Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Duke Does the Right Thing

For the second time in as many weeks, the Duke administration has taken a powerful step toward bringing this disastrous affair to a close. This afternoon, on behalf of President Brodhead, Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta formally invited Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann to return for the spring term.

The symbolism of this move cannot be missed: with the decision, the Duke administration is formally saying that the presumption of innocence no longer can be ignored and strongly implying--through its deeds--that no one in the upper levels at Duke any longer believes in the credibility of Mike Nifong's allegations. Coupled with Brodhead's repeated demands that Nifong recuse himself, this act signals a dramatic, and welcome, shift by the administration on the case, and a statement that from here on out, Brodhead will stand on behalf of due process.

The Seligmann family replied with a gracious statement, taking care to thank "the outpouring of support that we have received from Duke alumni," looking forward to the time when Reade can resume his normal life as a full-time student, and noting, correctly, that "by now it should be plain to any person who has any objectivity that the charges against Reade are transparently false."

211 comments:

1 – 200 of 211   Newer›   Newest»
Earl Hofert said...

Good for Duke. The next step should be an inquest into the actions of the G88.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, KC. I don't buy it. Brodhead is simply trying to save his job and theTrustees are merely trying to mitigate damages.

Learned Hand said...

It is about time. What a disgrace - especially in the handling of this disaster by the Duke admin. I expected much, much more of the administration, but was so disappointed. My hope now - that the boys - even more graciously - decline the invite and go elsewhere to lead much more fulfilling lives.

CF said...

And the 88? Not even an apology? And the students who marched to their tune? And the University's compensation to the defendants for creating the witchhunt atmosphere?

Concerned parent said...

KC, as a parent of a prospective Duke student, I have already decided I will never spend one dime to send my child to that university. Thanks in large part to your efforts, a brilliant spotlight has been turned on the incredible injustices taking place in Durham and the rot is being slowly but surely burned out. When this is over, you should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Anonymous said...

OK, so Duke are putting a very small bandaid on a festerings gash!

IMO.These two boys would be crazy to return to Duke at anytime this century. Durham is NOT the place for these two lads. There safety is my concern! Who knows what scemes might be cooked to get even with them by corrupt parties that surely reside under Liberia?

Please do not put yourselves in harms way.

Duke does NOT deserve you both , move on to new horizons. Close the Duke door for I am sure there will many others opening for you both!

Anonymous said...

"The Seligmann family replied with a gracious statement, taking care to thank "the outpouring of support that we have received from Duke alumni,"

It's shameful that this statement couldn't read, "the outpouring of support that we have received from Duke University."

What a DisgrAce

Great work Brodhead & Co.

Anonymous said...

It's your child's loss, "concerned parent". Other than an insane local DA (who is not long for his job), the situation at Duke as far as nutjob faculty members and acquiescent administrators is pretty much the same everywhere else you go. Duke is not unique in that regard by any stretch of the imagination.

If this had happened at any other school (with a loony DA running for election, etc etc), what would have happened at that school would have been exactly the same, if not worse. Bet your bottom dollar on that.

Anonymous said...

These Duke folks are slime. They do not deserve credit for any thing. How would you like to be Reade or Collin trying to figure out which professors will give you a fair shake? Maybe they could avoid the Gang of 88, but they could never avoid all of the race/class/gender moonbats that sympathize with the 88.

Anonymous said...

Why would either of the two students subject themselves to the hallowed halls of Duke again? Would this affect any potential legal action the two might undertake towards the university?
Nifong is an embarassment to Durham, the state of North Carolina and its people.
I wonder if Senator Sam Ervin is turning over in his grave....

Anonymous said...

Thats true... theres wacky professors at just about every university trying to push their liberal agendas

Anonymous said...

Professor Johnson,

I respectfully disagree with your analysis of President Brodhead's actions in this matter, or shall I say "inaction."

A brilliant poster who, I believe, is a manager, wrote a post outlining what President Brodhead should be doing.

Everyone should read it.

4:01, posted on KC Johnson's "Violating Common Sense"

Duke Mom

Anonymous said...

I don't know how this came about but Duke did the right thing here. Reinstating Collin and Reade is an important step. Like Wade Smith said at the press conference, Collin is thankful for it and I'm sure Reade is as well.

I'm not sure what they'll do or if they really can do anything before the charges are resolved. It sounds like Collin wants to go back. I don't know what Reade will do but I wish them both the best.

Anonymous said...

Duke did do the right thing. I live in Durham and I have been hoping that this would happen in time for this semester. I have a child at Duke, we intend to celebrate Duke's decision. Now, Durham's DA needs to do the right thing, drop the bogus charges!

james conrad said...

gee wiz guys, calm down. everyone screws up now and then, DUKE needs to be given a chance to do the right thing here, i hope they do.

dl said...

KC

I think your take on this is way to generous. I am sure the university has been consulting with their attorneys through out this whole debacle. It is obvious that once these charges are dismissed that there will be multiple civil suits filed, most likely by some of the unindicted players as well.

The Duke lawyers are laying the ground work to mitigate the university's liability in any way they can. If there was true remorse about how this was handled action would have already been taken against the "88" professors.

Anonymous said...

Just brand a scarlet "R" on the players' heads and send them back to the group of 88 and the other so-called professors who think the same way as the proud 88. What a future!

Anonymous said...

I like the part of the Seligmann's statement that says they will hold the responsible persons fully accountable. Love that part.
Really glad the these kids can start to move on. They didn't deserve this. As for Duke, what a shame they didn't have this depth of feeling in the beginning.

Johnboy said...

Methinks that Duke is trying to avoid quite a bit of civil liability and its attendant bad publicity.

88 Duke employees (teachers), acting as Duke employees. took out an ad in the paper basically calling the 3 kids the scum of the earth. Some of those 88 employees went on to make further slanderous comments about the students later. It was so bad that it became part of the defense’s change of venue motion. Duke has never taken any action to repudiate that very public behavior by its employees.

The Duke president made a number of intemperate remarks about the kids – all proved to be false.

Prior to (the bogus) indictment, the 3 kids, and their fellow lacrosse players, were subjected to organized harassment on the Duke campus. That organized harassment was publicly championed by some of the same 88 Duke employees who had taken out the ad. The administration did nothing to curtail the harassment.

I could go on, but I assume that the kids’ lawyers have very complete files on all entities that will face suit. Of course the attendant publicity accompanying the suit (and any good lawyer would ensure that there would be LOTS of that bad publicity) would further weaken Duke’s ability to attract “rich white boys” whose parents can pay the ridiculous tuition. In other words, Duke loses customers.

If the kids accept reinstatement, Duke could use that as a defense against suit. My guess is that the offer of reinstatement came on the advice of Duke’s lawyers.

Anonymous said...

It appears that Nifong has known since all of the DNA came back in April the charges were bogus, however, the university threw the players under the bus. Has the policy regarding suspension when a student has been indicted for a felony changed? Maybe if Brodhead, et al, had a backbone last year, the DA would not have had the courage to move forward against Durham's largest employer, Duke. If the university had kept the camera's off their private property there would not have been any pictures of the lacrosse team practicing. If it were my sons, they would not go back where I know how the administration and faculty felt about me.

Anonymous said...

May I humbly suggest that now is not the time to fall on each other with knives and harsh words. The effort we might expend scouring the battlefield to shoot the wounded would be better spent trying to bring the Duke community back together again as best we can. If this case ends up with the school in years of open, internecine warfare among its many sides, things are just going to be worse for everyone.

When the terrible war's end was in sight, Lincoln said in this second inaugural address:

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

Our own battles are insignificant with those Lincoln had to deal with. Seems to me we could declare a Duke-wide amnesty and start the healing.

wayne fontes said...

If Duke had done this before the fall semester I would have commended them for their courage. At this point in the game it is just piling on and CYA against legal action,

I think the Nifong enablers are falling pretty fast. Are there maore than 10 left? Can't wait to see how Wendy Murphy spins this.

DaveO said...

Isn't Duke violating its own policy by allowing the two students to return to class? I thought Duke suspended any student charged with a felony, and they're technically still charged with kidnapping and sexual assault. Obviously they're innocent of these charges. I guess this is Duke's way of saying everyone knows they're innocent now.

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: Better late than never. Another positive development for these young men. When was the last time Nifong had any good news? Nifong's case has been going downhill from day one, and I actually cannot recall any positive developments for Nifong. Weeks ago it was said he is toast, now burnt toast with the continuing developments on a regular basis.

Chicago said...

I can honestly say my fears for Reade and Collin returning are not directed as much at the Durham black public as they are at a group like the NBP who would probably stop at nothing to harm them. I would not put it past Nifong and the Durham PD to some how set them up based on their track record in an effort for revenge or to save face.

I think the Durham public, in large point feels sympathy for them. Obviously a few blacks and a few far left liberals have it out for them, but those groups have it out for all Duke students anyway.

I think for the most part, everyone slowly and quietly turned their back on Nifong following the Dec 15 hearing.

Anonymous said...

to 449: policies are only a guide to thinking, and if it is a policy, there is discretion available. If it is a rule, typically little discretion available.

Anonymous said...

Johnboy: Ya' think? Plaintiff's counsel are sharpening their knives at this point.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

james conrad said...

i really dont see any DUKE liability here, civil suit wise. duke didnt indict those kids, durham DA mike nifong did. what are you proposing, sue duke because they employ a bunch of fruitcakes in their humanities program? good luck on that. if it was me, i'd go after the taxpayers of durham county

Anonymous said...

This is getting better all the time... Now all we need is for Nifong to NOT recuse himself (while he helps Durham 'heal'), then have the judge throw him off the case, followed by disbarment, civil suits and, finally, a bitter like of ignominy.

CGM, on the other hand, is already destined for a life of ignominy, and with no resources (other than the obvious three well-worn ass-ets), there is no reason to seek redress. perhaps Nifongs successor will file criminal charges... I say let her live in ignominy with her brood.

Anonymous said...

James: I posted this earlier on Liestoppers. Yes, Duke has liability problems, but misery loves company:

4:10 - You still haven't grasped the full implications? Take a walk with counsel down liability way.

Firstly, and this is more of a classic legal hypothetical that can make case law, Duke accepts federal funds, and is therefore a state actor (Section 1983). They are bound by federal restraints. Does that policy you cite comply with federal requirements?

However, and this is definitive, if you would like to know what every lawyer has known for some time (and I can assure you, so do the players' lawyers), a faculty member is an agent of Duke as his employer, tenured or not. If he makes statements that the individual knew or should have known were demonstrably false, and cast the object of that statement in a false light and/or as a subject of scorn in the community at large, that person (or 88 of them) are liable for slander/libel (nice little conspiracy theory here as well). However, the statements, made in the course of employment, makes Duke University liable under the concept of Respondeat Superior.

Thus, freedom of speech is limited, be one a whacky professor or not. But buck up, because I can tell you right now CNN is going to get sued (Nancy Grace) and probably a few more news outlets/commentators as well.

On the flip side, that being Mike Nifong, the players have causes of action for violation of their civil rights under color of law (42 USC Section 1983). Mike Nifong, in a moment of galling stupidity, decided to make himself the lead investigator on the case. The reason this is ridiculously stupid is because as a prosecutor, Nifong enjoys absolute immunity. However, as a police officer, and his role was primarily that of a police officer when he named himself chief investigator, that immunity falls to qualified immunity. Thus, if the players can prove malice (and they have that), Nifong, the police officers involved, the City of Durham and the County can all be held liable for damages.

Finally, because the accused players are residents of different states, they can (and will) bring their claims in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (for the common law torts, the federal claims have venue there in any event). Thus, the NC machine will not be guarding Duke, its profs, the police, the city, the county, and Nifong. A federal judge will roast all of these individuals and entities over a stove. In short, and based upon my experience in the 4th Circuit, he will hate them. Further, the Federal system allows for discovery that one never receives in state court, and everything will come out, from e-mail communications to conspiracies to hide evidence.

I hope that helps you understand what is at play right now. Nifong is keeping two charges alive to save his own skin, hoping against all hope that they survive long enough to keep him away from bar counsel, and to save him from civil liability. He wants the accuser to say she does not recognize the players because he sees that as another way to save his own skin, and to lay the blame on her feet. All of these tactics you are seeing now, which are odd, are merely ways in which different individuals and entities are trying to mitigate their risk and damages.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

wts said...

Duke is under absolutely no gun to have taken this step....but they did. This was a proactive step. They could have waited for the trial and stood by their "rules" of felony charge, no school. I'm very glad to see this proactive step that demonstrates leadership.

Anonymous said...

The last line of the sentence really sends a message, doesn't it?

Good for them.

As for Duke offering to reinstate them, it's probably motivated by a desire to do the right thing and by a desire to mitigate damages. It's one thing to take potshots at the Duke 3, quite another to ruin the lives of three obviously innocent people. There are certainly hardcore moonbats who wouldn't care if they went to jail--but you have to think that most people, even lunatics like the Duke 88, don't really want to see these guys convicted. I simply cannot believe that. Brodhead may be a coward, but he is not that evil. Even Nifong--I cannot believe that he's willing to have these guys spend hard time in the pokey for this.

Anonymous said...

