17 February 2009

And About All That Money

Here's another post from Mollie over at Brothers of John the Steadfast, this time on all the money being spent by LCMS, Inc. for challenging the the very trademark that they let lapse some ten years ago and go virtually unclaimed for all that time. In our current dire economic times, we can only scratch out heads at this colossal waste of money in legal wranglings, money that could be much better spent doing what the Church is supposed to be doing: proclaiming the Gospel and giving aid to the poor, the sick, and those afflicted by disasters of various sorts.

Anyway, here's Mollie's post:

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?

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