Monday, September 17, 2007

The Civil Suit

The last week or so has featured widespread local discussions about the prospect of a civil settlement between the falsely accused lacrosse players and the city of Durham. The AP reported that attorneys for the three players demanded a payment of $30 million—plus Durham’s enactment of meaningful criminal justice reforms. The attorneys have made it clear that there would be no deal if Durham were interested in a financial payoff alone.

The reaction from some quarters was predictable. The N&O’s Barry Saunders penned a race-baiting column falsely asserting that Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty had “hired themselves a stripper.” This false claim, and Saunders’ other taunts, only bolstered the falsely accused students’ case against Durham, by showing the continuing harm to their reputations—something Saunders might have wanted to consider before he wrote. And Saunders, hyper-sensitive to the slightest of perceived slights against African-Americans, appeared to be unconcerned with his own perceived slight against the religion of the falsely accused players.

But, of course, this is the same Barry Saunders who previously eviscerated media coverage of a gang-rape allegation—when the defendants were black NCCU students. Their accuser (whom Saunders mocked) didn’t show up for a probable cause hearing, prompting dismissal of charges. But the mere filing of charges, according to Saunders, caused long-term damage to the students’ reputation: “I saw the two dudes’ pictures in the paper. I’m not saying they looked guilty, but let’s face it. It’s hard to look innocent when your mug shot is splashed on television or in the paper in connection with some horrific story.” (To remind Saunders, the mugshots of Seligmann and Finnerty were “splashed”—over and over and over again—on national television and on the cover of Newsweek.)

Also attacking the proposed settlement is NCCU law professor Irving Joyner, who opined, “I don’t think the alleged harm, if it was caused by the city, would rise to that level. It’s the difference between helping the needy and helping the greedy.”

But, of course, this is the same Irving Joyner who spent months publicly asserting that Mike Nifong had done nothing wrong—indeed, who in late December 2006 even ridiculously claimed that Nifong’s decision to drop the rape charges would help the ex-DA’s case and that the State Bar would not move for disbarment. Since Joyner seemed to have no problem with Nifong’s behavior at the time, why should it surprise anyone that he’s baffled as to why the city should have to fork out money in a civil suit?

Trinity Park resident Ellen Dagenhart joined Saunders and Joyner in expressing outrage over the prospect of a civil suit settlement. “Take it to court, let it be heard,” she exclaimed to the N&O. “I don’t know how you decide that one life is worth more than another.” Since every other falsely accused person victimized by massive prosecutorial and police misconduct in the history of North Carolina hasn’t received a $10 million settlement, in Dagenhart’s logic, Durham should refuse the settlement offers.

But, of course, this is the same Ellen Dagenhart who, according to the N&O, “praised Gottlieb’s get-tough tactics” with Duke students and enthusiastically endorsed the DPD’s policy of treating Duke students according to procedures different than those used with all other Durham residents. Given that such behavior forms a key element of the civil suit claims, why should it surprise anyone that she’s baffled as to why the city should have to fork out money in a civil suit?

The Bob Ashley-led Herald-Sun made its contribution to the chorus, clucking, “It seems clear that the police department made serious errors. On the other hand, $30 million is too much. Much too much.

But, of course, this is the same Herald-Sun that bent over backwards to ignore those “serious errors” as the case was occurring. Instead of seeking to hold the powerful accountable, Ashley, et al. advocated giving Nifong and the DPD a free pass. A few days after the November election, the H-S editorial page breezily recommended that “the best course for all concerned is to continue down the current path to trial,” since it would be better for the players to have an opportunity to prove their innocence at trial.” [emphasis added] Given that Ashley failed to see anything wrong the the behavior of Nifong or DPD while the case was occurring, why should it surprise anyone that he’s reluctant to see the city fork out money in a civil suit?

Barry Buffaloe, a senior accounting clerk at Duke who says he’s worked at the school for the past 25 years, also was outraged at the proposed settlement. He conceded that “a district attorney got a little(!) overzealous(!).” But what was the real problem? “This group of young men wanted adult entertainment at their party.” (Buffaloe used the phrase eight times in a nine-paragraph letter.)

Buffaloe, it seems, wants to amend federal civil rights statutes to prevent their application to any and all people who have watched “adult entertainment at [a] party.” (This, perhaps, can be the newest crusade for the Group of 88.) For those who have watched “adult entertainment at [a] party,” the police can make knowingly false public statements accusing you of a racially motivated gang rape. The police can run a lineup confined to suspects, in violation of their own procedures, so an accuser can pick someone that can be charged. The police can even manufacture evidence like the Gottlieb report to try and railroad three innocent people into a 30-year jail sentence.

Fortunately, since Mr. Buffaloe has never watched adult entertainment, he’ll still have the right to file a federal lawsuit if the police do any of the above to him. As for his neighbors who have watched adult entertainment . . . here’s hoping they steer clear of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb.

A more serious critique of the proposed settlement came from the Chronicle. The editors suggested that the settlement “seems somewhat bizarre,” since “the 'bad guys' in this case are not the Durham citizens who will be paying the lion’s share of that settlement, but rather Nifong and certain members of the Durham Police Department.”

The editorial continued,

At the end of the day, however, it only makes sense that money should go into—and not be taken from—the coffers that supported the infrastructure that supported Nifong’s clear miscarriage of justice. Plus, the families already have money coming in from other sources.

It is, moreover, laudable that the families and their attorneys are using the injustice they experienced as a catalyst for change . . . but it also seems out of place and perhaps even a bit heavy-handed to attach such stipulations to a request for $30 million with the city.

The latter point is not persuasive: civil rights suits frequently are used to achieve meaningful procedural reforms, especially regarding cities or agencies that have proven reluctant to initiate these reforms on their own. That might be “heavy-handed,” I suppose, but it’s also not at all uncommon.

That the families have money coming in from other sources is irrelevant to the justness of a cause of action against Durham. And I disagree strongly that it “only makes sense” for money to go into the Durham city coffers, given the performance we have witnessed from Durham over the past 18 months. As to whether taxpayers should be held responsible for the misconduct of their police department acting as a unit—on this point, the editors’ objection appears to be more with federal law, which allows such suits, than with the players and their families.

Most critics of the proposed settlement appear to have overlooked both the purpose of the law under which the suit would be brought and some of the basic facts of this case. In a recent N&O article, Jim Coleman explained,

how much the lacrosse players suffered is just one factor in determining an appropriate amount to seek. Coleman said he thinks Durham police failed to adequately explore evidence that could have exonerated the players, a charge the city denies. He said other falsely accused people have suffered more, but they often were the victims of negligence rather than an intentional effort to bring charges without evidence.

