Court's Letter to Judge White

Judge Jeffrey S. White
United States District Court
Northern District of California
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Courtroom Q, 17th Floor
Re: Grand Jury Subpoenas to Mark Fainaru-Wada and
Lance Williams, Case # CR06-90225MISC JSW

Dear Judge White:

I sincerely appreciate your attention concerning Lance
Williams, Mark Fainaru-Wada, and BALCO. This case has
certainly captured the interest of millions of people
in our country, and beyond; however, few of those
people know Lance Williams for his unique humor,
gentle kindness, brilliant storytelling, and
adventurous outdoorsmanship.

Technically speaking, Lance has been in my life even
before I was born. The earliest story I remember
hearing of Lance was while my mother was studying
abroad in Italy during college. At that point, my
mother was already best friends with Barbara, who a
few years later would become Lance’s wife. Lance
visited my mother in Italy, providing endless
entertainment and laughs, and in return, my mother
gave Lance hard-boiled eggs, and lots of them.
Because, you see, hard-boiled eggs were easy to
confiscate from my mother’s dormitory cafeteria, and
Lance was hungry, or so I have been told.

Lance and his wife Barbara were my parents’ best
friends. And every year my family and Lance’s family
took backpacking trips together in the summer, and
skiing trips together in the winter. Instead of a
skiing trip in late 1995, Lance spoke at my mother,
father, and younger sister’s funeral, after their
sudden death in a car accident. But even before that
day, Lance was a second father to me, and today he
continues to be an endless provider of support and
love, particularly when I recently got my first job as
a family therapist at The Starting Place, Inc. in
Plantation, Florida.

The most practical thing Lance taught me was how to
play Capture the Flag during backpacking trips to Joe
Crane Lake. Capture the Flag consisted of, well, lots
of running until you captured the flag from the other
team. The flag was not any flag, but one of Lance’s
hankies. Lance is very environmental, and using
Kleenex was, and still is, according to Lance, an
inappropriate waste of paper. During breaks from our
endless Capture the Flag games, Lance told stories.
Stories about lost cowboys, and bears eating horses,
and hikers finding their way through severe

There were numerous occasions that Lance woke us up
with a “the water is getting cold,” meaning if we did
not emerge from our tent momentarily, we would not get
any hot oatmeal cereal for breakfast. Lance is smart,
and we were young and did not realize that the propane
stove could have easily been turned back on for two
minutes to re-heat the water. Lance liked to educate
us, but I think we were too young to realize it. One
thing he taught us was how to build rock toilets, and
the building of those rock toilets provided an
opportunity for Lance to talk to us about our
responsibility to maintain the wilderness’s magic and

One backpacking trip to Joe Crane Lake, Lance forgot
his pants. But he didn’t care. He wore thermal
underwear under a pair of shorts when it got cold.
Lance is just like this, a unique, intelligent, and
funny man who can always find a way to make a great
story and educate others. Please do not send Lance to
jail for telling an educational story.


Courtney Fairbanks

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