About our Legal Team
Dispatched 11-14-2003

The night before the original lawsuit was filed by the Plaintiffs, I was in contact with a number of Pro-LTC attorneys throughout the state, including but not limited to Peter von Gontard, T.J. Mullin, and Kevin Jamison (and others who would rather not have their names mentioned).  They all said we needed to hire a big firm with the manpower and resources to put a number of lawyers on the case immediately (because we were due in court the next afternoon).  Several attorneys offered to help, but also said this was not their area of expertise.  All offered thoughts and opinions on the qualifications and *type* of representation we would need to have a chance of winning.  As a result of this input, I re-contacted and retained my friend Peter von Gontard with the firm of Sandberg, Phoenix & von Gontard.  Peter's firm is one of the largest and most well respected firms in the state and is experienced in constitutional cases.  Along with Peter, Tiffany Ritchie and Russell Makepeace set to work on the research and Motions to be filed in Order to Intervene (so that we had standing and could "Intervene" in the case).  While the judge was considering if St. Louis was the proper venue, the plaintiffs did an Amended First Petition and added the Sheriff of the City of St. Louis as a Defendant to try to clear up the venue issue.  The judge, after *careful* consideration, ruled venue was proper as the first order of business and allowed the plaintiffs to add the Sheriff of St. Louis (therefore, we could not appeal on the grounds of wrong venue).

Due to the good legal work of Peter, Tiffany and Russell, the Plaintiff's request for a Temporary Injunction was issued on only *one* of the four grounds the Plaintiffs had asked for, and the bond was set at $250K (instead of the $5K expected by the Plaintiffs) -- all because of the timely actions taken by Peter and our Legal Team.  I then set up the LTC Legal Defense Fund to raise money and see that they were paid for their services.

Why were the name of our lawyers an "open secret" till now?

Several reasons.  In my initial agreement with Peter, he asked that "we" handle media relations and talk to the press.  As luck would have it, we have several *very* talented people like Greg Jeffrey, John Ross, Mike Myers and Gil who can talk to the press.  Additionally, due to attorney/client confidentiality, the lawyers are not able to talk to just anyone who calls asking or making a suggestion about the case.  Also, their time is very valuable (and they bill for their time); all communications to them was to come thru me.  I was asked and agreed to coordinate and be the clearinghouse for information passed between all of the sides on the Defense of this case.  This is time consuming, and I am not compensated for this activity.  My twenty plus years of experience as an investigator in legal cases allows no cost research on a number of subjects related to and required by the Legal Team.  It is also a line of work that *requires* you not tell all of, or sometimes, any of what you know.

In "The Art of War," Sun Tzu writes, (paraphrased) "The side with superior intel usually wins."  I intend for that to be our side.  If you do not agree with, or understand the concept of compartmentalization and "need to know," please call Gil or me and we will try to explain it further.

I know and understand the frustration of not knowing every detail of what is going on and being patient while the situation develops.  This situation not only needs, but requires information discipline.  I will share all of the information I can, but please understand when I cannot.

If you have questions, suggestions or information pertinent to the case, please contact me, preferably by email, or call if you must (8a-9p).

Tim Oliver

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