The question of intent—whether police willfully railroaded the lacrosse players—will be a key factor if the civil case goes to trial, Coleman and Largess said. If police and city officials are found to have maliciously pursued the case knowing the evidence wasn’t there, they should pay until it hurts, Coleman said. “There’s an element of punitive action involved in lawsuits like this,” he said.

The next day, Coleman added that deterrence can be a critical action of such suits: “When the city acts in ways that are so totally outrageous and could have been prevented, I think the damages ought to be sufficient to deter that kind of behavior in the future and also to send a message to other cities and prosecutors across the state. I have no idea the damage they suffered. There’s no way for us to say $30 million is low or high.”

As so often has occurred on this case, it’s difficult to argue with Coleman’s reasoning. Indeed, the Baker/Chalmers report maintained that the behavior of the Durham Police Department in the lacrosse case was “typical” of how it approaches all of its cases. If that claim isn’t grounds for a punitive finding against Durham, then nothing would be.

It is worth remembering exactly what happened here: A district attorney, at least two police officers (Gottlieb and Addison), a forensic nurse, a DA’s investigator, and a lab director (along with, possibly, others) seemed to work together to manufacture inculpatory evidence to implicate three people for a crime that never occurred. All the while, superiors in Durham’s law enforcement and political structure either looked the other way or actively supported the conspiracy. That is about as serious a level of misconduct by local government officials as can be imagined.

A pragmatic point is also worth considering. Critics of the settlement appear to assume that we know everything there is to know about the DPD’s misconduct. Yet, to date, neither City Manager Baker, nor former Chief Chalmers, nor Capt. Lamb, nor Deputy Chief Hodge, nor Sgt. Shelton, nor Inv. Soucie, nor Inv. Clayton have been deposed. The depositions of Sgt. Gottlieb, Det. Himan, Intimidator Wilson, and Lt. Ripberger were conducted for the limited purpose of the Nifong disbarment hearing—and even there, much embarrassing emerged (the dry-eraser board, Gottlieb’s false testimony to the grand jury, and the continued defenses, by all concerned, of the procedurally improper April 4 lineup). If those damning revelations came out of the limited depositions that have occurred to date, imagine what would shake free after Barry Scheck and Brendan Sullivan get through with the above list.

After such a deposition process, I suspect that $30 million will look like a bargain.

133 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your analyis is obviously correct, Professor Johnson. In fact, in light of the outrageous conduct of the Durham police department, $30 million isn't much.
Bring on the lawsuits, the discovery, the depositions.
Make Durham pay for its unapologetic corruption. Also, bring on the federal civil rights investigation.

Anonymous said...

What is the legal status of escort services in North Carolina and Durham? Are these businesses paying licensing fees and taxes? Are the owners paying taxes? Did CGM pay income taxes? HAs anyone noticed any decrease in the number of adult entertainment establishments in Durham?

Joe T. said...

I'm sure the icey chill of the reality of the lawsuits (as well as from UPI) that are descending on people like Saunders, Joyner, Dagenhart and their ilk isn't pleasant for them. I suspect it gets them seething. The mystery to me is how any newspaper could use Saunders for anything. He doesn't even have the brains to at least TRY to disguise his venom as something more lofty (like that Mark Anthony Neal does). I sent him a reasonable email regarding his article, and he actually emailed back with something like, "Oh shut up, you big stupid head!" Like a kindergarten kid. I swear I'm not exaggerating.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, are they stuck between a rock and a hard place, or what?. If they accept the 30 million payout, the locals will go nuts, and that still might not stave off the Federal investigation. If they agree to settle but try to move the 30 million down to say, 5, and the lawyers decline, they will look culpable and foolish. If they refuse to settle and it goes to court with all those depositions, none of the current actors will be viable city employees by the time the defense lawyers are through with them.. Ain't justice sweet?

Anonymous said...

Durham:

Shut up and pay up, or show up and throw up.

Either way,

most of us who are watching your downhill slide are

FED UP

Anonymous said...

"Oh shut up, you big stupid head!"


Maybe Saunders got Houston Baker to write his reply.

Joe T. said...

LOL. But (to be entirely accurate) it wasn't "oh shut up you big stupid head" word for word. I didn't keep the email, but it WAS some short snappish answer very much in that vein.

Anonymous said...

i do not know wht is the right amount for settlement. If I were on the jury, I would not vote for Thiry million - maybe a million each. I am a white citizen.

Anonymous said...

Talk about a blue wall of silence. When is someone in DPD or the DA's office going to sing?

Tom A TOE said...

The reviews on tonights post have just come in...A BLOCKBUSTER. A REAL TOUR-DE-FORCE...Gene Shalit...100%. SIZZLING HOT...WALL TO WALL FACTS...AL Goldstein...Sorry about that Barry Buffaloe...

Debrah said...

Great information brought together into a clean analysis of what's to come.

Many of the players mentioned above still do not wish to acknowledge their roles in pushing this Hoax.

KC's detailed accounts of these bizarre people are a slip of sea rushing into a jar and kept like a souvenir.

Only to be read inside Wonderland.

(BTW, wonder how long Barry Saunders would last as an N&O columnist if he were of another race and writing such things about innocent black men?)

Just a rhetorical question.

Anonymous said...

KC - Off topic - do you have any idea how many copies of UPI were preordered at Amazon before the first printing? I know you can not ding the publisher but are you assured many more books are being printed? What is your take ont the number of copies printed?

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

So the liable don't like the idea of having to pay. Duh. This is what passes for news?

Of course the liable don't want to pay. That is the whole purpose of tort law. Since the liable don't want to pay, each of us will do more to live up to our duties and not wrong others.

Anonymous said...

12:37 - Never

Anonymous said...

PAY NOTHING

SAY NOTHING

Come get some.

Gary Packwood said...

Beautifully written KC.

Tonight after reading your crystal clear analysis I understand much more about why we must all make the commitment to The Rule of Law in our lives and association with others.

I hope the young people over at the Duke Chronicle are reading what KC offered for us this morning.

When you go that extra mile, there is very little traffic

Thanks KC!
::
GP

Anonymous said...

12:37. Cowards eventually sing. They turn on each other to save their own hides.

Just watch. The Durham folks have not yet had the joy of experiencing the kind of legal finesse now being prepared for them. ( No slight meant to our FINE NC attorneys )

How does that kind of scrutiny feel?

At least you haven't been driven from your homes and made to sleep in your car, or hide out in fear for your lives. Nor have your sons.

You might want to try that kind of life for an undetermined and uncertain period of time... and then see just what kind of settlement you think Durham should make to compensate for your "inconvenience".

Anonymous said...

The Insurance Company is not hiring local yokels - they have lawyers of the same caliber as Barry and Sullivan. Maybe they will hire one of the duke defense attornies.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter who the insurance companies hire. The insurance money is a given.