Real harm has been done to the lives of the coach, the accused three and the unaccused 43. In order for there to be justice and peace real harm must be done to the lives of Nifong, his supporters, the accuser, the G88 and the administration of Duke. Then there can be peace.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Esq. Md. These guys are quaking in their boots. Discovery is a bitch, an absolute bitch.

Durham will want to settle this case. Duke may not. But these guys are going to get some money.

R. B. Day said...

Duke not only needs to ask (perhaps beg) these young men to come back, but they need to do it with the red carpet and admonish those who spoke against them so early when there were no facts... innocent until proven guilty is so important, yet so easily overlooked by the ignorant. The Duke 88 should be ashamed of themselves, promoters of integrity they are not !!!

Anonymous said...

There is no civil case against Duke.

Howevever, I think Duke is reacting to the drop in early admissions and the negatve feedback from alumni, e.g. people who give them donations and send their children to Duke, not to some belated belief in justice or the innocence of the three boys.

I actually think it is generally a good idea for a student to be suspended pending a felony arrest, the next Duke student who actually does get raped by a fellow student is likely going to have to face her legitimate attacker in all her classes...another sad outcome of this disgusting piece of work by Nifong and the false accuser.

Anonymous said...

5:02 - The reason I have avoided this line of posts before now is because I was quite certain that alums would be upset. I would be equally upset of my alma mater were going to get sued, and try to deny it.

But as it stands, and the way in which the school treated them, you are seriously living in denial if you think Duke doesn't have a liability problem. If I were in their shoes, I would sue Duke University in a second.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...if I am these guys, I am not sure I return to campus, mainly because of the safety issue. But that's hard - Duke, despite all the incredible things that have gone on in this case, is a wonderful place. Hard to find a better place to go to school, this situation aside.

I strongly disagree with the handling of the situation by the administration, and think the group of 88 are so far out of step with reality as to be literally a danger to the community (ironic - the "danger to the community" rationale led to the boys being suspended during this investigation). However, ALL Universities have nutjob professors. That's where they are supposed to live, in fact. Duke is less radical than most top Universities in this country, in fact, so you are more than likely going to find a Group of 100 or more at Havard, Brown, Yale, Princeton, etc.

So condemning Duke for the wacky faculty seems pointless, unless you want to condemn all of academia. The administration handled this very poorly, no doubt, but I suspect they learned some things in this process. No one assumed Nifong was making these bold, graphic public statements without strong evidence - let alone making them while holding exculpatory evidence! I suspect that all prosecutors across the USA will hate Nifong for years to come, as their word will now be taken with a grain of salt due to his malfeasance, misfeasance and mendacity.

Over the top statements that Duke is some unique and horrible place are ridiculous and drown out, as all extremist positions do, the discussion of rational and appropriate issues. There are problems in the system that have been revealed here, some endemic to Duke, most endemic to all of academia, and some endemic to our society. KC and others have laid them out - and forcefully when appropriate to do so. His tone in the latest post IS appropriate. He is NOT letting the administration "off the hook", but is commending Duke for, albeit belatedly, doing the right thing.

I don't know if I go back to campus, if I am one of those boys. That's a tough personal decision. But shrill yammering about what a cesspool Duke and Durham are wastes everyone's time, time that could be used to discuss the Duke, Durham, and most especially Nifong, issues that we all should be concerned about.

Anonymous said...

Duke Mom at 4:36

Thank you for the compliment. I just wish I'd written it on this thread. I am a manager, even though I dropped out of the U Texas's MBA program (OK, I flunked out because I hated it)--LOL

4:47 "letsa start the healing"

I think Ima gonna cry

Are you that appeaser, Jason T?

Like Duke Mom, I urge all posters to visit "Violating Common Sense" and view my take on this--from an organizational perspective.

RP

Michael said...

re: 5:02 and no Duke liability

4:55 appears to be a lawyer.
Are you speaking as a lawyer
or do you have some expertise
in the area?

Anonymous said...

Michael: Yes, and yes. Any reasonably capable attorney could win this case on the theories as stated.

And the accused players' attorneys are far more than reasonably capable.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Anonymous said...

I just think common sense clearly shows there is no legitimate, winnable cause of action against Duke.

Even the G88 statements are not necessarily libelous, and they certainly can make an excellent case that based on what the DA was saying about absolute evidence of rape, there is no way anyone can make the case they should have reasonably known Mike Nifong was a dishonest, liar.

Duke has no legal duty to protect indicted felons, refrain from saying rape and racism are terrible crimes and engaging in a PC pity party, complete with self investigation, Lacrosse investigation and all the rest of it.

Now, Mike Nifong, Durham PD, they are ripe for a good civil action.

I don't think Duke is doing this AT ALL due to fear of a lawsuit by any of the three boys, they are doing it to try and repair the damage they did by their orgy of political correctness.

All this about the school taking federal money and the professors being employees of Duke is kind of beside the point, Duke professors are free to comment on a public case, even if they are wrong, they are free to comment on their view of the race/sex/athlete dynamic of their school even if they are wrong.

bill anderson said...

I think that KC is right in that the real significance here is that Duke's people believe the charges will be dropped. If Brodhead and company really believed that Collin and Reade even had a ghost of a chance of standing trial, they would not have gone against Duke's policy regarding students indicted on felonies.

I further believe that Brodhead knew all along -- or believed all along -- that the charges were not true, and I only wish that he and the others had acted according to their instincts. The Gang of 88 has done much damage to Duke.

Anonymous said...

How many required courses at Duke are taught by "Peter Wood, who has gone out of his way to appear to slander his own students;
Karla Holloway, who has proclaimed that 'white innocence means black guilt,' while boasting she would sign the Group of 88’s statement again 'in a heartbeat';[or]
Wahneema Lubiano, who coordinated the Group of 88’s statement [all the foregoing quoted language is from one of K.C.'s posts]?

I know every school is different, but at The University of Texas in Austin, just getting into many required courses can often be next to impossible. If you have to avoid certain professors who teach those courses, you can count on graduating sometime, but not in 4 years.

bill anderson said...

The issue of speech on campus is contentious, but I think that the "wanted" poster, as well as signs calling for castration are going to give Duke some liability.

Make no mistake; some lacrosse families WILL be suing. I don't know which families, but I know that some will sue.

Anonymous said...

KC, great interview today. When you write your book be sure to include Group Hatey Hate's original message, in addition to all their names.

DisgrAce

wts said...

MD Esquire....does your position change now that Duke has offered their return? Damages are different.

james conrad said...

re: 5:21 i agree, however, the one guy who may have a case against duke is the lax coach. did he resign or was he forced to resign or be fired?

Anonymous said...

To 5:21

Are they also free to slander anyone they choose?

Anonymous said...

Unless it can be proven that Duke knew and supported the wanted posters or didn't take them down right away, how is there any liability?

Refer yourself to the CU sex scandal, where there was evidence aplenty that the football team really was out of control, multiple allegations of sexual harrassment, sexual abuse, illegal drinking parties and rape allegations....all resulting in dismissal of charges against the university.

That was a case where the plaintiffs had a strong case and they still lost.

I just don't see any case here for these guys against Duke unless you could try for a hostile education environment for the players that stayed in school...but for the three accused, no way.

Anonymous said...

5:08 was posted by KC Johnson anonymously--LOL

Sock puppet time, huh KC?

dl said...

I think there is some denial going on here among the Duke alumni. I am not a lawyer, but common sense seems to dictate even if the civil cases were groundless that the university would settle for large amounts simply to try to put this case behind them as quickly as possible.

I also think that it is obvious that there are parts of the Durham Police Department that have it in for Duke students, in the past this seems to have been abetted by the university. In the future I am sure the university is going to take a much more confontrational approach in dealing with the DPD as far as access to students and cooperation with any future investigations. If I was the parent of a prospective student this alone would make me hesitant to send my child there.

The damage done to Duke is going to take years if not decades to repair.

Anonymous said...

James Conrad,

I think the problem with the coach is that strictly speaking, I believe he had been warned to get the team under control, and so, legally, the stripper party could have been justification for a resignation/forced resignation.

There is no doubt he was a huge victim in all of this, losing his job basically over the same kind of drinking party that occurs at every college across the country every weekend. Again, comparing the CU case to this one, the Duke Lacrosse team should all be getting awards for good citizenship. No track record of sexism or racism, nothing but underage drinking,loud parties and public urination, oh my.

Let's also not forget that part of Duke's PC frenzy was driven by the infamous skinning of strippers email, that was leaked right after the incident became public.

Anonymous said...

WTS: Not one bit, because part of the damages are future economic damages. Damaging a person's reputation is a terrible thing. Doing it through guilt by association is even worse.

Seriously, Duke should have muzzled the dogs, and made everyone keep their mouths shut. They did not.

Bill's statement is particularly cogent in what will be brought into court in a case. They poisoned the campus environment so badly, half these kids (at least those from MD) came home every weekend. And it was not "just" the accused players, it was the individual players as people, and as a group. They piled on, they labelled them rapists and racists, they made them all an object of scorn for the unwashed pot-bangers.

Whether you are a Duke alum or not, this was a horrible thing for a school to do, and they will be paying for it. I can only hope it modifies future behavior at all universities.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Anonymous said...

to lawyers:

Duke will be forced to make financial restitution to the boys--by the alumni.

Make no mistake about that. As I said on the other thread, the smartest thing Brodhead can do immediately is to cut $5 million checks to each of them.

Honor among gentlemen is the guiding principle here.

No lawyers need apply.

RP

Anonymous said...

Sorry esquire, the idea that any of these guys are going to get huge settlements from Duke is almost as farfetched as the crazy rantings that the false accuser was going to successfully sue Duke for allegedly being raped at an off campus party by a group of boys with no previous history involving sexual misconduct.

Even if she had been telling the truth, she would not have had a civil case against Duke and neither do Reade, Colin or Dave.

Now, if any Lacrosse player who stayed in school can prove discrimination or a low grade as result of discrimination by a professor/group of 88, you might have something.

Anonymous said...

These 2 young men have a big decision in front of them -

I'm sure the team would be fired up to have them back -

TW

james conrad said...

re 5:34 are you kc?

Anonymous said...

I think they would be NUTS to go back to Duke.

They would never be able to leave the campus without risking their safety. God forbid, they happened to be at a party that got a noise violation they might be hauled down to jail and who knows what might happen.

If I were them I would never set foot in Durham again.

Anonymous said...

James: No, I'm just a lawyer from MD who's waiting for his client to call, and who played lacrosse (attack).

5:39 - Oh, on the contrary, the route to liability would have been that the players were acting as agents of Duke. That is what stopped liability from attaching. Note that no such problem exists when the actor is an employee of Duke.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Josh said...

I would go back.

1. A professor, even a member of the 88, would never give one of these two a bad grade out of malice. Too many eyes are watching. There are also a lot more than 88 professors at Duke. I would take a guess that the two are not AA or Women's studies majors anyway.

2. The student body is probably 100% (or close to it) in support of these two.

3. They play Lacrosse and should do so on a team that has national standing. That's one of the many reasons they chose Duke.

4. Every school has its leftist professors; I agree things may not have been so different anywhere else.

5. The local police and the DA (if by some stroke of strange fortune keeps his job) wouldn't touch these two with a ten foot pole if they crapped on the steps of city hall.

6. I'm sure private words have been exchanged between the administration and the families. The only communication has not been a press release. There may have already been a decision to come to some financial assistance.

7. I'm sure there is a lot of regret amongst the 88 for their actions. Their name will live on with this scandal forever and they have tarnished their reputations as well. They too are forever "labeled."

8. "Nifong" will be as easily recognized a word as "Miranda" in american lawschools for at least the next century. Good changes occur after bad things happen. They didn't mandate proper life boats on ships until the Titanic sank.

9. The weather is beautiful in North Carolina. The Duke campus is exquisitely beautiful. They have a lot of frends there. A Duke degree is still valuable, it is still a highly regarded school and I believe will remain so despite all this.

james conrad said...

in any event, i agree that suing duke is a little like suing the press, not impossible but damn difficult. and, lets face it, civil actions are about the MONEY. why mess round with a hard target when you have such a chump as nifong just begging for it

anonymous said...

My experience with the federal courts is exactly as Esquire from Maryland depicts. And from that perspective I don't see how Duke escapes liability. Forget about the intracacies of the case (although I think Esquire from Maryland has depicted them accurately in summary form). Federal discovery rules mean that every scrap of e-mail, every note, and every file that President Brodhead or the administration is open season. And to some degree that collective ocean of information will reveal that the University knew (early on) that the DA's approach and the facts were specious, and that knowing that, they still countenanced libelous statements by its agents - professors. And on top of it early on the administration was telling players not to contact their parents or attorneys? The University won't want to touch any of this with a ten foot pole. I am alum, and take no joy in Duke facing legal liability, but the prospect is real, and with the worst form of plaintiffs at hand - that is - smart ones with a cause that will not let up.

As this drama unfolds, I will spend my time acquainting myself with the peer review works authored by Wahneema Lubiano, an august tenured associated professor at Duke for over 10 years and one of the leading intellectual lights (sic) of the Group (Gang) of 88. Oh wait! She has authored no peer reviewed works - that is - zip - zero!! Really. More than 10 years at Duke? How is that Duke can do such a thing? Whatever happened to discipline, hard work, and adherence to professional standards? I am ashamed for Duke.

