Sunday Rumination: To TLC Or Not?

The poll results are in: Just under half of those responding believe that I should continue to post about the Trial Lawyers College. I'm tempted, but I am going to say "no thanks."

First, even if the poll reflects some broader reality, a dubious proposition given the fact that the comments section of this page is awash with commentary from one or two people, I am not obliged to the follow the results. This isn't a democracy, and I am free to write or not.

Second, I have more or less said all I have to say. Gerry Spence is a great lawyer and a flawed human being. One of his flaws is a misbegotten quest for immortality and cloying need for adoration. He seeks these through a college he controls. That is his right, as is mine not to be involved. I've been in touch with Spence recently, and I've wished him well. He professes to harbor no ill will, only hurt. Sometimes it's time simply to move on. This is such a time.

Third, it is unclear to me whether sparring with disciples of Spence's makes any sense at all. I am accused of folding in response to Rex Parris's email of recent weeks. I understand the perception, but Rex is a friend, not someone who inspires awe or fear. He is hungry for fame and recognition; as hungry, in his own way as Spence. I suspect both use money as a means of keeping score in what they conceive of as the game of life. This saddens, but I accept it. And as for recent board members' chest-thumping about the college: Quite frankly, I cannot get excited. One board member credits the college with having made him a human being after decades of practicing law. I simply don't know what to make of that sort of hyperbole except to pity the author. I will leave the law's Shirley McLeans to themselves.

Finally, the comments this blog have attracted on TLC don't enrich me or, I suspect, readers of this page. I refused to publish some of them for a while, but then realized that evaluating whether to block them required reading them all. Frankly, I can't make sense of many of them. Someone hates Gerry and the college and believes that I am part of a vast conspiracy of some sort. OK. I am flattered, I suppose. But I've never been much of a fan of Oliver Stone's.

I am told at least two other blog pages feature commentary on the college. One is written by a fellow named J.R. Clary, who is a new TLC board member. The other is written by a fellow named David Tarrell, who is apparently a member of the F-Warrior's board. Please people, move the discussion there, or start a page all you own. Or, perhaps, start a college all your own. You can even by hypocritical about it all so long as those to whom you tell half truths are willing to accept what you are offering.

Bottom line: Gerry has a weakness. He needs unquestioning adoration. I can't give it. Plenty of people can and do give it because it fills an emptiness within. Thus the odd synergy of charismatic leader and sychophant. It ain't against the law for these parties to play footsie with one another and with the truth. So let them, I say. Just do it elsewhere, please.

In the meantime, I am going to disable the annonymous comments feature here for a while. Maybe that will encourage folks to move elsewhere. It will certainly spare me the rage of strangers.
Comments (2)
Posted on November 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm by Todd
Gee whiz, Norm. Why are you dragging Shirley McLea...
Gee whiz, Norm. Why are you dragging Shirley McLean into this? This hard-working distaff dub singer deserves kudos, not condemnation, for breaking into the male-dominated world of dance-hall reggae. Who can resist her infectious 2002 song, "Nuh scrub no floor." See
Todd Schlossberg
Burlington, Vt

Posted on November 1, 2009 at 2:22 pm by Norm Pattis
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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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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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