What's in question is how much more the city will ante up.

If just ANY BODY in DUrham began to own up to the responsibility for the failure of the DPD and civil authorities to respect the rules of discovery and basic civil rights, it might have not gotten this far.

I don't know if they don't understand, don't care, or still think they are above the law themselves.

Helen said...

I seriously doubt Durham needs to worry about the insurance company. They will give Durham the 5 million dollars on the policy and depart Durham. They aren't about to pay for high powered attorneys - they are intelligent enough to see this is a no-win situation. Why throw money down the drain?

Durham will be on her own when this goes to court. Not only will there be a huge payout, the citizens of Durham will have to pay attorneys to represent the city. I wonder what high powered attorneys Durham can afford to hire? LMAO!

Anonymous said...

A lighter settlement? No way. I hope it's actually bigger than reported. Durham needs to wince when it remembers this case, so hit 'em hard and keep hitting. If the only thing they learn about their belligerent, malicious idiocy is how much it costs, well...at least they'll learn that.

Anonymous said...

If the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, should the price of obstinate racist lunacy be only 30 million bucks?

I dunno...seems a little low.

Anonymous said...

Tom A TOE said at 9/17/07 12:39 AM...

"The reviews on tonights post have just come in...A BLOCKBUSTER. A REAL TOUR-DE-FORCE...Gene Shalit...100%. SIZZLING HOT...WALL TO WALL FACTS...AL Goldstein...Sorry about that Barry Buffaloe..."


Dead solid perfect.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the lawsuit can establish that Duke Students should be a 'protected class' in Durham. The discrimination against them, at least some, based on their race, has been/is pervasive.

William Jockusch said...

Many of the people of Durham are not innocent. As evodence for this, I point to Nifong's re-election, to the different treatment of Towns and Gowns by the local police department (which is, however indirectly, under the control of the voters), and to the apparent popularity of Victoria Peterson.

Based on the above, much of the population of Durham is guilty as sin -- not of any crime, but of a basic lack of fundamental fairness.

Therefore, it is perfectly appropriate that they should have to pay for the consequences of their sins.

mac said...

Y'know, I have been in favor of tort reform for a long time. It's strange what this case has done to some of our perspectives.

It's hard to imagine a time or place when so many people have involved and invested themselves in falsehoods.

It's like the infamous MacDonald's 6 million dollar coffee spill: Ashley's defense of Durrhh, (and Durrhh's defense of itself) is as if the corporation had insisted 1) that it had not sold the coffee in question 2) that if it did, it was actually ice-coffee, even though it was not on the menu at the time and 3) the customer was a criminal creep and deserved to be burned.

Naturally, MacDonalds Corp. did NOT use any of these, and the appeal significantly reduced the damages. Don't know what the final outcome was, but the case was a huge argument for tort reform.

Point is: MacDonalds did not attempt to use the Durrhh defense.

Durrhh has single-handedly attenuated tort reform, demonstrating that some people or the places they represent deserve to be sued into insolvency.

bill anderson said...

Very good analysis today. I agree with you that there is MUCH to be uncovered. The authorities in Durham know that, too, which is why they are very, very nervous.

Keep in mind that the people in the Bar case were deposed by the Bar's attorneys, and while they did a good job, it is NOT the same as being deposed by the attorneys now working for the plaintiffs. These attorneys are very, very experienced in deposing government officials who have done wrong, and they know which buttons to push.

You have to keep in mind that IF there is criminal behavior (I use that word to make my point), the attorneys very likely will smoke it out and put it out there for the world to see. People like Clayton, Gottlieb, Wilson, and Addison had better hope that the city settles, for if it does not, they are going to be in very, very uncomfortable situations.

mac said...
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Michael said...

It would have been good to add Addison to the list of bad guys at the DPD.

Michael said...

re: 7:08

My mistake, Addison was there. I read too quickly and assumed it was Gottlieb and Himan.

Anonymous said...

Durham's only hope is corrupted politics. Some version of Joyner's "money for the needy, not the greedy".

Expect to hear a lot more of this kind of politicized whining, and nothing about the importance of the defense of civil liberties and protection of civil rights. And of the use of punitive civil damages to motiviate otherwise corrupt public officials to "do the right thing".

Shame on Durham for standing silently while Nifong and his enablers attempted to railroad innocent men for a crime that never took place.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

IMO the lax players' attorneys have made a strategic mistake. I live in the Triangle and outside the community of D-I-W, which follows every in and out of the case, the players' families do come across as greedy. To pressure the city for objective internal reviews and effective reforms, you don't need to ask publicly for over three times the highest amounts ever paid for this type of action in NC. What jury, whether in Durham or Raleigh, is going to give that kind of award? More significant, asking for so much money gives political cover to those who don't want internal changes or a serious review. They can now make a strong case that the city has no choice but to go to trial. The lawyers may well have overreached. This case is being played out in the court of public opinion and I'm yet to hear anyone (including Jim Coleman) argue that this was a smart strategy.

mac said...

7:36,
You must be forgetting the mountain of evidence against Durrhh (nice shoes, when they're on different feet, eh Mr. Baker et al?) You must be forgetting the depositions. Surely you aren't forgetting those?

Please read Barry Saunders' vile diatribe (linked on DIW and Liestoppers); it's hard to see why he would be so malicious, so infantile. His work is one of many exhibits in the chain of evidence re. the damage done to the accused's reputations.

Unless he's trying to provoke a backlash that Durrhh can use to say:

"See? This is just a White conspiracy, after all!"

This kind of retro-indemnification won't work. Unless Saunders, like yourself, really wants to see a lot of people under oath. Lots and lots of people, with Durrhh being drug under the surface of its own swamp, deeper by the minute.

You'd think they'd want to get this over with ASAP. Nice going, Barry! Nice going.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Whether the settlement is $1M or $100M doesn't really matter in my opinion IF the depositions and testimony exposes the truth of what went (and is going) on in Durham AND the city and state are forced to implement changes to prevent such a railroading going forward....

jmoo

Durham Citizen

joe carbone said...

my blog is duke case aftermarket.
im interested in comment on what might be an interesting subject for debate now that justice has finally risen to the occasion.

please visit and give me your perspective.

Joe
a proud duke case junkie

mac said...

I seem to remember that Duke was given an early offer to settle. It didn't. Then the offer went up. And up. And up again.

Did Durrhh learn anything from this?

Oh. Of course not. This is Durrhh, home of Dee Pee Dee, NoFang and Victoria Peterson.

By the way, I'm guessing she'll run on the Pharisee slate, proposing to make people with AIDS wear signs and to shout: "Unclean, unclean" at every passerby.

Anonymous said...