Anonymous said...

Why sue Duke instead of Durham County?

It makes no sense.

I admit I am not versed in the law or rules that apply to professors free speech rights vs. their duties, but I still don't see a case for slander since the DA up until he dropped rape charges was STILL maintaining he had never changed his mind about the crime since the beginning.

I'm sure internal Duke emails would be hugely embarrassing and show a pervasive prejudice against their own students, but that does not rise to the level of liability, rampant political correctness, no matter how loathsome is not a crime and cannot have violated the boys rights since they were legally accused of gang rape.

Again, you might have something with the university trying to keep the boys from talking to lawyers, or possibly divulging privileged communication without due process, but, not sure that rises to 'big settlement' territory.

All the university has to say is we believed the police and the DA when they said they had strong evidence of gang rape and we acted accordingly, in hindsight, we see we were terribly misled and we regret our actions, blah, blah, blah.

Case closed.

Anonymous said...

James:

As the Spanish say:

"Revenge is a dish best served cold."

They would do it to teach Duke a lesson. They seem to have forgotten that culpability attaches to actions. I, in fact, would see it as a disservice not to sue Duke. They could let them off the hook easily enough, but the suit has to be filed.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Anonymous said...

I hope this case serves as the high water mark for the leftist, racists on campuses such as Dook. If this case doesn't serve as a clear hint that it is time to undue what the liberal agenda has wrought on these campuses, then some people are just hopeless.

Ideally, they will launch a "Task Force", "Action Group" or some other similarly-styled but equally-impotent group of know-it-alls-but-do-nothings who will find a culture of bigotry against "privileged", white males. Hey gang, here's a hint: it may start in the admissions office (and if evidence in the U. of Michigan is to be believed, it DOES), but it goes to [at least] 88 class rooms at Dook alone.

Anonymous said...

Go easy on Wahneema. She's never been the same since being mugged by a metaphor...

James said...

Personally, I would like to see them return to Duke if only because fo all its faults, Duke is still a great school. I am fairly confident when I say that had this happened at Princeton or Stanford, there would have been a similar reaction by administrators and faculty members. Sad but true, in my opinion. And given the publicity of this case, I don't see any place these guys could go with anonymity. So would Seligmann and Finnerty be better off at a university where they have a whole group of friends already in place (fellow lacrosse players, supportive students (of which there are many)), or a place with very little support and faculty members who have sentiments similar to those expressed by the Gang of 88, even if unspoken? But if they decided not to return, I think we would all understand.

Anonymous said...

Cedrford has a must-read analysis of the structural academic cancer at Duke.

It's at "The Absence..." thread by KC Johnson, 4:52

RP

$:40 good choice W&M--that's the 2d-oldest school in country, next to Harvard--correct?

Anonymous said...

Duke isn't the problem.

Durham is the problem.

I'm sure the boys would be welcomed back to Duke with open arms, and highly doubt they would be taking classes from any of the 88 anyway.

But what about the town? What about driving around late at night to get a burger and some Durham cops decide to play it cute?

What about being out in town and running into a group of African Americans?

james conrad said...

lol, OMG, methinks i'm suddenly surrounded by lawyers....makes me think of my ol'home town, wash dc, a place where, if you throw a rock out the window, you'll kill a lawyer

Anonymous said...

To the Duke Group of 88 Faculty and Staff:



The racist remarks uttered by the students in the parting exchange with the dancers are reprehensible, as are the circumstance that led to the dancers’ presence at the party in the first place. Underage drinking is out of control at universities nationwide. However, this egregious behavior does not justify a rush to judgment, abandoning the principles of due process.



In light of the recent revelations regarding D.A. Nifong’s unsupported public statements that stoked the fires of racial/class/gender division, and the increasing volume of evidence pointing to the innocence of the three Duke students charged with rape, would you reconsider your support of a document that asserts, perhaps only implicitly, that something happened to the woman in question and gave the impression to many that your group supported a rush to judgment?



It is time for healing to begin. The N.C Bar is looking closely at Nifong’s statements and may very well disbar him. The N.C. Council of District Attorneys openly called for Nifong to recuse himself from the case. Two of the three students have been invited back for the Spring term, arguably in recognition of the likelihood that the case against will be dropped and the students exonerated. Perhaps even the alleged victim will shed new light on the case.



I beg of you, from your esteemed positions of influence, would you look beyond the important issues of class, race and gender that were apparently mirrored so well by the initial information released about the events of that night, and for just a moment consider recognizing the importance of due process, whereby the established course for judicial proceedings safeguard the legal rights of the individual in this country?



You can make a difference in the healing process by acknowledging that the letter was, in fact, perceived by many as supporting a rush to judgment.



I implore you to at least acknowledging that even the perhaps unintended consequences of the letter stoked the passions of those who would deny the individual due process.



Best regards,

Anonymous said...

While I'm not a lawyer, my wife is, and so far, there are two possible theories missing from Duke's liability. One is the conspiracy to keep the lacrosse players from telling their parents about the rape investigation, thus denying them counsel when they most needed it. Second, hiring Wes Covington as Duke's attorney to "coordinate" the players' testimony (and apparently DNA samples) to the police -- obvious conflict of interest. Third would be intentional infliction of emotional distress, for instance on Brodhead's part in refusing to meet with parents. Finally, punitives. My wife, an attorney, estimates Duke will have to settle for $10 million per defendant family.

John Bruce

Anonymous said...

I posted this on the New Year's roundup, but I think it is relevant here.

What is keeping CGM from suing the Duke 3? Sure, it would be a long shot, but there's a chance she would get a settlement from a Durham jury (after all, *something* must have happened). It's not like she's got a good reputation to lose in court.

The defence team will need to get every bit of information possible from the DA, the DPD, and Duke. I wouldn't want to be CGM on the witness stand.

Anonymous said...

4:47
The analogy to Lincoln post-Civil War is inappropriate. He was dealing with a defeated, powerless adversary.
If Duke was truly conquered and occupied by "the good guys", perhaps healing would be in order. But never shake hands with a rattlesnake. A multi-million dollar settlement would go a long way towards educated the educators as to the limits of bringing their "peer-reviewed" racism into the public arena.
As to the idea that Duke would face limited or no liability, so just sue Nifong and Durham; there is a rule in law as to whom to sue. In a word: everybody.
Suits against the city and its agents would be totally independent of those against the faculty and administration of Duke.
BTW, Duke Law just announced a new Dean, the highly respected Judge David Levi of the Eastern District of California, reputed to be one of the finest Federal Judges. I wonder what legal advice he is giving to Brodhead.

Anonymous said...

6:15

I don't respect your opinion.

We need managers, not "healers."

respectfully,

RP

Anonymous said...

Why sue Duke instead of Durham County?


A plaintiff's attorney once told me there are only two questions he asks a potential client before taking their case. If they answer 'yes' to both, the contingency contract is signed right then.

The questions:
1) Are you hurt?
2) Do you need money?

I believe all of these three young men and their families can easily answer yes to both questions.
I say sue them all.

Anonymous said...

To 5:02,
You do not need to worry about a Duke student having to face her rapist/attacker in class after felony charges have been filed for heaven's sake! This was an extraordinary and very well justified exception to University policy, NOT a reversal of University policy.

Observer

OrionW said...

Now that Colin and Reade are in good standing with Duke U. they will be able to transfer their credits. I doubt they'll return to Duke, but that's not really what this is all about.

Anonymous said...

And the parents of the next guilty accused Duke rapists are going to use this case as reason why their son should not be taken out of school.

What is Duke going to say?

As they say, bad cases make bad law.

I am not saying the boys should not be allowed back at Duke, but I am saying that this does set a bad precedent for future rape cases when the victim is not a lying, stripper, escort with bipolar disorder who has made similar unfounded accusations in the past.

The precedent is just the same now for a false accusation as for a true accusation.

Anonymous said...

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_010307/content/america_s_anchorman.guest.html

Rush Limbaugh calls for Liefung to resign!

Anonymous said...

The thing is, I pretty much knew the whole thing was a "crock" right at the outset. I admit that there was a brief interval, a couple of weeks at most, where all the press coverage – and most of all, the reaction of the administration, the faculty, and other students – had me doubting (but certainly not convinced).

It would be far easier for me to be charitable if this were not so. How could the administration not have very serious doubts when it was plain to me? I get that they were afraid (far more afraid than Nifong seems to be, even now) but lack of courage is not the most sympathetic defense. A little bit of spine at the time might have made a huge difference and prevented much of the damage. If only they had not joined the rush.

After all, they could have taken a middle road and been OK however things turned out. People have told me that at the time, they had the sense that there might have been riots had Duke not done as they did. I don’t know if this is so, but even that reasonable people had these concerns really says something disturbing. For one thing, it doesn’t say anything good about how some people thought of others’ reactions – if they were wrong.

How is it that they didn't seem to have any sense of the forces at play in this case, of the history of corruption (and worse) in Durham government and PD? How is it that their moral compass pointed them in exactly the wrong direction? Like so much of society, did they let some very vocal extremists take over? This being far from the first time something similar has happened in such a setting makes it much harder to excuse.

Yet they did do worse than abdicate to the G88 by joining in and piling on. If they were trying to mitigate possible damages at that point, they clearly failed in spectacular fashion. I can’t get the picture out of my head of someone trying to apply crises PR management and wanting to get out ahead of the publicly known facts. Was there no skepticism? Was there insufficient consideration and review for such a major decision?

I’ve always been told, “measure twice, cut once”. The biggest question I have is how could something that was clearly the only priority been so badly bungled? Did no one try to ascertain the facts independently? Were alternative scenarios considered? What good is diversity if everyone rushes to the same conclusion and the wrong consensus is reached? Maybe it is that things aren’t really so diverse, only diverged from reality.

I really do want Duke to be as little damaged as possible, to come back better than before. If those who did the deeds would come forth and admit that they were wrong, I would be willing to settle for getting rid of a few of the most rotten apples and the establishment of a campus counter-culture initiative to frankly explore what has happened here and how lessons can be learned and some good found in this morass.

As I see it, there are those who would love to see Duke fall -- the same people who have wanted this same thing all along. I guess there is no way that Duke can move somewhere else and I don't see things as beyond all hope. In a way, this presents an opportunity. First, the individual students must recieve apologies in a public way. Then someone needs to seize the high ground and point out how damaging this has been all around.

Maybe then, there can be healing and things really can be made better. Maybe Broadhead will be better for this experience. If Duke were to handle things better than it has going forward, I think there would be lots of sympathy and people would be willing to forgive. There are a large number of people who are clearly much more culpable than he and they need to go, starting with Nofing.

Anonymous said...

To 4:57 PM who said: "There are certainly hardcore moonbats who wouldn't care if they went to jail--but you have to think that most people, even lunatics like the Duke 88, don't really want to see these guys convicted. I simply cannot believe that. Brodhead may be a coward, but he is not that evil. Even Nifong--I cannot believe that he's willing to have these guys spend hard time in the pokey for this."

There is a flaw in your logic, which is: you have assumed they think as you do and share your values. Recall that terrorists flying jets into buildings don't share your values. It could also be a false assumption to conclude that 88 and Nifong share your values. Perhaps the 88 and Nifong did what they did, for one reason: because they do want to LAXers experience hard time in jail.

Anonymous said...

And note that it will NOT be expensive for the LAX players to sue all of the above including Duke (as someone suggested). Given the facts, lawyers would be waiting in line to take this on contingency.

Duke is definitely going to settle if only to put this whole episode behind it. There is just no way they want to go through discovery here....

And yes, I'm a lawyer too.....

Anonymous said...

RP (6:23 PM )

Calculated to budge one of the 88 to step up... yes, it was pandering o their biases...

like all those lawyers piling on now (Bar, Conference of D.A.s), budge one, and other may follow.

I don't respect the group of 88 at all, but at the request of FODU, i penned a polite letter to them.

Hey, I'm Physics, not African & African American Studies ...

6:15

Josh said...

To 6:08 pm -

Duke is a 98% on campus life. It is quite removed from the town of Durham. The party was off campus but it is a rare student who lives off campus. You can exist at Duke and never see Durham at all. The late night burger would find you at the CI or the Rat.

Hey said...

To the liability deniers:

when you sue, you sue everyone. Lawyers are just like the mafia, but worse. They're going to go after everyone (the Kinko's used to photocopy the flyer, the tape manufacturer that affixed it on campus, etc. Think Asbestos liability) for everything. The words joint and several liability should be running through your head.

Tenure doesn't protect teachers from court action, only from administrative action. So Duke can't fire them for speaking out on a case of public interest, but does have to stop them from committing torts. Now the line is really, really generous in libel/slander cases, especially with subjects of public interest (get arrested and you're a public figure and have essentially no defence against it). However, if you make malicious statements that you knew or should have known were false, then you're up the brown creek. This is a high bar, like Everest high. But, fortunately/unfortunately, these special professors appear to have cleared the bar with their ever so wonderful statements.

