I have known Dr. Patrick, a neurosurgeon, since approximately 1984. I did a family medicine residency at Brackenridge Hospital and was assigned to his practice for a few weeks of neurosurgery exposure. He was one of the trauma surgeons. I trusted him enough to refer patients to him and his partner from time to time after I was in private solo practice. He was sued for malpractice and this changed his life. He was conned by the medical/pharmaceutical industrial complex then and remains conned to this day. How did this industry do this?
Dr. Patrick, by my understanding of the information passed around at the hospital, was sued when a patient he performed emergency life-saving surgery on required blood transfusions and became HIV positive. Since this occurred before there was a blood test for HIV, this seemed unfair to him. I cannot recall exactly but I believed a jury found him innocent of malpractice accusations. Then he went to law school and became a huge tort reform advocate. He was conned. How so? I realized this when I began exploring the concepts advanced by Peter Duesberg Ph. D. of U C Berkeley. This respected scientist with impeccable credentials began publishing in the 1980’s that the science did not support HIV as the cause of AIDS. I only became aware of the controversy when I read the article about the poor quality/integrity of HIV drug research in Harpers March 2006. Do your own evaluation. Read the Harpers article online at harpers.org. Read about Peter Duesberg’s accomplishments. Admit that you didn’t even know there was a controversy. I know that the vast majority of physicians, including infectious disease specialists, in Austin Texas are unaware that the issue of HIV as a cause of AIDS is unproven. We were duped by the pharmaceutical industry which markets unethically. Dr. Patrick’s life (not to mention the life of the unfortunate patient requiring emergency life saving surgery) was changed by the social consequences of this scam. I believe that consumer protections were unfairly and possibly unconstitutionally damaged by the tort reform movement to protect physician’s assets.
Dr. Patrick was also an attorney representing me during a divorce in 1999. The divorce was complicated by the fact I was in an encephalopathy aggravated repeatedly by physician mis-diagnosis and mismanagement. Dr. Patrick was ethically challenged by this situation. He let me down ethically repeatedly. He endangered my life and my child’s life. He knew that I was considering suing one of the physicians involved in my care. I knew that a physician suing another for failure to diagnose would change the standard of care in Texas. It was really time for this to happen. I understood from the perspective of practicing primary care and minor emergency care in Texas for 20 years that mis-diagnosis of persons with sleep deprivation syndromes was rampant. It was time for physicians to be held responsible for their callousness. Dr. Patrick was instrumental in heading this off. Then, he entered into employment with the government and went after my medical license.At least, the licensing board employee monitoring me admitted that Dr. Patrick had not recused himself. No wonder he didn’t, I took the issue of incompetent forensic experts required by Texas judge’s in divorce court into Federal court and his hind end was exposed.
What could be cited as the reason for going after my license? They couldn’t cite the encephalopathy. That would lead back to the physicians that had failed to recognize it. Besides, I had adjusted my practice patterns instinctively, referring out complicated patients and limiting my hours and taking off on extended medical leave appropriately. Plus, there was the fact that my intellectual abilities were not below that which a board certified neuropsychologist and neurorehabilitation physician would certify as capable of practicing medicine, albeit with limitations (that I had already self-imposed). For example, my central auditory processing (ability to decipher spoken words) was so slow that I could not efficiently see enough patients to make the overhead for a private practice. Logic and experience combined to keep me from missing surgical conditions and myocardial emergencies. No, the state of Texas decided to try to stop me from practicing because the forensic psychiatrist on their board believed sending so many patients for sleep medicine evaluations was evidence of an unstable mental status! I had already reviewed the research extensively and understood that key players in the field of sleep medicine believed that 20% of the U S population had sleep apnea (see The Promise of Sleep by William C. Dement of Stanford). Almost every patient I had sent actually had , on polysomnogram, evidence of an impairing sleep diagnosis. Thus my experiences are available to those intent on reforming the criminal justice system to one where the victims of crime should have the right to insist on accurate diagnosis thus helping the persons committing crimes have a chance to actually improve their behavior.