KC great post, keep shing the light. A jury trial is not a bad alternative, it will take money and time. All the under oath testimony can then be used for individual suits? or Federal suits? Durham should be on the hot seat for a long time either way.
30 million is a small amount, and it amazes me that people still do not understand that the award has nothing to do with how much money the falsely accused may or may not have, it has to do with law breaking and rewards for being found guilty. It applies to everyone. Civil rights apply to all of us not, just to poor people. There is a real disconnect when you read these articles from local papers. It's shocking how stupid some of the editorials are, including the Chronicle

bill anderson said...

For those who think this is a strategic mistake by the players and their families, think again. They have not rushed into anything, and the whole thing is calculated to back Durham into a corner.

1. Durham settles for $30 million and the politicians are cooked by voters;

2. Durham fights it, and then the criminal behavior on behalf of Durham is exposed.

Neither is a good situation for the city, but don't forget that these people brought it on themselves. A year ago, they were reveling in their "power" over these "rich white boys," and now the city faces a real dilemma. Had city officials not been swaggering a year ago, thinking they were above the law, none of this would have happened.

Bell should have been demanding THEN instead of now an investigation to get to the bottom of this affair. Had he done so, I can guarantee you Durham would not be in the corner it is now. Food for thought.

Kilgore said...

Excellent post KC. Thirty million is not enough. They need enough money to pay off their legal debts and find monetary peace. With the money that is left over they can start a national center to investigate false accusations and bring in some of the best minds in the country to study the problem and observe whether Durham is an anomaly or is typical. It would be great to have a clearinghouse of information related to fase accusation. At this point we have very little. I think these parents truly want to have some good come from this. I am looking forward to seeing how they nandle it.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of the $30M figure is to put Durham in a lose-lose position. They don't want to pony up the $30M to settle out of court, but taking it to court forces the defendants to undergo depositions. Once that happens, a lot of info that is now unknown will be open to the public, which will make Durham and its government officials look even worse than they look today (if that's possible). The $30M figure just keeps them from settling out of court, see? Durhamites can whine and bitch all day long, but a federal civil suit would be heard outside of Durham where the whining might not be particularly loud. And if the insurance company forfeits the $5M and bails out, that leaves Durham looking for attorneys who will put up a good defense at a fee that's affordable (heh heh heh).

mac said...

I agree with 8:12's summary:
"(heh heh heh)"

Anonymous said...

I posted the 7:36 comment. Your responses are missing the basic point that if the plaintiffs' primary goal is procedural reform, winning damages in court is a very indirect (and likely ineffective) way to do this. Let's assume the city loses (which it will) and the settlement is very large (which is not at all clear). So they get voted out of office (maybe). What makes you think this will usher in an era of reform rather than business as usual by new faces? IMO, by asking for such a large amount and increasing the likelihood of going to trial, the plaintiffs seem more interested in compensation and less interested in reforms within Durham.

Ralph Phelan said...

anonymous 7:36 am said:

"IMO the lax players' attorneys have made a strategic mistake. I live in the Triangle and outside the community of D-I-W, which follows every in and out of the case, the players' families do come across as greedy."

It used to be the people of the Triangle considered them rapists. If they still care what you people think of them, which I rather doubt they do, "greedy" is rather an improvement.

"What jury, whether in Durham or Raleigh, is going to give that kind of award?"

None. It's going to be tried in federal court.

It isn't about the PR anymore. It's about the truth.

Anonymous said...

7:36 opined: "IMO the lax players' attorneys have made a strategic mistake."

Ask pretty much any serious, experienced lawyer even remotely familiar with the facts surrounding this Hoax and you'll quickly learn--as others have already suggested--that the $30M opening "salvo" was a first move of sheer legal genius. Trust me, the Williams & Connelly law firm did not earn its international reputation by making "strategic mistakes." In one fell swoop, they've effectively "forked" the City of Durham into an unbelievably difficult position. If anything, it's a "win-win" position for the Lax 3. The taxpayers in Durham are toast (as the price will only increase over time). Those responsible for the Hoax are literally going to be blown out of the proverbial water. While nasty for those exposed in Durham, great fun for the rest of us. I can't wait. And I am not alone.

Anonymous said...

In case you haven't heard, Raleigh has a federal courthouse. Presumably the case would be heard there.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Let's assume the city loses (which it will) and the settlement is very large (which is not at all clear). So they get voted out of office (maybe). What makes you think this will usher in an era of reform rather than business as usual by new faces?"

We can't be sure the new guys won't be corrupt. But we can be sure the old guys will be.

Destroying Durhams's current political establishment may not be sufficient to cause reform, but it is necessary. So lets start with that.

Anyway, even if all you do is throw out the old crooks and replace them with new ones, that has the benefit of temporarily reducing corruption until the new crooks get as organized as the old ones were. Then you throw them out and replace them with the old crooks again, and they can't steal much until they've had a chance to reorganize their old networks. That's what the two-party system's all about!

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

This piece in Inside Higher Ed provides a detailed and thoughtful argument for the marketability of humanities scholars outside of the academy.

Many have suggested that such academics could not survive in the "real world" but Soper provides genuine leadership for his colleagues who would wish to take advantage of non-academic opportunities just as legal, medical, and business academics have done.

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/09/17/soper

Anonymous said...

8:25 (same as 7:36) wrote: "I posted the 7:36 comment. Your responses are missing the basic point that if the plaintiffs' primary goal is procedural reform, winning damages in court is a very indirect (and likely ineffective) way to do this."

Your premise (or "basic point") is wrong. The civil suit's primary goal is *exposing the truth* behind the effort to railroad the Lax 3. A civil trial, complete with what will assuredly be an unbelievably onerous set of depositions and discovery requests, will almost absolutely accomplish this, especially given what is already in the public record thus far (and much of it under oath). The move for procedural reforms is, at once, mere window dressing and an effort to structurally reduce the likelihood of this fiasco ever happening again.

But--and let's be absolutely clear about this--the *primary* goal of the civil suit is to root out the nasty truth and expose the culpable. Envision, if you will, root canal without the Novocain.

Anonymous said...

7:36-

"It's not about the Money, stupid"

if the players wanted the money only, they woulda asked for 5MM, the limit of the policy, and ridden off into the sunset.
You will never get it, will you?

mac said...

8:25

Settlement means that depositions will not face public scrutiny until a federal case is made;
depositions under oath in the civil trial will make the prosecutor's job much easier. No one in Durrhh knows how many will be charged, how far a criminal trial may reach. Perfect reason for a settlement.

Durrhh is likely to go bankrupt either way, unincorporate and be managed by an outside party. Does this sound like "business as usual?"

Michael said...

re: 8:31

If Raleigh is as biased as Durham, it shouldn't be heard there.