Duke is in deep, deep ship, as it were, and Broadhead has been advised of this. They will be compensating ALL the LAX players, and the coach, whether through settlement or verdict. Well funded, pissed off plaintiffs with a solid cause of action are exactly who you don't want to face. Especially since this is just such a well teed up case for (at the very least) some of your co-defendants that any and every trial lawyer will be clamoring to do it for a reduced contingency fee. This is the Leftist version of facing Asbestos lawyers. They know they own you, your children, your granchildren... Heads they win, tails you lose, and make sure you pay them a 10% success fee on top of costs and damages.

But even all of that is nothing. No one wants to face federal discovery. You have to give everything, immediately, or deal with a rampaging Federal Judge (who will of course be seeing you in court again and again...). They will simply ask for every email and document from the administration and professors since the party, since they obviously can't trust the defendants or their lawyers to sift for the relevant documents. As everyone learns, with enough emails and memos, someone, somewhere in your organisation, has written an email that explicitly lays out who you conspired to do exactly what the plaintiff says you did. It doesn't matter that it was some idiot junior supply clerk who wrote it as a joke, it's there on university letterhead/emailserver, and you're oh so totally SOL.

Anonymous said...

6:42

As a warning to all other universities Duke should be stripped of all it's reputation, standing and wealth.

Anonymous said...

LIBILITY... that is the question, and I like the Seligman family subtle reference to it...
1. The False Accuser, she should one, be criminally charged, then two, undergo civil rape, so that any money she ever makes in the future goes to those she tried to scapegoat. She'll be like OJ, trying to always make money on the slide, looking over her shoilders.
2. Mike Nifong, by making himself the "lead investigator", he hopefully created a hole in his immunity. Didn't he try to intmidate the Taxi Driver as well ?? And, did he not give some sort of favorable treatement to Kim Roberts on another charge ??
3. The State of North Carolina for allowing civil rights abuses to persist, for ignoring the right to a speedy trial, for allowing intimidation of the accused (e.g Black Panthers shouting threats in the courtroom) and failing in what we call DUE PROCESS.
4. Duke Univ. .. hmm, do they have liability, I can only hope so, even if they do not, I hope the PR damage that can be done to them will be dramatic. Come on, would you send your son or daughter to that place, knowing that as an institution, they would rather be politically correct than stand up for their own students who early on seemed to be victims. How about those 88 idiots, would you want your kids being taught by them ??
5. Nancy (dis)Grace, Wendy Murphy and perhaps others, these are lawyers, bound by ethics laws in their States, and lying, falsely accusing and did I mention LYING, are not ethical. They commited slander in the truest sense of the word.
6. Anyone who put up the hate posters
7. The Durham Police Dept., how do they get away with the lies and line-ups ?
8. Dr. Meehan, come on, do the right thing, provide the exculpatory evidence according to your own labs guidelines. He prolonged pain & suffering by withholding data

Well, the list could go on & On... honorable mention goes to the moron at NCCU who said the trio should be tried even if they are not guilty, just to set an example. And let's not forget Jessie Jackson offering to pay for the liars education.

Johnboy said...

To all those who say there is no cause of action against Duke: WRONG – big time WRONG. I’m not saying that the kids and/or their families (who have also suffered grave financial and other damage) will sue, but they certainly have cause.

Obviously Durham County (city) and or the state gets sued. That does not mean that they ignore the other source of deep pockets – Duke. I would guess that there are possible other targets for the lawyers as well.

First, Duke’s employees, acting as Duke employees, took out the inflammatory ad well BEFORE any indictment. The case was only at the investigative stage. So these agents of Duke set out to inflame the situation, creating pressure on the DA to “get someone”. These same people praised the harassment, posters. demonstrations – also before any indictment. This further inflamed the situation. Things just go downhill from there.

In my earlier post, I remarked that a good lawyer would make sure that Duke got LOTS of really bad publicity. I’m not a lawyer. I work for a public relations firm. This civil action would be a PR dream. Basically the case would boil down to Duke getting destroyed in the press. Duke has provided all the ammunition for that. They can either pay up or watch their reputation go down the toilet. The longer the case drags on, the more press sh-t they eat.

If the lawyers (or families) are good, they hired a clipping service early on. That means they have probably tens or hundreds of thousands of copies of press clippings and/or broadcast snippets showing the kids in the worst possible light. A number of those will be about Duke employees’ actions. Due to the web, that derogatory info was made available to the whole world. A good deal of that bad publicity was generated by Duke employees, acting in their role as Duke employees. How will that effect the future earnings potential of the 3 boys?

First PR release goes something like: “Students sue Duke over statements by faculty”. The body goes on to CLEARLY depict the hatred of these 88 employees for “rich white boys” – about one half of Duke’s customer base. Yes, students are customers. That starts the the ball rolling downhill for Duke’s customer acquisition. Throw in the fact that “your son might be railroaded by the local cops and DA with the apparent approval of Duke employees” and you have a beauty of an opening press release.

Next, the PR firm is going to put the kids and/or their parents on the TV. What a lot of you might not know is that, before any appearance, the PR firm will media train the kids/parents. Interviews with major print outlets would also be used. These kids and or parents would be hot media properties. The Pr firm would be selecting media instead of the usual pushing stuff on the media.

Want to make things REAL uncomfortable for Duke? The kid or parent could express astonishment that Duke faculty seem to have such a hatred for “white boys”, and that the administration doesn’t seem to care about this hatred of “white boys”. Oh the Duke admissions office and board will just love that. More potential customers get flushed down the drain. Alumni, and other, donations start a downward spiral.

If the case kept going, you’d end up with the interrogatories and/or depositions of the 88. I’d bet that a good lawyer could get something very juicy out of some of those idiots. More fodder for the press and more PR nightmare for Duke. That would also result in a loss of income for the school.

I’m telling you. This is a DREAM for trying a case in the press.

My guess is that Duke’s board would demand that the administration make the nightmare go away. That equals a large settlement. It would never reach the verdict stage.

Anonymous said...

I live in Durham and have all my life. I believe Durham should be sued and so should Duke. That is the only way the people in authority will ever change. If they loose a multi-million $ lawsuit the next time everyone will be more cautious before pointing fingers. Durham has needed a wake-up call for several years....this well could be it.

Anonymous said...

6:20:

Point of information -- at the time of Lincoln's second inauguration the war was not over. He specifically noted he did not know how long the war would last or how much more pain it would inflict on both sides. He clearly WAS thinking the best thing for all Americans was to be guided by an absence of malice on everyone's part and a commitment on everyone's part to healing.

As much as I have personally castigated the Duke administration for its actions and inactions in this whole affair, I'm horrified and offended to see so many here want nothing more than revenge for the slights and ills they perceive. Reminds me of the black Durhamites who seem to want the lacrosse players convicted no matter what they did or did not do. Most of the people here calling for the heads of this group or that group don't really know who did what in the last nine months. An awful lot of lashing out in search of retribution IMO.

Cedarford said...

Johnboy - If the kids accept reinstatement, Duke could use that as a defense against suit. My guess is that the offer of reinstatement came on the advice of Duke’s lawyers.

Good read.
I'll believe the sincerity of Duke when they serve crow pie in the faculty lounge, and sorta invite the Gang of 88 to publicly dine on it after Brodhead and his legal team carve their own slices.

Anonymous said...

To Esquire Maryland:

Please cite legal authority to support your repeated statements that Duke is liable for statements made by its faculty members.

Anonymous said...

To 7:04 PM:

Good point. Also, many of the people calling for the heads of this group or that group do not even have any connection to Duke.

Anonymous said...

Esquire and the rest of the lawsuit bandwagon -- Duke can claim, quite reasonably, that the team was suspended because of the racist, threatening e-mail (which no one has denied), the hiring of strippers and the serving of alcohol to underage players. Those were the reasons given at the time.

From a practical standpoint, remind yourselves of what it was like in April. You're concerned about these kids' security now, but you think they should have been playing lacrosse at Duke last spring? Think about that for a second. Imagine the security bills -- and the liability Duke would have faced if some deranged guy had done to a lacrosse player what a deranged guy did to Monica Seles.

Easy to pile on Brodhead in hindsight, but would you have let the lacrosse team play? Probably not.

As for the Group of 88 -- has anyone, you know, actually tried to contact them? I had a class with Peter Wood, and he's an approachable, gracious guy. Not a thing like the ogre you guys paint him to be.

So here's my suggestion for moving forward in the better interest of Duke, its students and lacrosse players. Forgive the team for the strippers, the parties that crossed the line and the e-mail (which was only one guy). Then forgive any administrator or faculty member who steps forward and welcomes these two kids back to Duke and says, "Let's move on."

The people who shouldn't be forgiven are the people who persist in getting it wrong even with all the facts on the table. In other words, Nifong.

huesofblue said...

7:09,

You can find something in the way of legal authority to support just about any crack pot claim. Which is exactly what these claims are. Duke shouldn't be liable for the statements of its professors anymore that Brooklyn College should be liable for what KC Johnson writes on this blog.

Even in a case as extreme as this, I think it should take real lot before a University takes action against a professor for expressing unpopular or inflammitory view points. Group of 88 members should certainly be reviewed in the future, but I don't think Duke should be civilly liable for not coming down on them with a heavier fist.

Ethan

Anonymous said...

Bad point. Most of them do.

Anonymous said...

You can make all the legal arguments you want pro or con regarding liability, Duke will either get sued and settle or settle with these boys before a lawsuit gets filed. Duke does not want a jury deciding a potential award just in the same way any of the Duke lax defendants wouldnt want a Durham jury hearing their case no matter how innocent they are.

It reminds me of that illegal alien girl who got the a bad heart transplant from Duke Hospital. I wonder how much Duke paid her in a confidential settlement.

Some cases are so bad on its face that it results in a settlement if for no other reason then to avoid the negative publicity. The disadvantage of having deep pockets is that you can become a target for a lawsuit when you otherwise may not be, but the advantage is you can stroke a check or two and make it go away with no real impact on you financially.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, so many great posts!

6:55(a): perfect post

6:42: during an oral physics exam I was asked to describe pulsars. I hesitated and blurted out, "they're multitudinous." Luckily, the examiner didn't know what "multitudinous" meant and let me go on to next question--LOL anyway, glad you reconsidered your opinion

whoever wrote "good found in this morass"--agree:

Duke's academic reputation can be greatly enhanced if Brodhead spearheads an initiative to defund BS studies. Duke would then usurp Harvard's traditional position as the arbiter of "dramatic" curriculum decisions.

We need to discuss punishing our adorable Precious, KC. New laws in this regard will also be a blessing.

RP

Anonymous said...

To 7:04 PM:

Good point. Also, many of the people calling for the heads of this group or that group do not even have any connection to Duke.

7:14 PM


" As a matter of fact, we have never had a problem here in the South except in a very few isolated instances and these have been the result of outside agitators."

--Governor George C. Wallace
Letter to Pamela Martin
14 April, 1964

Anonymous said...

7:18

Are you Jason T of FODU, or are you Neville Chamberlain's great-grandson?

RP

Anonymous said...

Hi 7:14, I'm 7:18. Excellent post. It pains me to see one group of agenda-driven outsiders replacing the one that led the attacks on Duke in March and April.

There was no "win-win" scenario for Duke here. If Brodhead had done nothing, his head probably would've rolled. I don't know if he picked the best solution for minimizing damage, but I think most of us wouldn't have done any better.

Duke will get through this. Outside the confines of this blog and a couple of others, most people see Duke as a fine university with a good basketball team. Before long, the top story on Duke will be their 8-8 record in the ACC. (Yeah, I'm a little pessimistic this year -- Scheyer reminds me too much of Collins.)

Anonymous said...

To Johnboy:

While I have not done any research on the subject, I suspect that the fact that the 88 at Duke were just repeating what the DA had already assured a national television audience was true would make it very difficult to prove a case of libel or slander against any of them or to prove damages resulting from their statements as opposed to the statements contained in the 50 to 70 press conferences granted by the DA. The rest of your post basically just recommends that the LAX players and their families engage in extortion. In fact, it almost sounds like you are trolling for business.

Anonymous said...

7:18 -- You ask (of the 88) "has anyone...tried to contact them?" Yes, actually.
Houston Baker sent a grotesquely abusive e-mail to a Duke mom who contacted him. Holloway said she'd sign the statement again "in a heartbeat." Lubiano told KC never to e-mail her again. Rosenberg's responses have been bizarre (and snotty) -- ranting about the evils of drink and complaining that rich white males should hook up with rich white coeds. The gracious Mr. Wood trashed Reade Seligmann and lacrosse players in general. It hasn't been pretty.

Cedarford said...

Some sideissues with Duke are:

1. The vigilante poster created by someone at Duke after a copy od the original Crimestoppers request for help was sent to the Duke chapter of Crimestoppers and then transmuted using material off the Duke website to an accusatory poster to impugne all Lacrosse players. It was printed using Duke media resources. It was then distributed around campus by student and teacher activists whose identities are rumored to be known. N&O said they obtained a copy on the Duke Campus off a windshield in a parking lot where activists were slipping dozens of posters under windshields.

