Money money money! (Mollie)

Of the four attorneys working on the LCMS v Madsen case, three of them (Strand, Jinkins, and Polcyn) are full partners in the firm of Thompson, Coburn LLP. That’s the LCMS Inc.’s legal firm.

And partners cost $$$$$$$$. The other attorney, Braunel, is just an associated. So he costs ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢.

However, all of them except Sherri Strand are specialists in trademarks and patents.

You’ve probably heard that trademark and patent attorneys are among the highest paid legal specialist. That turns out to be wrong. Trademark and patent attorneys aren’t among the highest paid legal specialists; they are the highest paid legal specialists for in-house counsel.

According to the Hildebrandt benchmark survey, InsideCounsel, March 2008: “trademark litigation tops the list of the highest paying practice areas for in-house counsel: increase in total cash.”

Strand is already chief legal counsel for LCMS Inc.


Trademark attorneys get paid for each step, submission and filing. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trial and appeal board has laid out a 12-point schedule of conferences, submissions and filings in the LCMS v. Madsen case — a schedule that stretches all the way out to March 2010. Here is that schedule.

– Time to Answer 1/20/2009
– Deadline for Discovery Conference 2/19/2009
– Discovery Opens 2/19/2009
– Initial Disclosures Due 3/21/2009
– Expert Disclosures Due 7/19/2009
– Discovery Closes 8/18/2009
– Plaintiff’s Pretrial Disclosures 10/2/2009
– Plaintiff’s 30-day Trial Period Ends 11/16/2009
– Defendant’s Pretrial Disclosures 12/1/2009
– Defendant’s 30-day Trial Period Ends 1/15/2010
– Plaintiff’s Rebuttal Disclosures 1/30/2010
– Plaintiff’s 15-day Rebuttal Period Ends 3/1/2010

Add to that whatever costs are associated with having Strand and Co. threaten Wilken and Schwarz with a lawsuit . . . and pretty soon we’re talking massive amounts of cash.

LCMS, Inc.’s 2008-09 budget lists $450,000 for “Legal” under “General and Administrative.”

Certainly LCMS, Inc. has routine legal expenses that justify a line item of $450,000 for any given year. But a $450,000 legal budget doesn’t appear leave much room for adding extra, expensive, and unnecessary Trademark litigation, does it?

After all this addition, we really need to know, how much is LCMS, Inc. going to spend to get something it claims it doesn’t even want?


Money money money! (Mollie) — 20 Comments

  1. Are there federal laws that cover nuisance lawsuits like this one?

    Does the Bar Association have ethical standards that would prohibit lawyers from such tactics?

    BTW, I was just be silly on that last question.

  2. Perhaps we the people of the congregations of the LCMS need to send a petition or make a resolution to LCMS, Inc. LCMS, Inc., We want more missionaries and less lawyers and consultants or you will be the stewards of less and less of the gifts God has entrusted us with.

  3. Great idea, Ross Wardenburg! But our congregation has alreay sent the message – not in the form of statements or resolutions, but in the form of NO money forwarded to Synod. This has been the case for several years.

    Our situation is unique, but congregations who care about this might look into making all their Synod/District contributions “restricted,” earmarking them for specific expenses at the bureaucratic levels (missions instead of general fund, e.g.).

    There’s no guarantee that the LCMess, Inc., leadership [sic] would honor those restrictions, I guess, but the fact that they received them as such would have to send a message in itself.

  4. Anonymous #7.
    I like the way your congregation thinks. Here’s to more and more doing the same.

  5. Something certainly is Ablaze here. Does PoS still believe there is no division in the Synod?

    If it were only our money being wasted that would be one travesty, but these are Tithes belonging to the Lord God himself being grossly misused.

    Lord have Mercy

  6. All these expenses are justifiable! The opposition must be quashed! After all, what might happen if the truth were to be told?

  7. Anonymous #7.

    It’s a nice gesture but I doubt it has any effect. If they honor your request to use your money for only designated purposes, and they probably would, they would just take less from other congregations for those purposes and use more for the programs you restricted. The bottom line is that unless all or most choose to restrict their funds, there are enough pieces of pie to accomplish their objective and fund what ever they would.

    But it might make you feel good!

  8. #7, #11: Given the fact that multiple domations intended to be given to KFUO-AM found their way into the FM side and/or other organizations of synod, I wouldn’t even trust that “directed” gifts would go to the right place.

  9. My guess is the partners run $250-400 an hour, and the associates from $180-220 an hour. 50 hours = about $15000. That’s almost a semester of tuition for a seminary student.

    I hope the Issues guys have found some attorneys to donate their time. If not, please make the need known.

  10. Ms. Strand is the wife of David Strand, the canceler of Issues Etc.

    But there’s no conflict of interest. Really. Not here. None at all. 🙂

  11. Thanks Rev. George. Yep…more evidence on the pile for how corrupt the leadership of the LCMS has become – as if more was needed at this point.

  12. Boaz #13

    Actually, as it stands here at Ft. Wayne, yearly (minus summer) Cost of Attendance is $35,000 (rounded down). Most of us, thankfully get a 55% reduction in tuition, which brings cost per semester down to $8,300. That $15,000 could pay for nearly two semesters here. That is, of course, is assuming a student has nothing like a car accident, injury, or on the more positive side of pricey things, a marriage.

    I was told by a pastor that it used to be that the LC-MS used to pay for most of Seminary costs (he quoted roughly 80%), but now pays for somewhere around 3% (save very gracious donations at district and congregation level, of which I am very thankful and grateful). It sure would be nice if those legal fees could be used for us seminarians instead of us needing two part-time jobs and full loans that will take a decade to pay back. That, or send it to missionaries, as I can’t say we need the money quite as much as they likely do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.