Perhaps it's a difference between the New England and North Carolina but $30 million just does not seem like a big number.

mac said...

8:42
One can only imagine what's going on in the accuser's mind these days, seeing numbers like $30 million bandied about, believing at one time it would all be hers.

mac said...

"Someone stole my winniing lotto ticket!"

Anonymous said...

To the critics, exaxtly why should the victims give the city of durham a break? When they were accused, the same crowd thought it was just fine that the players had to spend their own money defending claims that would have wiped out the REST OF THEIR LIVES. At that time, there was nothing wrong with a trial. Here, the insurance company is picking up the defense costs and the first five million. So, if the demand is so ridiculous, take it to court Durham and win, if you can. what is the big deal?

Speaking from exeperience dealing with government entities as a lawyer, the only thing that makes the officials change behavior is a truly catatrohpic verdict. The players should plunge ahead the the people of durham should try to prove their innocence

mac said...

Where is the accuser these days? Where is one of the heroes, Mr. Elmostafa?

I imagine neither one feel good about their long-term prospects in Durrhh, but for vastly different reasons.

haskell said...

Anonymous 8:38

Fantastic link. Everyone go read. Now.

Also check out

http://www.mindingthecampus.com

Thanks to SAVANT for mentioning this site in an earlier post.

Anonymous said...

For the sake of the victims in this case, I hope Durham settles. They shouldn't have to spend a minute in court dealing with the Durham morons.

However, I can't imagine better theater than a trial in this case. I don't think many of the bad guys would be able to resist the temptation to perjure themselves, thus ensuring that the spectacle will continue for years. And I'd love to see Houston Baker ranting under oath on Court TV.

Anonymous said...

What analysis have the plaintiffs' lawyers advanced to justify the $30,000,000 demand? In any civil litigation, a properly presented settlement proposal includes the various potential bases of liability; the legal remedies afforded by those causes of action; and, a preliminary articulation of why the facts of the case when applied to the bases of potential liability justify a particular dollar figure. Thus far, any such analysis seems to be absent from the public record. Do you have a copy of the demand letter? If so, will you share it with us? I just finished listening to an NPR debate on prosecutorial misconduct. Stuart Taylor and Barry Scheck were primary panelists. Taylor said that he understood that the Duke three intended to form a foundation (presumably from settlement $ from Durham and dovetailed with the Innocence Project....co-founder Barry Scheck) to advocate for the rights of minority victims of prosecutorial misconduct. That is certainly a laudable goal, but, if Taylor's understanding is correct, should the Duke players' case against Durham be used as a publicly financed fund-raiser for a national advocacy group? Thoughts?

Steven Horwitz said...

It's also amusing to see the residents of Durham so unwilling to see the civil suit go forward to trial by jury when, not so long ago, so many seemed to believe that doing so was the only way to "really" determine innocence or guilt.

Anonymous said...

For Federal court, Raleigh is EASTERN District. Durham is MIDDLE District. The case would normally be tried in Greensboro.

Shouting Thomas said...

Do you really think that the $30 million payout will solve the problem?

Think again. Duke paid out big time and didn't punish the Group of 88. In fact, it rewarded them.

The money for the civil settlement will not come out of the pockets of the malefactors.

I don't think that any behaviors will be changed by the civil settlement, for two reasons:

1. On a national level, support for the racial and sexual quotas that are really at the heart of the Duke dispute remains steadfast. The $30 million at Duke is insignificant compared to the swag being contested on a national level. Even in Washington and California, where racial and sexual quotas have been constitutionally outlawed, state and academic bureaucrats are working feverishly to find a way around the law. This is, at bottom, all about patronage.

2. On the local level, Duke and the city of Durham remain committed to the great "diversity" crusade. Nothing has or will change here. The money for the settlement will just be a cost of doing business. The patronage system that is the racial and sexual quota system will remain intact.

I'm not saying that the players shouldn't sue. I am saying that you are getting your hopes up too high about what the suit will accomplish.

After all, on the national level, the presidential election (from a Democratic viewpoint) will be all about racial and sexual quotas. The Democratic ticket is likely to be Hillary/Obama. Their primary qualifications are, respectively, sex and race.

Racial and sexual quotas are the backbone of the Democratic Party. The party's patronage system is racial and sexual quotas. This is only becoming more entrenched. I don't see this changing as a result of Duke.

It is instructive that even Professor Johnson bows to this system. His book begins with an attempt to avoid being tarred with racism by relating the lacrosse scandal through the eyes of... what else... a black player. One suspects that the constant trumpeting of his choice of presidential candidates... Obama... originates from the same motive. Prove your bona fides by displaying your sensitivity to blacks. In other words, pledge allegiance to the great God of "diversity."

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that today is Constitution Day!

It was written over 200 years ago but the present case just proves that it is the task of every generation to defend it!

Richard Aubrey said...

Good point about Elmostafa.

He was a nobody, no money for fabulous attorneys, no sympathy, but he faced down Nifong's threat of a bogus warrant and told the truth.

He needs some good ink and a reward. I hope that, somewhere in the laxers' plans is something for a stand-up guy.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: Bill Anderson, "...The authorities in Durham know that, too, which is why they are very, very nervous..."

Ironically they should be nervous. If the Feds do come in, they will go through eDiscovery and check email, text, and mobile records.

In addition to everything they find related to the hoax, the Feds will likely find that city authorities, and others, have violated open meeting laws. And these violations will not just be about the Duke hoax, but other city matters as well.

They should be nervous.

I'm nervous that settlement(s) keep te depth/breadth of the truth hidden and does not lead to reform.

Anonymous said...

Many here think the 5M from the insurance company is a given.

Are insurance policies valid if it can be shown that damages are the result of criminal behavior?

no justice, no peace said...

"...To pressure the city for objective internal reviews and effective reforms, you don't need to ask publicly for over three times the highest amounts ever paid for this type of action in NC..."

This assumes one is measuring actions based on prior events. It does not account for the egregious nature of the events surrounding the hoax.

One can be a hog feeding eating well every day and gaining weight and all the prior data suggests thing are great. In fact more data only reduces variation.

Then one day the hog is slaughtered and served at a NC BBQ eatery and all the prior metrics become a bit meaningless.

Gary Packwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
christoph said...

The Barry Saunders link doesn't work.

Steven Horwitz said...

For those of you, and you know who you are, whose minimum daily requirement of KC is greater than what's at DiW, you can find his first post at the Volokh Conspiracy here.

M. Simon said...

I haven't seen any mention of the fact that insurers are not liable for a pattern of criminal acts.

This was not negligence or an "accident" or one bad cop. Or one bad DA.

The insurers may actually take aim at Durham.

Anonymous said...