2. A tort of defamation was established by Ryan McFadden when his private email to another student was uncovered and disclosed to the national media and his name was published. If by Duke, by violating email policy, if by DPD, by defaming the student under color of law by leaking info obtained under warrant when no crime occured, just unsavory opinion expressed by one student to another with an expectation that the communication while not under mail or phone privacy law, was nevertheless privileged from unauthorized release to national media and defamation and naming by public comment by Brodhead and other Duke employees - as a vertable "thought crime" done by one student.

Anonymous said...

Here is what I would advise Colin and Reade:

Call a press conference,
accept the invite to return to school but will only return once all charges are dropped.

apologize for behavior that has angered the Duke community such as loud parties, peeing on lawns etc and that they have learned a lesson that putting themselves in bad situations can expose themselves to legal jeopardy that can result in their lives being ruined. It is a lesson that will shape their actions in future lives. They can say all this while declaring their innocene and what they are accused of goes beyond any frat boy behavior they have ever done.

Forgive the people that assumed they were guilty and ask that Durham use this opportunity to heal and forgive in all areas of campus and city life and that those in power be more careful before attacking others. Call for the disbarment of Nifong for withholding evidence and then talk about how the next wrongfully accused may not have his kind of monetary or family support and will be sent to prison for something they did not do.

Return to campus play lacrosse with your buddies and sign book deals etc.

This allows everyone to save face, puts pressure on Nifong to drop the charges, and let the State Bar disbar him.

If he delivers a well worded speech, he might find he has more supporters in the black community then he could ever find and maybe even some white liberals will like him too.

He will have Duke Alumni kissing his ass forever.

Anonymous said...

7:29 -- How recently did Wood say that?

Also, you have to remember one distinction. Plenty of people may acknowledge the tidal wave of evidence that the kids were wrongly accused of rape and yet still have a problem with the lacrosse team's behavior in general. You can agree or disagree with that, but it's not slander either way.

cedarford -- As I recall, that's not at all how McFadden's name was made public, but I'll grant that someone could potentially be in trouble if his e-mail privacy was compromised. That said, when you know one player has left campus, it wouldn't be difficult for the media horde to figure out which one. As for the "printed using Duke media resources" -- you mean they used a copier in the Bryan Center?

Anonymous said...

7:29 (the second one) -- Brilliant. If only that would happen.

The Seligmann family's note was in the ballpark, which was nice to see.

Michael said...

7:29

[apologize for behavior that has angered the Duke community such as loud parties, peeing on lawns etc and that they have learned a lesson that putting themselves in bad situations can expose]

They attended the parties. I
don't think that they ran them. And I've seen nothing
to indicate that they watered the lawns of their neighbors.

And we'll be coming up to a
year soon. So that's $80K (after tax) x 12 months. And I can imagine huge incidental costs. And I can just imagine the impact on the dads at work.

dl said...

I think what many of the Duke alumni are missing is that this case is now bigger than Duke. It has exposed corruption in both the legal and academic communities in Durham. It has opened the eyes of many people to the great potential for prosecutorial abuse, which seems to be even greater in North Carolina because of the laws there.

Johnboy's post about how a PR agency would handle this is right on. Any civil cases would never make it to a jury, Duke will settle early and for large amounts of money. The university has to put this case behind it as quickly as possible to mitigate the damage.

The main association the average person will now have with Duke is this case, not the basketball team, not the law school, but the disgusting hoax that was perpetrated on these three young men. I know this hard for alumni to swallow, but unfortunately that is the case.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:18 says:


Esquire and the rest of the lawsuit bandwagon -- Duke can claim, quite reasonably, that the team was suspended because of the racist, threatening e-mail (which no one has denied),


Which email was racist and threatening? Who did it threaten? Please be specific.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

Anon 7:26pm At least one professor, I think it is Woods can be sued for slander. He gave an interview with Newsweek on May 1 where he called the young men several names. Woods was not repeating anything from Nifong's speechs. As for the rest of the g.88 if they did the listening statement on Duke time than that makes Duke and the g.88 libal. Sorry about any spelling my spell check just went to sleep LOL..

As for Crystal just get a judgement against her would be justice enough. Even if she never pays up, she can never file bankrupcy on that kind of judgement. That will haunt her for the rest of her life, and the families can place a lean on any income she will make after she finishes school and get a real job.

Anonymous said...

good advice, Victim

2d best thing to debtor's prison

Cedarford said...

7:18 The people who shouldn't be forgiven are the people who persist in getting it wrong even with all the facts on the table. In other words, Nifong.

If only that were true - that all problems come from a single Arch-Evildoer beyond your ivy walls. And if he is toppled, all is good in the universe and nothing else needs to happen at Duke or elsewhere except forgive and move on...while cherishing the right of employees to attack and trash the students they are hired to develop on class warfare gounds..due to "free speech rights". Forget media and activist groups wanting in on the lynching.

The problem is in that that Nifong was only a manifestation, an opportunist attempting to exploit the ideology of class, gender, and racial conflict. An attack strategy Leftist PC academia has developed, and through proxies in activist minority groups, media, the legal profession - directed against white, male, athlete, heteronormative privilege.

It's a commendable "let bygones be bygones, lets circle the wagons and remember we are all one big, happy Team Duke Family, you have, 7:18.

But the damage the 3 in particular, the 46 overall, and the coach took was extensive. Millions in legal costs and damages. Millions in damage already to Duke's bottom line and harm to it's prestige. And the Gang of 88 is unrepenitant and no doubt hoping for better, slicker Nifongs to arise elsewhere and advance their ideological war against other innocents in other cities.

You may find Peter Wood nice. Many ruthless people are "nice" until you are blocking their path or your fall somehow benefits them. Then watch out. Judge him by his vicious actions and misrepresentations about Seligmann as well as by how he gives you a kindly smile on greeting you and warmly answers your question.

A sad life's lesson is that some people you meet, may not be who they try to appear to be. Teaching is still essentially a service industry, with taught behaviors in customer actions focused on creating good impressions, in the hope of good evaluations and customer feedback. In management, we did an eval of a company once where we had an employee of the year much beloved by customers with a near-perfect demeanor and found beneath the surface she was a cold bitch who absolutely detested the people she did sales with - but was smooth and convincing in her act.

I imagine the lawsuits and how vulnerable various institutions are will be known soon.

But if I were any of the accused, I would be checking with my lawyers and even bringing on some good 30% contingency tort maestros of civil litigation after a year of hell before I even thought of rushing to return to the now eagerly welcoming bosom of Team Duke telling me "all is forgiven".

Anonymous said...

Have I missed something here? What about the third student. What is his status?

Duke J.D. said...

In response to 7:35 -- Wood's article came out in April (i.e. quite early on.) According to KC (whom I believe) Wood was still declining to respond to e-mails on the subject in September. If, as you say, he really is a gracious and approachable guy (I don't know him, although he came across as neither in his article), he could do the Duke community a service by issuing some kind of statement of regret for his comments and for signing on with the 88's premature endorsement of the mob (assuming he actually does regret those things at all.) I suspect others would follow. I find it hard to believe that Ariel Dorfman, for example, still believes that the potbangers and would-be castraters deserved his thanks for "making their voices heard" and "not waiting."

Victim in Massachusetts said...

Anon 07pm you mean David. He graduated the day before he made that great speech. When these charges are dropped or they are found not guilty he will be free and clear to try and find a job like the one that was offered to him before he was wrongly indicted.

Anonymous said...

As a lawyer, I believe Duke has serious liability issues not only pertaining to the Duke 3 but regarding all the lax players. Some of the claims are difficult but provable and some I believe are easier (especially keeping the players away from lawyers and their parents). All of the claims are a PR nightmare and as many others have noted the burden of Federal Discovery will overwhelm Duke. They would be crazy not to try a settlement involving all parties.

Second, a question for the NC lawyers: what is the statute of limitations on libel and slander? Sometimes these are short and I wonder, when the litigations must start to commence.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

my last post was for Anon 8:07pm

Anonymous said...

cedarford -- Is it possible that you, from your distant vantage point, are misjudging the Duke folks in question? Why would those of us who have had a class with a G88 member be wrong about them while those of you who know them only through a couple of stray quotes (by now as chewed up and processed as convenience-store beef jerky) have the correct impression?

The people claiming some vast left-wing conspiracy in academia have been around for decades. They're often refuted by attending a class with one of the alleged conspirators.

Anonymous said...

given the seligman's statement about holding those responsible accountable, i wonder if that wash woman wahneema is worried about losing her escalade with gold spinning rims? i doubt she's too worried about it. she's probably already behind on the payments anyway.

Anonymous said...

To 7:29,
The names you use sound very familiar, but I am not sure we have really been following the same case. Do you honestly think these families are supposed to bear the brunt of these legal costs? Are you KIDDING????!!!! Plus forego damages for the extraordinary ordeal they have experienced????!!!! No accountability required from anyone...except Nifong and, OF COURSE, the innocent defendants who still need to apologize????!!!! I do not understand your logic. Perhaps this post was a joke, and I just missed it.

Observer

Kemper said...

KC,
As a Duke alum said tonight, at my club, Nifungu is not the only person fighting to keep his job. Let's not forget, if these boys don't come back to Duke, Brodhead is TOAST.
Now, I think we get into the serious negotiations, we won't sue BUT, we want a public apology from the President and the Gang of 88. They must disown their statements or they will get letters in their files, for writing signing the statement, and be asked to leave. Most are non-tenure lecturers, they will move on. A PERMEMANT REPRIMEAND IN THEIR FILE IS REQUIRED

Also we want total refund of our tuition for the spring semester. Private housing with security provided by Duke and PAID for by DUKE. We want priority to go to ANY class. Oh, and maybe our boys should get a scholarship, like Crystal? Let's call it, we spent a million and lost a year of our life, so you get to give us something that cost you nothing.

Or we can SUE!

Let's cut to the chase, WE OWN YOU YOU WILL DO AS WE SAY OR WE WILL SUE.

GET IT??

Johnboy said...

To 7:26

Not trolling for business as we do not do litigation PR. We’ve been contacted a few times about it and have turned it down. Most of our stuff is fluff. However, our principals have worked at the presidential campaign level and have experience as producers for the big three TV networks. They’re very used to the “real” world, and it’s not pretty.

It’s time to grow up if you think that big time litigation is “nice”. It’s war. The nastiest and meanest guy wins. If Duke gets dragged through the mud, it’s their own fault. Call it extortion if you want. That’s what a lot of litigation is – legal extortion. That’s the real world.

The fact is that these kids reputation is shot – forever. Their future earning potential has been grievously harmed. Their families are out millions of dollars, if not in hock up to their eyeballs, in legal fees. I can’t imagine the emotional distress, etc that they’ve suffered.

That harm was partially caused by Duke university employees, clearly acting as employees, calling for heads. If, instead of Duke university, those employees worked for IBM or General Motors, etc. they’d have been canned on the spot. It’s Duke’s problem if they choose to allow their employees to spout all sorts of inflammatory rhetoric against innocent kids.

You can trust Duke to look out for Duke. Don’t think for a minute that they give two sh-ts about these kids. Duke a big, multi million dollar business – education business. Duke’s been conferring with their lawyers, and possibly their insurance carrier, about this; I can assure you. They know they’re in deep doodoo and want to get out of it as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Maybe it’s time that some college found out that there are real, monetary consequences for allowing a bunch of radical nutjobs free reign.

Anonymous said...

> May I humbly suggest that now is not the time to fall on each other with knives and harsh words. The effort we might expend scouring the battlefield to shoot the wounded would be better spent trying to bring the Duke community back together again as best we can. If this case ends up with the school in years of open, internecine warfare among its many sides, things are just going to be worse for everyone.

You're rather LATE to the party. The knives came out six months ago. It is despicable to only decry the "warfare" that ensues if the victims of the Racial-Legal complex do not lie quietly and whimper after being stabbed, but not notice otherwise.

Worse for everyone? In the short term, sure. Just like suing a villain doesn't have any short-term positive effects (doesn't undo the crime, harms the perp), but is necessary to prevent future abuses. So would you prefer it to continue to be worse for ONLY whites so that no one has to ever endure a minor "worse for everyone"?

Anonymous said...

johnboy said:


Maybe it’s time that some college found out that there are real, monetary consequences for allowing a bunch of radical nutjobs free reign.


Indeed. This might be just what is needed to derail the bullshit diversity gravy train.

Anonymous said...

An important factor to consider is that any settlement with Duke be public. A private settlement would lose deterrent value.
Regarding the city actors, I don't know if a undisclosed settlement is even possible.

Johnboy said...

To 8:37

Settlements are almost always private. The idea is that the defendant does not want to open the door to suits from other parties.

Anonymous said...

I suspect, with so many potential plaintiffs, that details of some settlement will be leaked.
Of course, if the case moves to federal discovery, all bets are off.

Anonymous said...

Duke, Brodhead and the Media stand together: Too Little, Too late!
Lives were ruined, time was lost.

Anonymous said...

Liability? Anybody remember the Trinity Pot bangers ( a bunch of real estate agents who were trying to force students out of the neighborhood and back on campus). Many of them had financial motives in hopes of raising their local property values by forcing students out of Trinity Park. Their demonstrations included Duke employees and clergy from Duke Chapel. There are video tapes of outrageous signs and statements made defaming the lacrosse team and suggesting that the players be castrated!