I recently discovered Justin L. Williams is advertising for plaintiff cases. I am remiss in taking so long to tell the public about my experiences with him representing me. In December 2001 I was introduced to this attorney by telephone. I had been manipulated into believing that he was recommended by a prominent attorney Ira Burnim of the Bazelon Center. I no longer believe this is the case. I did try to reach Mr. Burnim but received no reply.
I was told he was an accomplished plaintiff’s attorney. Mr. Williams proceeded to throw my case. What case was this? I had found out that the right to an expert competent and experienced in one’s disability issues is part of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I was attempting to sue to force state District courts in Texas to have to recognize that right. Instead of filing on the correct responsible entity, Mr. Williams sued the wrong one. He failed to serve discovery on them in addition. He had excuses about his abilities claiming social stress or some such shit. I now realize that the usual, customary, and appropriate tactic is to file on all possible governmental entities so that they can’t weasel out. Now, I realize that, in 2000, Mr. Williams was actually paying for listings advising other attorneys and the general public that he was AV rated and restricted his legal practice to defense work. His typical clients were huge corporations by his own admissions. Would I have allowed him to represent me if I had known this? I don’t think so. I consider him a SELL OUT when it comes to ethics. In regards to skill? I think he did exactly as his corporate masters wanted him to do. He should be disbarred.
I learned a lot from reading Rick Dakan’s novel about activist (or criminal, per your point of view) hacking into a congressman’s telephone/internet connections while also controlling a key political contact to effect a major scandal and expose modern day slavery. The reality is that major industries, such as Big Pharma or the insurance lobby, could do the same thing and control access to key attorneys (say, class action firms, perhaps). Sure, the news media makes it look like there are too many lawsuits already. Perhaps that is why they are slowly shutting down the court system in California. It’s not really a budget issue?: it is that there isn’t any more need to protect our rights to keep major industries from contaminating the environment? No need to keep the pharmaceutical industry from continuing to lie and push drugs at us?
Gerry Spence wrote about this issue, within the topic of tort reform, on one of his sites. It was shocking to discover how few suits there actually were. I was a practicing physician for over 20 years. I carried a million dollars of malpractice insurance, rather a lot for a family physician. I was never sued by any of my patients. I was not afraid of suits. In fact, I carried that amount of insurance (roughly 5 times the amount the local hospitals required physicians to carry) because if I did hurt one of my patients, I wanted there to be funds to take care of them. I sure didn’t have any assets outside of a homestead and retirement funds. I was so angry at the piss poor medical care I received from one of my physicians in particular that I decided to sue her for malpractice. At first, I had an attorney (being consulted for the disability insurance issue) who suggested I consider such an act. Once I thought about how it would change the standards of care and many, many people would benefit, I decided it would be well worth the negative publicity. Shortly afterward, that attorney discovered that his phone number was incorrect in the latest edition of the local telephone book. He didn’t want to see me again. Other attorneys I contacted (and this was before the constitutional amendment capping punitive damages) refused the case also. Think how many people with sleep apnea would have been treated and not dismissed out of hand to go on and have a car accident, stroke, MI, or just plain old social disarray , like job or career loss. But I digress.
The actual reality is that the U S government has such a large black budget and contractors have such influence that they could arrange to short-circuit access to any law firm. They could pay a contractor to do it so the government’s prints are not on it. Maybe, the only way an individual whistleblower can get legal assistance is to shout it out to the world. The legal system in the USA is actually becoming third world.