What price do you place on your youth? These young men had their youth stolen from them. They can return to college, but they will never be carefree college boys again. Even as working men, they will never really experience the headiness of youthful freedom. They will always be looking over their shoulders. Soon they and their friends will be of marriage age...there will be no bachelor parties for them. There are only a few of those years available to us before we take up the responsibilities of adulthood. These precious years were snatched from them without so much as a thought. Durham and everyone associated with this tragedy should pay a heavy price.

no justice, no peace said...

8:35 Inre: "...by asking for such a large amount and increasing the likelihood of going to trial, the plaintiffs seem more interested in compensation and less interested in reforms within Durham..."

Of course they could be interested in both. Why would they not? One (modest dollar amount) is needed to achieve the to the other (reform).

On the other hand one could make the case that $30 million is entirely to low enough to have impact and nearly as large as it could be to be punitive.

Consider all of the individuals who have been complicit, divide $30 million by that number, and then consider each as an individual action. $30 million isn't much, escpecially given the nature of the past and continued acts against the young men.

Anonymous said...

What absolute fun! There will be suits and countersuits. People will thrown under the bus. They will sue for discrimmination or wrongful terminantion (I was following orders!). Tara will sue Gottlieb for libel. Durham will be paying lawyers fees for years and years.

mac said...

NJNP,

Imagine what'll happen if it's shown that evidence has been hidden, tampered-with or destroyed! Seems like the principals in this case are dumb enough to make the attempt. Problems for Durrhh would pile up higher than poop in the Augean stables. If that's the case, it would take state and federal oversight of the City to do what Heracles performed in a day: might call this the Alpheus and Peneus "rivers of justice." It's the only thing that'll clean up Durrhh in a day.

Durrhh better hope that no one in their employ was so idiotic as to tamper with evidence...

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: Steven Horwitz; "For those of you, and you know who you are, whose minimum daily requirement of KC is greater than what's at DiW, you can find his first post at the Volokh Conspiracy here."

What a beautiful baby...

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 8:25 said...

...What makes you think this will usher in an era of reform rather than business as usual by new faces?
::
Because it will cause voters in Durham to reflect on the actions of their leaders who were willing to convict three young male lacrosse athletes while at the same time, the young women lacrosse athletes were telling everyone who would listen that the entire situation was a hoax.

Every Mom and Dad in Durham should have said 'Wait A Minute' when the young women of the lacrosse team came forward with the truth.
::
GP

M. Simon said...

If they are claiming "patterns and practices" won't they (LAX lawyers) be able to open other cases?

$30 mil is probably cheap.

Anonymous said...

Re: Insurance payoffs.
Good point. The insurer of Durham may very well counterclaim that the actions of the principals were clearly illegal and, thus, not covered under the policy. Should that happen, the defendants will be even more enisled (look it up) and in need of pro bono legal represenatation. Ya git what ya pay fer, Durm!

scott said...

Speaking as a resident of NC, I completely support the Laxers suing for the $30M (I'd support an even higher figure, but I'll defer to whatever they think is right) and forcing Durham to pursue changes to NC state law as to the case management system, recording of grand jury testimony, and strengthening discovery laws.

If it were me doing the suing, I'd go a step further than they have and insist the city of Durham make changes to its policies and procedures that bring them into compliance with the law, including firing everyone who had a hand in this debacle.

Since AG Cooper formally stated the innocence of the Laxers and referred to Nifong as a rogue prosecutor, almost everyone in city government and law enforcement has tried to whitewash this whole affair. Lately, several Durham citizens have expressed themselves as shocked or disgusted at the "greed" of the Laxers for suing for $30M and then go on to proclaim their innocence either because they didn't personally support Nifong or are poor and this will hurt them financially. With but a meaningless handful of exceptions, Durham has done a great job of assuming NO responsibility for the frame job concocted by Nifong and the DPD. They need to be punished and punished severely.

Durham is a disgrace. The city has been stinking up the joint (NC) for years. Issue after issue in that city has been ignored and swept under the rug. It's time to bring some "Tough Love" to Durham.

Should any of the shenanigans that have prevailed in Durham over the last 18 months cause my property taxes to go up because the state of NC is deemed liable, I would not object if it would result in bringing NC in line with the other 49 states is several areas of the law. I, myself, am shocked and disgusted that NC is alone among the 50 states to have a case management system and no requirement to record grand jury proceedings.

At the present time NC is a laughingstock and Durham is the head clown. The truth of it is, however, is that this state of affairs is nothing to laugh at.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say how much I appreciate the high level of the comments this morning. It is an informative and stimulating discussion we have going. I am learning a lot. It is valuable to look at all aspects of this issue that are valid and pertinent.

Thanks, KC, for keeping it up and going. I cannot imagine what I would do without my AM and PM blogvisit to catch up on what is going on in this fascinating case. The information is not gathered and presented and available to us anywhere else.

Can't you just continue to host the blog, even if you are in Israel?


dsl

no justice, no peace said...

Call, conference, call conference...(there are now more than two people in the converstation).

NCDOJ Open Meetings FAQ

They should be very nervouse if the Fed step do get engaged.

Also, note that any citizen can pursue civil action.

Mac, I couldn't agree more with your comment. Many of these people are liars, they cannot all be psychotic.

Excuse the duplication if my prior post made it through...

M. Simon said...

scott,

Your only consolation is that Illinois is a State in the union.

North said...

Mayberry police, Mayberry judges, Mayberry U and Mayberry press.

It is North Carolina. Should we be surprised?

Anonymous said...

8:57 Our brave toops in Iraq and in former wars have had it a lot worse that the Laxers. Read "Break out" to see what guys,the same age, were doing at the Chosin Resevoir in 1950. Many have lost their yourth and their lives. I support the team in the rape charges, but let us keep our presceptive on this event. No one spent a second in jail.

Anonymous said...

Since this will essentially be a corruption/incompetency tax, the LAX lawyers should make it part of any settlement that after that $30 mill or so is paid out, the resulting hike on every Durhamite's tax notice should show up as a separate, clearly identified line item: maybe "Racism/idiocy surcharge"?

Anonymous said...

Duke will provide Durham with the cash to settle ( behind the scenes and/or indirectly, of course). Duke does not want a civil suit against Durham because this suit will expose the actions of Duke officials who conspired, at some level, with Durham authorities to deny the lacrosse players' their civil rights.

WFN

j.nc said...

Q: "What does a Social Disaster Sound Like?"

A: 88 Duke faculty members "turning up the volume".



I tried out the above previewed as printed on a tshirt at cafepress.com and it looks pretty sweet.

And back in the day would have worn it to one of their classes. heh-heh.

Here's hoping the 88 (87) get something in return for their bad deeds.

Anonymous said...