As stated as part of Liestoppers Blog: Early Saturday morning the first e-mail went out from a local resident in Trinity Park expressing shock and outrage at the lacrosse team and their wall of silence. “Shame on them. Shame on the parents who raised them. Who are [sic] this so-called "men" who shout racist slurs and have no respect for women, authority, indeed, for anyone? Who do they think they are? My heart goes out to the woman who may have been assaulted...” http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/2006/11/from-wall-of-silence-to-community.html

No immunity there - just good-old-fashion defamation and libel.

Anonymous said...

Having worked as a rather high level administrator at a university with a similar number of students, I would expect Duke to offer or quietly settle with the hurt parties, including Coach Pressler. Universities know when they have done wrong, and Duke has done wrong by these students and this coach. All the attorneys have to do is send a letter of intent to file suit vs. the university, and everyone will sit down at a table and money will be exchanged. The lawsuits vs. Nifong, Durham etc. will be very public.

Locomotive Breath said...

I hope the three don't settle with Duke. It would be lovely to teach the ivory tower academicians that actions have consequences from which tenure is no shield.

Cedarford said...

Anonymous 8:15- Is it possible that you, from your distant vantage point, are misjudging the Duke folks in question? Why would those of us who have had a class with a G88 member be wrong about them while those of you who know them only through a couple of stray quotes (by now as chewed up and processed as convenience-store beef jerky) have the correct impression?

I conceed it is possible to misjudge based on only the public statements of an employee, but when you get out in the real world you in turn will more readily grasp the liability of employees attacking innocent parties.

For example, here very could well be a case that the grad students working at the University Writing Center were told they were expected to sign by their hiring faculty member. And I don't know that, not having attended the class. In that case, sure I'd sign. Same with someone on a tenure track asked to sign by a bigshot likely to be on my tenure committee. All 88 may not be "classically guilty" if pressured into signing..and evidence exists that some who refused to sign were pressured..

But as Johnboy said:

That harm was partially caused by Duke university employees, clearly acting as employees, calling for heads. If, instead of Duke university, those employees worked for IBM or General Motors, etc. they’d have been canned on the spot. It’s Duke’s problem if they choose to allow their employees to spout all sorts of inflammatory rhetoric against innocent kids.

Then you would have grounds to not punish some of the Gang of 88. But as the employer, you still have to suck up millions in damage caused by the employees and like IBM, Google, or whatever, you would not be favorably disposed at all to the ringleaders that opened you up to millions in tort claims and coerced fellow employees.
***************************
I also submit that just being in class with someone doesn't open a certain-confidence window you now possess into understanding their souls and intentions, their professional agenda, and willingness to attack you if it is ideologically driven.

People around someone who does something bad or criminal always say they are shocked, shocked! - Given how well they knew the person. Most are actually sincere.

Dozens of people rallied to Nifong at the beginning saying they knew him for decades and he was a "professional", competent and well-liked. Given most were lawyers, perhaps half were actually sincere.

The people claiming some vast left-wing conspiracy in academia have been around for decades. They're often refuted by attending a class with one of the alleged conspirators.

But then again at Duke, past controversies at AAAS and the English Department's fall into "academic receivership" have led to open debate by faculty and outside academics that disclosed that hiring was to nearly exclusively take in candidates who embraced critical Theory. Who saw teaching and literary/history research and publication as primarily a path to attain "social justice" by targeting "White male privilege".

Which confirms Left-wing conspiracy in hiring and tenure decisions. Which is confirmed in some of the Gang of 88 saying they had a duty to attack politically given their strong academic beliefs. Which is confirmed in several Gang of 88 member's publications on how academic theory can best be transformed into "collective action" in the real world to achieve justice against "oppressor classes".

As I alluded to in a previous post, people in service jobs put on a certain amount of show that is just a tad different in how they are or what they believe in their personal life to doing an Oscar-winning act in their job. Remember, most teachers are extensively trained and coached in classroom behaviors and how to act working with students.

bendover said...

Are you kidding go back to Duke with 90+% of the black community thinking I am guilty. I would be in fear that I would be raped, by a broomstick. No, excuse me, sexually assaulted by a broom stick.

Anonymous said...

Many universities have nowadays various pseudo-science depts, such as African-American, ethnic studies and women studies. AA exists because of the race quotas; not enough blacks qualify for real sciences.

I think it is time get rid of these pseudo-sciences. Let David Dukes and Al Sharptons have their own separate pseudo university.

One more thing: I hope Jesse Jackson and Al "Tammy" Sharpton get sued for racist civil rights violations.

Anonymous said...

To all I say this:

Let Duke have the courage to do the right thing.

Duke recognizes the boys have suffered enough. We know it made mistakes, to be sure, and I for one look forward to news of the departure of the Gang of 88.

But for now, let Duke have the courage to do the right thing.

We should support the boys to come back. In spite of all they faced, they have learned they were never alone.

Help came. Maybe not from the University, but from those who truly make the University special. I look forward to my own trip back to campus.

Kemper said...

A settlement is easy, the money doesn't belong to anyone, it's endowment money. Duke could piss away $20 million and not miss it. I am thinking the Trustees will give it up, but Brodhead will take the fall. I know many of these trustees and they understand their responsibility, and what real money is. They'll pay and it will be the beginning of Duke returning to a NON-PC campus. Let's note Judge Levi, just took the Law school deanship. A great step for Duke, so Duke has a lot going for it. Pay up, move on.

I am a damn optimist. Oh, even if Duke gives it up, Nifungu will get disbarred and Durham will get sued, unless Duke requires as part of their settlement that no one goes after Durham, They might do that to "start the healing".

FARF

Kemp



Kemp

Hey said...

Sure I have an alterior motive: I want to show universities that they shouldn't fear the NBP and the rest of the raging Leftists on campus. Rather they should fear their alumni, their students, their prosepective students, and the parents of same.

Why should we still the Lax players be magnamanious to people who have done nothign to deserve it? To save your precious Duke that despises you and snickers behind your back about your cluelessness and horrid bourgeois tastes and habits? To save Leftists profs that want to destroy eveything that actually attracts students to Duke? To save people that wish all athletes were off campus?

HELLS NO.

The families won't be settling. As a great lady once said "The Lady's not for turning!" All of the players Mom's are going to want prof's heads on the walls, skins as rugs, and relics of Liefong as nicknacks for the trophy wall. You know what else? They're going to get their macabre interior decorations, with most of it going to the Moms of the 3.

You start a big fight by going after a mother's child. Especially Upper or Upper Middle Class mothers. Especially when you lie, cheat, and steal to do it, engaging in a conspiracy to violate their civil rights, a conspiracy to libel, slander, and demean them, and threaten their persons and their future on account of their race and origins.

Go Moms of the 3! Go LAX Moms! And GO vicious, flesh eating, piranha trail lawyers of the Mommas!

Anonymous said...

I think Broadhead is trying to do the right thing, but his actions would be more effective if he publicly made his statements. Simply put, President Broadhead should have had a press conference to ask Nifong to recuse himself from the case and another one to announce that the students are welcomed back by Duke. Both would have been much more powerful in terms of asserting his leadership as well as bettering the image of Duke.

Anonymous said...

I think Broadhead should be forced to resign (by alumni).

Anonymous said...

fruit loops;
loops of fruit;
not just a cereal, but all of the colors of the rainbow.

look, down in your cereal bowl, the colors of the rainbow bobbing, no drowning in the milk, the WHITE milk

RACISM IN A CEREAL BOWL

Maya Angelou

Michael said...

A good example of companies dumping employees (okay, so they resigned for the "good of the company) is HP and their
spy scandal. They had a fair
number of high-ranking employees/board members that
ultimately left. Including
the Chief Ethics Officer that rubber-stamped something that he should have known better about.

HP got off easy in California in the civil part for about $15 million. I think that there are still criminal charges floating around.

There's a post at FODU on
their attempt to bring the
88 back into the fold. As
you can imagine, it wasn't
terribly successful.

Anonymous said...

sister maya is saying that the cereal bowl represents america and how all of the diversity is really why you come to the cereal bowl. it is the sweetness of the early morning breakfast that brings this nation of immigrants together in terms of that.

but the white milk represents oppresion that is forced upon the sweet diversity of this land with respect to the spiritual essence up in here.

she is very smart.

Wahneema Lubiano
(Excerpted from Mugged by a Metaphor - forthcoming)

Kemper said...

Number one sons says Reade going to Yale, Collin not coming back.

Perhaps Brodhead knew this and so his action is TOTAL Bull Sh**. If my son knows this, it's a good sign that Brodhead knew it.
Well, maybe not the man is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Who says that AA studies dept hasn't produced anything of value. look at the postings by maya angelou and wahneema lubiano (girl, i knew you were smart).

Anonymous said...

cedarford -- I've actually been in the real world for a quite a while, though I can see how you would have thought otherwise.

But it wasn't eons ago, which is why I can say with some authority that it's rather incredible to think faculty members would be pressuring kids to sign petitions or face the consequences.

Yes, some faculty members have political stances in left field. (And right field, if you look in departments other than the ones being beaten up here.) But in the classroom, they're teachers first.

Students who actually took classes with the most politically strident profs occasionally joked about their political differences. But they always loved the classes. I knew plenty of devout Republicans who took classes with all the lit-crit crowd, and I heard no complaints.

Here in Blogland, where we all identify ourselves solely by political preference, that seems hard to believe. In the real world (including the world within the ivory tower), it's reality.

(Frankly, I had the vague impression Peter Wood leaned right. No idea whether that's accurate.)

Back to the lawsuit crowd -- Suppose Brodhead had gotten wind of the Group of 88's intention and called them in to say they couldn't print it. What do you suppose would've happened?

Anonymous said...

I would sue everyone of the people I felt lied and defamed my son.I would assume The money I would get from Duke would be enough to pay the lawyers to sue everyone else. Even if I didn,t win half the cases I wouldn't care.The people that hurt my child deserve to suffer.That is the reaction of a mother.People are so silly to think women are kinder ,not if you come after our family

Parent said...

To 7:14 Perhaps they aren't Duke alum, nor in the Duke community, but may have sons and or daughters in High School deciding where to go. You are a disgrace to Duke if you are an alum or student.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me the number of posters who are just soooo anxious to see Duke take a fall. They want to "get" Duke, make them pay, trash the university's reputation, and with it hurt thousands of other students. I knew Duke was hated by many, but I really thought all of this time we were about due process for these boys, and making sure that their names were cleared.

The legal issues are the important ones here. They still have very serious charges pending. Nifong is still the DA. He is in la-la land as to how much trouble he is in, making statements yesterday that he is not part of the problem, and that he has to help Durham heal. We are trying to:
1) get him to drop the charges
2) get the NC Bar to continue piling on the complaints, including his refusal to meet with the defense attorneys with regard to exculpatory evidence, his in-court remarks that were unprofessional, the illegal line-up procedure and of course, the collusion to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence.
3) get Nifong out of office before this happens to ANYONE else at his hands.
4) punish the DPD officers who lied to the GJ, helped hide the DNA evidence, conducted an illegal search of the dorm rooms, falsified reports (ie: Gottlieb's notes)and conduct an illegal lineup--among other things which could probably be added to the list.
5) Prosecute the false accuser.
6)Make sure that the charges are all expunged from Reade's, Collin's and Dave's record to clear their names.

Those should be the uppermost on the list of our pursuits, and are most certainly the most important to the families. When the first 4 are taken care of, the 6th can happen as a result of the obvious false prosecution.

As to Duke and its liability--I am not a lawyer, so I am not sure where this goes. Duke did not have to reinstate them, but I am so glad they did, and I really think it was the right thing to do. This helps send another message to Nifong, the community and its leaders, and the Democratic political machine in NC that Duke does not believe the charges. Is this late in coming? Probably. But I have to think that there were some who only a month ago still thought Nifong would be able to take this to trial and get a conviction if it wasn't moved out of Durham. He seemed to have everyone in his back pocket, enabling him to continue his fun and games. If the defense had lost their motion to compel the DNA evidence that was withheld, where would we be today??

I don't think any university in this country would have been anything but very careful about felony charges against students, with a crazed community up in arms and the NBP coming to town. They have no control over a group of activist students printing up copies of a wanted poster--any student could have made those--does that make the university liable?

I am angry about the 88, and they are disgusting if they cannot apologize for their rush to judgement. But I remember during the Vietnam and Watergate days how many professors around this country were protesting, publishing and committing illegal acts to let their views be known. That was a horrendous time that probably tore apart the students and faculty on many a campus.

Duke is a great university, with many other faculty members who are wonderful. Students are learning, researching, writing, volunteering and (yes) playing, and becoming incredibly productive members of society. Why would anyone want to destroy that and hurt thousands of those kids who are working hard??

Yes, I'm a Duke mom, and proud of it. My son worked hard to get in, is busting his rear to do well, and oves it!!!! I would let our youngest child go there, too, if that is what he wants.

Let's focus on the due process here, and free Collin, Reade and Dave from Nifong's ridicuous chokehold.

duke2009mom

Anonymous said...

agree 9:52

This is a discussion of ideas.

