May 6, 2020
The Board of Directors of the Trial Lawyers College has worked diligently and tirelessly over the past year to attempt to resolve the conflicting priorities that led to the unfortunate and troubling events of the past two weeks. As the majority of members of the Board, we regret that our efforts have been unsuccessful. Our fiduciary responsibilities compel us to work to balance this immediate crisis with our ongoing efforts to plan for the long-term during the Covid-19 pandemic and to focus on the sustainability and future growth of TLC.
On April 13, 2020, the Spence Foundation, which owns Thunderhead Ranch, elected to terminate its lease agreement with the Trial Lawyers College, giving the College 30 days to vacate the premises. On April 28, minority members of the TLC Board filed a lawsuit calling for the dissolution of TLC and the transfer of its assets to a new organization.
On May 6, the Board of Directors of the Trial Lawyers College was reconfigured in a Special Meeting that was noticed and convened in accordance with the Wyoming corporate code. The Board now comprises President John Sloan, Vice-President Milton Grimes, Treasurer J.R. Clary, Secretary Maren Chaloupka, Dana Cole, and Anne Valentine. We expect to add other Board members in the future.
More information on the special meeting, the lawsuit, and the series of events that led up to this point is available on this page.
The re-elected Board members remain deeply committed to the mission of TLC and to the use of the psychodramatic methods as the basis of our teachings. Our treasury is healthy and well-managed, with $5.7 million in savings and $2 million in accounts receivable. We have hired a third-party auditor to conduct a thorough analysis of our books, which we will publicly share upon completion. We have 11 courses planned over the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, with reservations made at facilities across the country. We are actively seeking a new location for the September College, and plan to proceed with courses after September 1, or whenever we can comply with CDC guidelines to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As we prepare to respond to this lawsuit filed by the previous minority Board members, we will maintain our focus on the planning and delivery of our programs and services in support of our mission. We will continue to conduct the business and governance of TLC with integrity, respect, transparency, and professionalism. We will communicate honestly and openly with the TLC community with a goal to not further inflame this difficult circumstance and to continue to show respect to all parties involved.
While we will always honor and respect the legacy and contributions of Gerry Spence as the founder of the Trial Lawyers College, we believe the strength and spirit of this college lie not in a single individual or location, but in its dedicated and selfless faculty, its experienced and caring psychodramatists and communication expert, its tireless administrative staff, and most of all with its passionate, committed and inspiring alumni and students.
We appreciate your patience and support as we move forward into these uncharted waters in the spirit of compassion and inclusiveness. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Sloan, President
Milton Grimes, Vice-President
Maren Chaloupka, Secretary
J.R. Clary Jr., Treasurer
Dana Cole, Board Member
Anne Valentine, Board Member
and Laurie Goodman, Executive Director