"It is worth remembering exactly what happened here: A district attorney, at least two police officers (Gottlieb and Addison), a forensic nurse, a DA’s investigator, and a lab director (along with, possibly, others) seemed to work together to manufacture inculpatory evidence to implicate three people for a crime that never occurred. All the while, superiors in Durham’s law enforcement and political structure either looked the other way or actively supported the conspiracy. That is about as serious a level of misconduct by local government officials as can be imagined."

Should have began with, "1 woman, errrr, female, told a lie."

I would pay to see the "enablers" squirm under direct examination by a competent lawyer!

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz said..."For those of you, and you know who you are, whose minimum daily requirement of KC is greater than what's at DiW, you can find his first post at the Volokh Conspiracy here."

Steve: Can you start a blog? You have the same sarcastic but fun streak as KC - and you always have an interesting point.

gs said...

2:16 AM
I agree with several posts that the $5 million is a given..

The insurance company is not going to waste more money hiring expensive lawyers, when their in-house lawyers tell them "it's a lost cause, fighting the suit". The incidents are too well documented. Why spend more money?

The real fight will be 1 or 3 incidents. Durham will claim each defendant is a separate case (they could sue 1 at a time) and the insurance company has to cover up to $15 million for 3 incidents.

Debrah said...

TO Christoph @ 9:54 AM--

Here's the column:

Saunders

Anonymous said...

Erwin Chemerinsky and the Post-9/11 Attack on Academic Freedom

By MARJORIE COHN

http://www.counterpunch.org/

Debrah said...

A funny letter from the H-S yesterday. LOL!!!

(Of course, this is a different Bill Anderson than the one we know):


Lacrosse players should choose not to sue

With their team of lawyers, the three Duke lacrosse players are probably capable of extracting money from the City of Durham.

In fact, with that legal team, they could probably mow someone's lawn and charge $3,000 for the service. But just because they can doesn't mean they should.

They should remember the entire nation is watching, not just Durham. In those eyes, for a short while, the three were horrible, racist rapists. But that view was short lived as details emerged, and the three transformed into unjustly accused victims. For a time, the world pitied them, and at the same time respected them, for holding their heads high.

They were so completely vindicated, folks on the other side of the planet knew about it. Most accused rapists aren't so fortunate. Word of their innocence isn't so widely spread. They continue to carry the stigma, and remain damaged, but not the three players.

Now their reputations are set to morph a third time, this time by their own doing. They've gone from bad guys to good guys. Now how will the world view them if you use their family's wealth to hire pit bulls to bite the citizens of Durham? The people of our city have already paid a heavy price, and suffered along side of the players. Did we wrong them?

What they do next will determine their long-term reputations. They should call off the dogs, and forever be known as the gentlemen who could've sued, but chose not to.

BILL ANDERSON
Durham
September 16, 2007

Anonymous said...

"Taylor said that he understood that the Duke three intended to form a foundation (presumably from settlement $ from Durham and dovetailed with the Innocence Project....co-founder Barry Scheck) to advocate for the rights of minority victims of prosecutorial misconduct. That is certainly a laudable goal, but, if Taylor's understanding is correct, should the Duke players' case against Durham be used as a publicly financed fund-raiser for a national advocacy group? Thoughts?"

Why on Earth not?

Debrah said...

When KC gets back from Israel, he will have at least three more books to write on this Hoax.

And the Diva will be waiting with bated breath!

Gregory said...

I'd have no problem if the falsely accused sued every member of the Durham government
and DPD individually. When you sue the city, however, you just enable
them to pass the buck on to the taxpayer. The Durham officials will learn nothing, except how to pass the punishment for their errors onto the citizens of Durham.
Wouldn't suing individual officials have the same effects on
accountability without punishing the taxpayers (almost half of whom
voted to remove Nifong)?
I know their pockets aren't as deep, but supposedly the money doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

If the blatant unrepentant and unabashedly racist Barry Saunders is indicative of the "unconvinced" attitude in Durham about the HOAX - then $30 million clearly isn't enough to get their addle brained attention...

Durham should be rendered as financially bankrupt as they are morally bankrupt..

This whole sordid event has convinced me the races are more segregated with more animosity toward each other than at any time in my 68 years of observation..

Folks like Barry Saunders, with his uncute "acting out" and inflamatory race baiting diatribes -- contribute directly to increasing racial animosity...

Anonymous said...

But what was the real problem? “This group of young men wanted adult entertainment at their party.” (Buffaloe used the phrase eight times in a nine-paragraph letter.)

I love it...it is OK to be a stripper but not OK to hire a stripper!

Anonymous said...

Typical liberal thinking...IT IS NOT FAIR! $30 million, too muc, it's not fair. Anything with the term "fair" in it coming from a liberal should be a red flag.

What is fair? Fair is relative and subjective.

What is a "fair" settlement to Coach Pressler's younger daughter who was shipped off to Illinois during this attempted lynching of Duke lacrosse? Her relationship with her family was strained. How much is that worth? Re-read the chapter of Coach Pressler's book when he talks about his family. Then ask yourself this question again.

Get over it residents of Durham. You elected Nifong and the Governor that appointed him in the first place. Time to pay and pay dearly. I hope these fine young men bankrupt the city. Get ready for the increase in property taxes to cover for these Democrat liberals.

Anonymous said...

Debrah, I agree, at least three more books.

The real story has yet to come out. The key might be the rarely mentioned character in this case, Crystal, and the protection she has enjoyed for years.

Is it big drug money that is driving it all?

Anonymous said...

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

9/17/07 7:27 AM


Dangit, I always miss these before they're deleted.

Is there any way these could be walled off into an "adult section" so some of us ghouls could read them later? :)

scott said...

What's in the pipe that Bill Anderson (Letter at 12:14 PM) is puffing on?

How have the people of Durham "paid a heavy price and suffered ..." up until now? To date, not one person in Durham, other than Nifong, has suffered any sanction whatsoever.

Instead its citizenry, including city leaders, continue to whitewash and / or make statements about the unfairness that the Laxers should think about revisiting this issue in an attempt to right the wrongs that Durham has demonstrated is its idea of business as usual.

We know for certain they could never be shamed into any self-improvement. When you're dealing with someone with the bullheadedness (how apt for Durham!) of these people, you need to make it really hurt to get their attention. It looks like a price tag of $30M has done that.

No, I much prefer that the Laxers do the right thing and forever be known as the gentlemen who could have sued, and chose to give Durham the bitch slapping it so richly deserves.

Anonymous said...

10:42 -- we are discussing choice vs theft here. My own son (first responder 9/11 at the Pentagon)made a choice in his career and moved away from carefree youth on that terrible day. But it was a choice and it was not stolen from him from dishonest politicians, corrupt police, a spineless university president, or an idiot, left-wing faculty. That's the difference.

