $1,700 I can my gift engraved on Spence's heart. I am not sure what that means, but it sounds nice.

The college is a flawed tool. But fighting the death penalty can be done even with a hammer.

Read on and decide for yourself whether to send a check

A message from Gerry Spence


Don't read this if you can't stand another request for money. But this one can strike out at the killer of all killers -- the state.

The most important work we do is the Death Penalty Seminar in which we teach brave lawyers who work for so little, with so little, how to beat the evil specter wearing the black hood and carrying the killing scythe. We cannot survive in a society in which the state becomes the licensed killer of its own citizens, which, in the end, reduces us all to killers since together we are the state.

Public defenders have no money to attend our seminar. It will cost us about $1700 per student. My goal is to find twenty of our grads who will give a scholarship to twenty of these saints who are so despised by so many for the divine work that they do.

Please send your check right away. The seminar will begin June 12 if we aren't required to cancel it. Not much time. I will engrave your gift on my heart.


Send your check to P. O. Box 943, Jackson, WY 83001 or contact Laurie at [hidden email]" href="">

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TLC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that does not pay any of its legal-faculty staff, including Gerry Spence. TLC's mission is to create better lawyers for the people and defenders of the accused against the corporate and government power structure.Trial Lawyers CollegeP. O. Box 943, Jackson, WY 83001O/ 307-734-4430 F/307-733-5248

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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I believe that the state is a necessary fiction and that failing to combat it is the first step toward tyranny.
– Norm Pattis


Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice about your case. You need a lawyer who understands the context of your life and situation. What are offered here are merely suggested lines of inquiry you may explore with your lawyer.

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