Dana Priest, New York Times associated writer, spoke on NPR recently on the surveillance state. She spoke of 1200 federal agencies that spy on us (for us?). She spoke of 2000 private contractors doing the same thing. She noted that contractors have subcontractors and we have no figures on this. Considering that two jets did not bring down three world class skyscrapers, isn’t this just a little much? Now that whistle blowers have outed the administration (executive branch, ATF Alcohol Tobacco Firearms) as sponsoring Operation Fast and Furious where we sold thousands of weapons to Mexican cartels, we need someone to protect us from this government. If not attorneys, then who? The only reason I haven’t been in the streets is that I am concerned it will be an impediment to bringing my cases into Federal court. Once I give up that hope?
Gerry Spence’s first book covered the issue of psychiatric incompetence. I was impressed by this man and his insight into the medical profession. I discovered his books after another attorney recommended I seek representation from his firm. I drove all the way to Jackson Hole Wyoming to present a written request for representation. When I went unannounced to his office, I was turned away and not allowed to enter to fill out his office forms (assuming his office has a written format). I was told I could write one out and bring it back to the office. I did this and once again was not allowed to enter the office to present my request at the reception desk. Hmmm, I don’t look particularly disreputable. I bathe regularly, wear clean clothes, speak clean English (not word salad), etc. Once again I was told to come back for an answer. The third day, one of the junior partners, identifying himself as Bryan Ulmer, came out to the sidewalk and told me that he alone could make the decision that the law firm would not represent me. He stated that a group of three attorneys reviewed potential cases and made the decisions. He also stated that the firm would not help me locate any legal assistance.
Eventually, I left Jackson Hole and drove out of state. In a public library I went on the net and for the first time looked up Gerry Spence’s website. Why for the first time before driving many hours from Oregon to ask for representation? It had become clear that the government could track ones Internet use and I didn’t want to give these federal goons any more lead to my intentions so to decrease their ability to block. Anyway, at that time, the Gerry Spence web site stated the policy that all partners reviewed a request for representation before accepting or rejecting. Certainly, I was not told this by the man who did resemble the picture then on the Spence law firm website (then, the The Spence Law Firm LLC Spence and McCalla. The web site also stated that, if the firm decided not to offer representation, they would assist with locating alternative legal representation. That was also specifically stated in the document handed me by the man identifying himself as Bryan Ulmer that the firm would not do this.
Anyway, before I left the Jackson Hole area I went to a near by U S Post office and sent Gerry Spence a registered letter (hand written as RA 316 803 900 US) including a request for representation. Back in Oregon, I got a rejection statement not signed by Gerry Spence, but by Mel C. Orchard, III Anyhow, those out there who believe Mr. Spence was on the right track re: incompetence in the forensic psychiatry profession, please get my story to him about my experiences facing the Board of Medical Examiners (now known as the Texas Medical Board) and discovering there are large holes in the education of these forensic experts that we could drive a Mac truck through to end their control of the court and sue to end the death penalty. He may also want to evaluate that partner’s allegiance to the firm or to the machine.
August 13, 2011 Today I reviewed the current Spence law firm web site and the current pictures……the man who came out of this law firm to the sidewalk to personally refuse my case identified himself as Bryan Ulmer but he was much younger than the picture of G. Bryan Ulmer III as depicted on the current web site. The man actually resembled what may be an old picture of Mel C. Orchard III (in his younger years) that currently comes up for his autobiographical info instead of the (probably) more current photo on the heading. Mel C. Orchard III was the signature on the rejection letter I received in the mail in response to my registered (or certified) letter to Gerry Spence from a near by post office. At this post office, the clerk failed to have the letter entered into the registry book and refused me info about the procedures used for this type of mail. Could the feds be infiltrated into Gerry Spence’s office adequately to pull off a false identity? Perhaps, just be able to be in the waiting room and thus able to come out and pretend to be a member of the firm? Since Gerry Spence was instrumental in turning back the cap on punitive damages (and my attorney in Texas, Donald Patrick MD JD was an important figure in obtaining one in Texas) could their office be watched so closely as to prevent prospective clients from being considered. I sure saw enough to know that email, U S Mail, and telephone access could be denied (for me, at least).