Duke affiliation is irrelevant.

Michael said...

I'd like to see more discussion on the liability of Nifong, Durham and the police
department, perhaps in a separate topic.

Hoping, of course, that it makes it into
the media and puts pressure on those
groups to dismiss the charges.

Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that since the lineup procedure allowed 'no wrong answers', the other players were placed in the same danger as the unlucky three.

Perhaps they are owed as well.

P.s. - am an outsider and have no relationship with any student - my daughter goes to Wash U.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Nifong has no way out. What does he do?

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson:

Great interview on the Canadian radio!

Anonymous said...

Let Duke stew for while longer,THEY WILL GET THERE JUST DESERTS!!!!!

WE NEED TO MAINTAIN THE PRESSURE ON NIFONG,NPD, AND DOJ. PLEASE?

Anonymous said...

"As circumstances have evolved in this extraordinary case, we have attempted to balance recognition of the gravity of legal charges with the presumption of your innocence."

Nine months later Duke wants to give weight to the presumption of innocence? I thought defendants were presumed innocent from day one until proven guilty. But not in the PC world of today's universities.

I hope they screw the Duke administration and especially the 88.

Duke BA '72, MD '82 but not proud of it just now

Anonymous said...

Bill O'Reilly is going to make it his project to list all the news outlets, newspapers, and all forms of media who latched onto Nifong's lies and attacked the three lacrosse players in the beginning and make a big show of embarrassing them.
This will be good.

Also, Greta has a good show on this tonight.

Anonymous said...

To those posters who wonder why others are commenting and are interested in this case, you have just shown your ignorance.
Hope you didn't graduate from Duke.

This case transcends Durham, NC. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

The criminal case is over. O-V-E-R. The bottom line is that the AV in the case will have to testify in the hearing about the line-up, which is of dubious constitutionality. There is no way on God's green earth that she will be able to withstand the examination of the defense attorneys. None. My guess is that she doesn't even show up. The defense will move to chuck the line-up, and Nifong won't even oppose it. Without the line-up, there's no case. Dismissed. O-V-E-R.

Then the dynamic changes. "Exonerated" or "cleared" will be the new description in the media. And these guys will get paid.

Anonymous said...

It's way past time that Crystal Gail Mangum faced the spotlights. Her name should be made public just as her victims' names have all year long.
Enough of this coddling bullshit.

Joe T. said...

Being a low class, but logical, guy...I'd give Duke the middle finger.

huesofblue said...

duke2009mom,

Very well said. Duke really is a great school and this debacle isn't going to kill that. You and your child should both be proud.

Anonymous said...

anyone who just saw greta's show can now tell me that i was right! ted williams said that the black community is outraged that nifong would drag the FA's name through the mud. this is all his fault.

williams and allred now say that its really nifong's fault but he will try to make it the FA's fault by putting her on the stand in Feb and then she will fail to id the defendants.

so, they conclude, nifong is a devious troll who just used her and the black community

PPAAAHHHHHHLEEEEEEEZZZZEEEE. they lapped it up; they loved it. the idea of throwing white boys in jail even though they weren't guilty had every black man sexully aroused.

but look at my prior posts. i told you they would throw nifong under the bus. they want to both avoid responsibility for their actions and divert attention from the braoder social issues that this case has uncovered and focus on yet another white male, mr. da nifong. my only comfort is that this time the white male who's head will sit atop the pike deserves it.

mr nifong - so what do you think of diversity now?

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a lot of wishful thinking on this comment thread.

Suing someone for defamation (libel or slander) in the United States is extremely difficult. The seminal case of American defamation law is Times v. Sullivan (1964). In this case, the Supreme Court set a very high bar for libel suits by public officials: the statement must not only be proven false, but "actual malice" must be shown. Actual malice means that the person making the statement either knew the statement was false, or did not care whether it was true or false. Later cases have extended this not only to public figures in general, but also to matters of public concern. Under existing law, the Duke lacrosse players would almost certainly count as limited-purpose public figures on issues regarding the charges.

Furthermore, ever since Times - in fact, as far back as the John Peter Zenger case - American courts have recognized that libel laws had the potential to chill protected free speech. Therefore, courts generally err on the side of the defendants in such cases. In a case involving a university, the potential chilling effect on other forms of scholarship would be so great that I find it very difficult to believe that any court would allow a libel or slander suit to proceed on that basis. The "Gang of 88" are quite safe; any lawsuit against them would almost certainly be thrown out very early in the proceedings. If you disagree with that, please cite one post-1964 case in which a university was successfully sued for the speech or writings of its professors. Or, for that matter, in which university professors were successfully sued for speech or writings made in their official capacities. I've seen a lot of loose talk, but no one has cited cases. If some of the other posters are attorneys, as they claim, I certainly hope they don't go into court with nothing but bald assertions to back them up.

Now, it is certainly possible that there might be other legitimate grounds for a lawsuit against Duke, related to the unorthodox way that the requests for counsel were handled. That is beyond the scope of my knowledge. It's also possible, as some have suggested, that Duke might settle the case for public relations reasons. But a libel or slander suit is a nonstarter.

Nifong has far more exposure due to his bizarre, foolish, and incomprehensible decision to step outside his prosecutorial role to interfere in the investigation. Did Nifong think he was Jack McCoy on Law & Order? Sometimes I think that is the only explanation for his bizarre behavior in this case.

-Josh G.

Anonymous said...

what or who is FA?

Anonymous said...

To me:

To Esquire Maryland:

Please cite legal authority to support your repeated statements that Duke is liable for statements made by its faculty members.


To this poster:

That's a tall order. Vicarious liability would start in the 11th century. NC is very much a common law state, their laws are not unfamiliar to a Maryland attorney, which similarly shares contributory negligence as well (one of four jurisdictions).

The concept is called "Respondeat Superior." It is Black Letter Law, well established, and quite viable to this day. Thus, there is no difference between Duke getting sued for the statements of its employees and IBM getting sued for the statements of its employee. The legal doctrine, based in vicarious liability, is the same.

Hope that helps.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Anonymous said...

FA = false accuser ?
AV = aledged victim ?
Precious = Crystal Gail Mangum

Anonymous said...

How about a new job for Nifong...

Attorney General in Hillary admin?
Running for Senate?
Head of Ethics, Reuters?

Victim in Massachusetts said...

9:26p.m. you have a point there from what I hear mommy Seligmann is no one to play with. Someone fucked with her son and now she is going to play, I really need to see this. Power to all of the Duke3 Mom.

Anonymous said...

10:45pm--- Well said, Windbag!

Anonymous said...

Esquire in Maryland---You're so hot and brainy.

I think I'm in love!

bill anderson said...

The issue here is not just libel or slander. Duke University has a contractual responsibility toward its students, and by permitting them to be told in class that they were rapists, and having their pictures about campus and the like, the university clearly broke the obligations of that relationship.

As the Maryland Esquire noted, we are dealing with vicarious civil liability, something that is part of common law. For example, if a homosexual student had to run a gauntlet for several days of students screaming anti-gay slurs at him and the university did nothing, the university would be liable.

There is no difference here. The charges were false, and demonstrably so. And whether or not people believed them, the university had an obligation to protect the students from harassment from other students and faculty. Clearly, that did not happen.

Keep in mind that if a suit is filed against Duke, the university would have to give all of its correspondence and any recollections of meetings related to this case. I suspect that there would be some things that Duke would not want to get out (i.e. the role of Bob Steel in this, doubts that the players were guilty, but refusing to do anything but bow down to Nifong).

The Duke lawsuits -- and there will be suits -- will never go to court. They will be settled out-of-court, and the lawyers will be rich, and the players's families will have someone else paying the legal bills.

Anonymous said...

MD Esq., Let me get this straight... To make sure the folks without JD's follow this clearly, Please do me the favor of explaining more clearly the following three points

1) A grand jury indicts three lacrosse players of serious crimes. How is it possibly legally actionable for Duke to suspend the players pending the trial on these charges? Why not sue the grand jury, while you're at it?

2) Posters of the lacrosse team are ANONYMOUSLY posted around campus. How is the Duke administration liable for this action that could have been could have been carried out by anyone, with or without university affiliation?

3) A goup of professors make irresponsible comments. Show me one, just one, case where a university was held liable for slander or defamation for such an action.


The chances of a successful action against Duke by the accused border on slim to zero. There will be no settlements, nor should there be. Both Duke and the public were misled by an irresponsible public servant.

Anonymous said...

11:59: Let me guess..you are a black "studies" major or prof at Duke?

Anonymous said...

At the very least Nifong should be provided a boyfriend when he goes to the slammer.
Mikey will make some big guy a "purty" shower mate.

Hehehehe

Anonymous said...

Rosa Parks was arrested, tried and convicted of violating a local ordinance for refusing to give up her seat on a bus. For this, she went down in history as the "mother of the civil rights movement"
What accolades will these young men receive for giving up a year of their lives(and most likely more), their reputations, a year lost in sports participation and their education,the $$ spent & not to mention the mental anquish they have suffered and all in the name of the same thing Rosa Parks claimed she suffered at the hands of, discrimination. I assure you there will be no accolades for these young men.

fruit loops;
loops of fruit;
not just a cereal, but Nifong, Mike Nifong

look, down at your rape kit,
the DNA of five different men
hidden in a lab report,
no, purposely excluded because the accused were white

RACISM IN A DNA Lab

CF said...

11:59
On a far less egregious case, Gonzaga was held responsible for its employees defamation of a student.
Loce parentis or just loco?

I'm sure there are more such cases. I spent one minute on Google to find this.
The school bulletin was considered a contract between the university and its students and a breach of contract count was also allowed.

Anonymous said...

To Esquire Maryland:

Being an attorney myself, I am quite familiar with the doctrines of vicarious liability and respondeat superior. However, I find the analysis provided by the 7:07 PM commenter to be far more persuasive than yours on the issue of whether Duke can be held liable for statements made by its professors about the LAX team and the alleged rape. I asked you to cite relevant caselaw supporting your position, and the 7:07 PM commenter has also asked for relevant citations, but you have not provided any citations. You have only provided vague references to doctrines like vicarious liability and respondeat superior, which will not cut it. One of the problems with discussion boards like this one is that you get a lot of people pontificating about issues like this one when they really do not know what they are talking about, and that really bugs me, as you can tell. Thank you to the 7:07 PM poster for providing a more thorough and professional analysis of this issue.

Anonymous said...

How about suing NCCU?
The NAACP?
The escort services?

highcotton said...

With utmost deference and respect, Professor, I would submit that it is no longer possible for Duke to do "the right thing". The time for actions based on a sense of integrity, a fundamental belief in fairness, or a simple commitment to due process has long since passed. We have now entered the stage where their lawyers have advised them to CYA at all costs. To offer kudos when they do so is beneath you.

I personally abhor liability suits. I believe, very strongly, that tort reform is in our nation's best interests. However, the defense lawyers for Duke, Durham, Nifong, et. al. better pray I'm not selected for this jury. This is such an egregious case of personal injury that I would find for the 3 primary complaintants in the amount of 25 million each minimum, and for each of the other 40 team members, $2M.

As another poster said, it's time our academic institutions started recognizing that they're responsible for the moonbats they employ. Ward Churchill wasn't an aberration -- he's who's teaching our children. And if you doubt it, read all the apologist posts from people who claim the reaction would have been the same at any other university. The scary thing is that they're right!

We parents have been so sheep-like that our kids' futures are being determined by the Brodheads of the world. (Because God forbid somebody crazy like Summers might take charge!) I'm thinking I would prefer an academic world where the gut-wrenching question of abortion could be debated honestly and without rancor, where nobody with any sense majored in African-American Studies or Feminine Whatever, where a PhD program in either would be hooted at derisively, where ROTC programs were not only welcome but honored (because that's where our heroes come from, doncha know), where pies were not allowed to be thrown in the faces of conservative speakers and Jewish students were not discriminated against. But, hey, that's just me...

Since it's an imperfect world, I'll settle for seeing Reade and Collin and David's parents whupass until the great state of North Carolina is reelin'!

GPrestonian said...

4:21 Earl Hofert:

Earl - gotta hand it to ya, dude! MAJOR props on the 'That's the first time I've seen a "straw vulture" argument. Kudos for the originality.' comment you made on abyss2hope! ;>)

Hey said...

Just to repeat, we're not hating on Duke qua Duke.

We're opposing the horrid treatment of its student athletes by its faculty and administration for the crime of being student athletes and being part of the majority of students who come from good families of means. A private university staffed by people who loathe the students who can attend a private university is at WAR with itself. The administration should not be assisting the town's police to persecute its students. The administration should not be assisting the faculty to persecute its students. The faculty should not be assisting or encouraging the town to persecute its students.

But they did.

The point is to send a message to Duke's administration and faculty, and the administration and faculty of all public and private universities that they can no longer conduct their war against their customers and paymasters. That there will be dramatic consequences for violating all of their duties (loco parentis, fiduciary, contractual, ethical, constitutional) with respect to their students. That tenure doesn't mean that you can committ crimes with impunity, lie with impunity, slander/libel/demean with impunity. That those checks mean something and that these young people who are in search of an education must be treated with respect.

