My wife and I are lolling about in Europe, but my spies are ever at work. Comes this morning a report from the inner sanctum of the Trial Lawyers College. Blood is soon to be spilled, and, cognoscenti, all is not what it appears. It feels as though I never left the United States.
First the blood: The board is about to be reconfigured. A list of those naughty and those nice has been compiled. The board is too unwieldy. Too much information leaks to the likes of me. It is hard to know who to trust. It feels almost Florentine, this whispering and shoving in the piazza. (Okay, okay -- we are in Florence, our favorite city in the world.)
Jude Basile is the new president, and he is aided by his consigliere, Jim Nugent. Both report to Spence, loyal lieutenants to the end, bearing the Thunderhead crest on their souls. Any day now, the board will somehow transfigure itself. There will be no real vote. Instead their will be silent taps on the shoulder and invitations to resign. Nothing public will take place. But in the end one man's will will have reshaped the body: Gerry Spence, who fawns over himself say "But me, me, I am not even on the board." Right. And Lorenzo was not the ruler of Florence.
Another subtle sign of deceit?
Recall the fanfare when the new executive director was found? She was not a TLC alum. She simply appeared one fine summer day and her qualifications were such that it became obvious that she and she alone possessed the heart and soul to hold the college together. Funny how she just stumbled along, this stranger to the scene. Within an hour, she had Jude persuaded that she was the right woman for the job. Such charisma.
It turns out she is a former denizen of the law offices of none other than Gerry Spence. Not just she, mind you, but her rabbit, too. The new ED was in Jackson Hole not long ago sizing up a new office for herself. Where else would this office be but in Spence's firm. When she appeared, old hands at the firm who actually practice law, rather than merely preach it, were not happy to see she and the rabbit return. It turns out the rabbit is a destructive little critter. No one wants an office next to rabbit and mom.
I was at the 80/15 celebration when the new ED was presented. It was all smiles and aw shucks, aren't we lucky we stumbled upon just the right person. The fact is an old crony was drafted and sold to the college as a fresh find. And it should surprise no one that this crony is old Spence hand. The alter ego not only owns the ranch, he staffs it with loyalists. There is nothing wrong with that, mind you. But let's not pretend that God works in mysterious ways.
It hurts me to see good friends neck deep in this nonsense.