I would be doing the same thing were it any other university. I have done the same with my own Alma Mater, and with respect to the actions of other universities such as Columbia (Minutemen, harrassment and persecution of Jewish students, etc), Dartmouth (persecution of fraternities, unjust changes to alumni constitution, insurgent trustee elections, etc), Concordia (harrassment and persecution of Jewish students, attacks on free speech and speakers), and York (ibid) to name but a few.

We pay for the buildings, we build the endowment, we create the reputation. We're then told to shut up and take it, and were told to shut up and take it when we were students. AWW HELL NO!

This is an opportunity where the faculty went so far over the line into criminality and civil liability. Where the town did the same. We couldn't save Summers thanks to the weakness of Harvard Corp, no matter how right he was and how beloved by the undergrads. We did manage to foil the attempted destruction of the governance of Dartmouth. There are many battles at every major university across the continent, and we are a united front with a common cause.

We will roll back the 60s and the filthy hippy profs. We will eliminate the PC police, their illegitimate and unconstitutional rules. We will smite asinine policies like Antioch College's manual on sexual relations.

It is for ourselves, our children, and the ongoing good name of our institutions.

I know why Duke alumni of good will are worried that it is out of animus that so many are focusing on this case. But it is not because of our dislike of Duke or Duke alumni that we do this. It is out of love for Duke, Duke alumni, and the institutions and alumni across the continent that are beset by the same problems, and our fears for same.

You can guess my political preferences, it's obvious. When my party displeases me and does things that I believe to be against its interest, I gather my comrades to rail against policies and withhold money until those steps have been reversed or I can be persuaded that those steps are absolutely necessary for the future success of the party. Currently I and many of my fellows are "slightly" displeased with the party and we are urging change: a recommittment to its basic brand promise and identity. It is not out of hate for my party, but out of love and a hatred of the mistakes that it has made. My actions, and those of nearly all outsiders, are for the same reasons with the same motivations.

We're not here to bury DUKE! We're here to bury the administration and faculty. Slicing off a large chunk of the endowment to compensate the players is a warning. Faculty and administrators that DECREASE the endowment get moved out, and don't get good offers. Faculty and administrators that reduce applications, reduce yield, and reduce the quality of the student body aren't promoted.

Duke will be hurt for years by this, but with a new president and a large number of new faculty, it will emerge stronger. Durham will have been taught a lesson, Duke will have been taught a lesson, and all other Universities and Towns will have been taught a lesson.

We got at least 99 problems and Liefong's one.

Anonymous said...

I hope both lacrosse players transfer to Hopkins. It's a better university anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Duke prof and recently learned about this blog. I have never posted to a blog before, but after reading this thread wanted to offer some observations.

1) Professor KC Johnson has performed a valuable public service in his careful research and communication on this case. Uncovering Nifong's behavior has served as a valuable civics lesson to me (and many others, I have no doubt) on the power and dangers of an unscrupulous DA.

2) The notion that Colin and Reade would be at personal risk if they returned to Duke strikes me as a extremely unlikely. The noisy protesters at the outset of this case have become remarkably silent lately, including the 88 faculty who signed the open letter. Virtually everyone I've spoken to recognizes there was a rush to judgment, both locally and nationally, and I sense a strong desire to set things right. I tend to think they would be warmly received by most of the campus. In terms of the Durham police, they are under a national microscope and any intimidating behavior would be front page news.

3) I agree that the administration mishandled some aspects of this case, but I thought at the time and still think that suspension was appropriate, and had very little to do with the calls of the Group of 88. Faculty groups at Duke and elsewhere (both liberal and conservative) routinely demand action from the administration pm various issues. In my view, the key driver was the legal process. Without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I don't see how any university administration could simply dismiss a grand jury indictment out of hand. As the case has unraveled and the actual facts have come to light, I'm glad the suspension has been lifted.

From reading the posts, folks obviously differ over this last point, but I wanted to share the views of someone in the eye of the storm.

Thanks for your continuing research KC.

Locomotive Breath said...

With regards to Maya Angelou, if you're so race obsessed that you see racism in your Fruit Loops then you're a bit of a Fruit Loop yourself. In the apocraphal words of SF "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".

locomotive breath said...

rats

"apocryphal"

jpj said...

duke2009mom, 10:41,

you wrote:

> Duke is a great university (...)
> Why would anyone want to destroy
> that and hurt thousands of those
> kids who are working hard?
> (...) I'm a Duke mom, and proud of
> it. My son worked hard to get in,
> is busting his rear to do well, and
> loves it!

and:

> Duke really is a great school and this
> debacle isn't going to kill that.

It is not the seriously damaged lacrosse team members and their families who by seeking compensation will destroy Duke, nor the bystanders who call for real justice to be done. Because what they seek is justice and justice never is destructive.

Who already started the train of destruction down into Duke is the university's own administration. The administration did so by failing to rein back or even distance themselves from the pernicious behaviour of their employees towards the 46 victims. It thereby allowed these characters to act as the university's agents -- in the view both of prospective students as well in -- I expect -- a judge's view.

No, the "debacle" will not kill Duke, in the sense that this university will continue existing. But I expect it to be changed. Duke has doomed itself to death by Google. Scarce will be the white, ambitious student who will decide to expose him- or herself to a faculty now internationally known for its venomous contempt. And let me add that scarce will be also the academic teacher of integrity who will find himself attracted to work in such an environment.

This decline will only accelerate if the perpetrators within the faculty are allowed to get away with only a painless chastisement. Your son's interests or the university's would not be served by this. And not many parents will tell their son or daughter: "I know they violated all their contractual and fiduciary duties, but the faculty members who did this were told off to be ashamed of themselves, so it's all right now."

Moreover, the consequences these people will face will mark a national precedent. What do you want this precedent to be? What standard of faculty behaviour to you want to find accepted in the university your children study?

Anonymous said...

Duke should sue Durham and Durham Co. -- as part of the settlement, they should be allowed to secede.
The loss to the tax base would be well earned and this would help to keep the Durham PD at bay.


Duke's damage are astronomical -- isn't Durham liable for any of these damages? Shouldn't Duke be able to get something in exchange for not suing Durham? What would be a wise course of action here?

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Duke mom and Duke professor for their words of wisdom.

Anonymous said...

12:53 - Thank you for your statements regarding your position on vicarious liability.

It would appear that your position is that the vicarious liability and respondeat superior doctrines exist, except when Duke's employees make defamatory statements during the course of their employment. In the "Duke Exception" to the vicarious liability doctrine, employees of Duke University act alone, and no liability can be imputed to their employer for their actions.

However, as you have seen fit to carve out the Duke exception, yet also acknowledge that vicarious liability and respondeat superior exist, perhaps you can share with all of us from where you have pulled your authority to make this rather extraordinary claim. As you state, people come on the internet all the time and make claims without supporting them. One of the preferred methods is to demand authority while simultaneously denying that an allegation is true.

In short, given the fact, acknowledged by you, that my legal reasoning is sound, and as you are so familiar with the doctrines of respondeat superior and vicarious liability, it is you who has the burden of proof in this case to share with the rest of us what possible exception exists that could get Duke University off the hook for the actions of its agents. Might I suggest a Lexis search? Try the following keywords - "employee," "respondeat superior," "liability," "employer."

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

AMac said...

Duke Prof 6:56am --

Thanks for contributing your thoughts to this thread. You may not realize how unusual they are. To my knowledge, only three or four Duke faculty members have stood up for Due Process, much less taken the side of the falsely accused students. Contrast that with the circa ninety faculty who either signed the Group of 88 statement or piled on later, in the form of Herald-Sun pieces or defamatory remarks about members of the lacrosse team. Of those ~90 individuals, only one (Prof. Crowley) has had the integrity to retract misstatements on learning of their falsity.

So, Duke Prof, by contributing what you wrote at 6:56am, you have placed yourself in honorable but regrettably rare company.

You also posted anonymously. Unfortunately, there is thus no way for readers to tell if your position is as you claim.

Since your identity as a faculty member is key to evaluating the importance of your comment, I would hope that you would write under your own name. I'm sure, however, that there are reasons why you have chosen not to do so. Can you share them?

Perhaps you could consider establishing your bona fides by emailing Prof. Johnson, to say "I, Prof. X at Duke, wrote the 6:56am comment; please keep my name in confidence." Prof. Johnson could then, if he wished, offer a comment to confirm that you are indeed on Duke's faculty.

In any event, I am glad that you discovered this blog, and pleased that you chose to contribute your insights on the case.

AMac said...

Duke Prof 6:56am --

Thanks for contributing your thoughts to this thread. You may not realize how unusual they are. To my knowledge, only three or four Duke faculty members have stood up for Due Process, much less taken the side of the falsely accused students. Contrast that with the circa ninety faculty who either signed the Group of 88 statement or piled on later, in the form of Herald-Sun pieces or defamatory remarks about members of the lacrosse team. Of those ~90 individuals, only one (Prof. Crowley) has had the integrity to retract misstatements on learning of their falsity.

So, Duke Prof, by contributing what you wrote at 6:56am, you have placed yourself in honorable but regrettably rare company.

You also posted anonymously. Unfortunately, there is thus no way for readers to tell if your position is as you claim.

Since your identity as a faculty member is key to evaluating the importance of your comment, I would hope that you would write under your own name. I'm sure, however, that there are reasons why you have chosen not to do so. Can you share them?

Perhaps you could consider establishing your bona fides by emailing Prof. Johnson, to say "I, Prof. X at Duke, wrote the 6:56am comment; please keep my name in confidence." Prof. Johnson could then, if he wished, offer a comment to confirm that you are indeed on Duke's faculty.

In any event, I am glad that you discovered this blog, and pleased that you chose to contribute your insights on the case.

Anonymous said...

From the WRAL web site: Larry Moneta, vice president of Student Affairs at Duke, said the university has no regrets looking back or moving forward, even though the criminal case is not resolved.

"I think we've been perfectly appropriate," he said. "Dr. Brodhead is very clear that the court activity should be separate from the university decision-making."

So the official university position is that it has "no regrets". That says it all.

Johnboy said...

To Esquire, Md:

One thing you failed to note in your response to the person questioning you: The ad and statements by the group of 88 were actually used as one basis by the defense lawyers in the change of venue motion – clearly stating how those actions precluded the defendants from receiving a fair trial. That motion stated how the actions of these Duke employees, clearly identifying themselves as Duke employees, inflamed the situation – hurting the 3 kids chance at justice. That’s very damning to Duke.

The initial actions of the group of 88, like the ad, were done in early April – more than 1 month before indictment. The case was only at the investigative stage, yet these Duke employees called for heads. That predates most inflammatory statements by the DA and, to a large extent, was based on the professed dislike of the lax players because they were white and privileged. They could not claim that they were just following what the DA said.

Hey said...

Duke Prof: I never saw anything wrong with the suspension of the students, pursuant to a policy of separation when faced with serious charges. That's an appropriate response and a neutral one.

The problems start with the 88. Then there's the statements from the administration that were not neutral. Then there's the interference with the LAX players rights to counsel and due process, the complete abandonment of loco parentis duties, the attempt to interfere with relations between parent and child...

That's where Duke was wrong, that's why Duke needs to pay, and pay, and pay.

The appropriate response would have been: "We are saddened by these charges. We hope and trust that none of our students would have ever done something like this and we pray that they will be found innocent of these charges. We are giving them time off from school to deal with the personal challenges facing them and hope that they will be able to resume their studies after dealing with these horrible and disturbing charges."

Duke, uh, didn't do that.

Now Duke is waving its neutral policy and inviting them to come back even while they are facing serious, violent felony charges. That makes you wonder. It also acts to highlight Duke's previous position and to vitiate their claim of a neutral policy evenly applied, making the previous demands of separation seem malicious.

d said...

The Gonzaga suit, linked by cf at 12:44, is pretty interesting and involved defamation regarding sexual assault. I'm going to read it more closely, but two aspects would raise problems as a blueprint. The defamatory statements were made only by university officials to other university officials. A qualified privilege exists for defamatory statements inside an organization but that privilege is lost if repeating the statements is not required by their jobs. In that instance the repeating of statements was not within the scope of their employment. I didn't get how that court reached that conclusion but still held Gonzaga in on that count under respodeat superior.

The other aspect is how a university can be liable under the federal civil rights act (known colloquially as Section 1983). The hook was the violations FERPA, not itself giving a private cause of action providing the federal right the violation of which might be actionable under 1983. "State action" must still be found, but in the Gonzaga case the university official refused (based on the defamatory statements) to write the moral fitness certification required for the plaintiff to get his state teacher's certificate.

duke09parent said...

Clarification on the Gonzaga case:

"FERPA, not itself giving a private cause of action BUT providing the federal right the violation of which might be actionable under 1983."

Also, in order for an employer to be liable for the acts of its employees, ordinarily the acts had to have been performed within the scope of the employment.

Anonymous said...

To Esquire Maryland:

You are the one who stated that Duke is liable for the statements made by its professors, so the burden is on you to provide citations to legal authority to support your position other than just vague references to vicarious liability and respondeat superior. Also, in my prior post, I meant to say that I agree with the analysis provided by the 11:07 PM commenter.

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