Debrah said...

TO 12:45PM--

If anyone recalls...(especially all you Durham residents)....there was a brouhaha about a possible prostitution ring inside the DPD back in the 1990's, I think.

Trevor Hampton was the police chief at the time.

Then Jackie McNeil, the next police chief, who was also less than stellar, and was accused of sexual harassment along with ineptitude on the job.

He retired with a golden parachute. They just wanted to get rid of him.

Hasn't Mangum been at her "job" for quite some time?

It's very possible that some in the DPD know her very well.

Indeed, the fact that this person has gotten by with such serious offenses over and over again would suggest that some layers need to be peeled from that onion.

Anonymous said...

Gregory says...... Wouldn't suing individual officials have the same effects on accountability without punishing the taxpayers I know their pockets aren't as deep

How do you figure that? Wouldn't that make it less likely that you would sweep out all the bad actors in this show and get to the truth of this "conspiracy"?

More likely it would be the plaintiffs spending a boatload of money and getting no money or satisfaction out of the deal, as people with few assets get to protect the majority of what they do have (ie pensions) from bankruptcy, And also, no city wide depositions, and no summary conclusion about dishonest group actions on the part of the PD or City.

I think if they couldnt sue the "deep pockets", they wouldnt sue at all. Which is what you'd prefer, isn't it? Nobody's fault (including the voters), nobody suffers, nothing to learn, let's all just move along..

Anonymous said...

Agree with 12:43. A law prof of mine once said that fair was where you went to get funnel cakes. Durham was really anxious to go to trial, weren't they? Now they may get their wish. They shouldn't worry, given their current claims that the system works.

Debrah said...

TO 12:34PM--

Barry Saunders has been doing the same act for a long time now.

If he's not race-baiting, he's using that silly writing tool of his--"Sweet Thang".

Sweet Thang is supposed to be "his woman", and he uses this worn-out item to spring off to create a conversation inside his columns about various things.

He's a one-note.

On occasion he writes a reasoned column and you think that maybe he has finally grown up and started being objective. Then he writes something like he did above, and you know you have the same old racist mentality.....that, BTW, seems to be wholly embraced by the powers-that-be at the News & Observer.

That paper isn't the least bit objective. They were just shamed into and forced into finally covering the lacrosse Hoax fairly.

Barry Saunders most represents the mentality over there...especially on the editorial pages.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Anonymous said...
Agree with 12:43. A law prof of mine once said that fair was where you went to get funnel cakes. Durham was really anxious to go to trial, weren't they? Now they may get their wish. They shouldn't worry, given their current claims that the system works.

9/17/07 1:05 PM
"

I agree. Durham shouldn't settle - they should be allowed to prove their innocence in court!

Anonymous said...

"Lately, several Durham citizens have expressed themselves as shocked or disgusted at the "greed" of the Laxers for suing for $30M and then go on to proclaim their innocence either because they didn't personally support Nifong or are poor and this will hurt them financially. With but a meaningless handful of exceptions, Durham has done a great job of assuming NO responsibility for the frame job concocted by Nifong and the DPD. They need to be punished and punished severely."

Exactly, Scott! That's the most clear expression of it I've seen. $30 million isn't just for the acts of Nifong; it isn't even just for the acts of Nifong and the DPD. It's for the acts of Baker and Chalmers; the acts of Diane Catotti and Aurelia Sands Belle; it's for everyone else who looked straight at a travesty of justice and said "Whaaaat? I sure don't see anything wrong. Posters distributed by the police stating as fact the allegations made by a stripper who only made them when she was facing involuntary commitment? Police concocting an 'identification procedure' designed to look like a lineup but to omit all those inconvenient safeguards against mistaken or dishonest identifications? Police stirring up public emotion against suspects who are cooperating by falsely telling the world they aren't? Police promising suspects who aren't even indicted yet the courtesy of avoiding the news media, with the real intent of setting them up for said media? Police bolstering a crappy case by producing "notes" four months late that show no consistency with anything except what the police wish they had? Why, I don't see any misbehavior there; I just see good ol' Durham justice." Durham has had all the chances it could desire to change its tune; now it's time for them to pay the piper.

Anonymous said...

Is Ashley a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Is Ashley a Communist?

9/17/07 1:32 PM


I'm starting to think the question should be "Is _______ a Democrat?" That would make it much more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:10. Thank your son for his good work on 9/11 and since. You are justifiably very proud of him and I'm glad he made such a unselfish and matuer decision.

I believe you hit the nail on the head. The evil that occurred in Durham was not a choice of the principal three who have suffered so much.If the Durham taxpayers have to pay for the actions of a few, so be it, they supported the whole disgraceful abuse of power and misuse of the legal system.
KC continues to shine the light, it is having an effect.
I have complete faith in the families involved, that they will get to the truth. If they create something positive that will help others in the future who receive the same disgraceful treatment, that would be awesome. It has nothing to do with their just right to sue for damages and sue big.

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote "My own son (first responder 9/11 at the Pentagon)made a choice in his career and moved away from carefree youth on that terrible day. But it was a choice and it was not stolen from him from dishonest politicians, corrupt police, a spineless university president, or an idiot, left-wing faculty. That's the difference."

Well put.

Anonymous said...

""I'm starting to think the question should be "Is _______ a Democrat?" That would make it much more interesting.""

Personally I'd like to send every Democrat I could catch to Gitmo - with a Republican under each arm.

Here's the question:
Are you now or have you ever been
A Democrat or Republican?

Carolyn said...

$30 million is the minimum needed to even try to change Durham's massive corruption.

When you have Durham judges not only refuse to stop a corrupt DA but even walk into Judge Smith's court to DEFEND Nifong, then you have a true sense of the depth of corruption Durham has sunk to.

$30 million is the only way to make them realize what they've done.

In fact, I don't think it's enough.

rrhamilton said...

I used to be a Democrat.

I found this over at Volokh Conspiracy:

"Welcome to the VC. You did all of us who are interested in American universities and American justice a great service by taking on this case. Your blogging on the Duke rape hoax is one of the most impressive bodies of sustained journalism I've ever seen and represents one of the great successes of the blogosphere so far. (emphasis added)

My question: Can anyone think of a "more impressive body of sustained work" or a "greater success" than KC's? I can think only of the exposure of the CBS fake memo about Bush's military service as in the same league -- but while that was a "great success", it wasn't really a "body of sustained work".

Can someone think of other blog-successes versus the PC media?

Anonymous said...

"Trinity Park resident Ellen Dagenhart joined Saunders and Joyner in expressing outrage over the prospect of a civil suit settlement. 'Take it to court, let it be heard,' she exclaimed to the N&O. 'I don’t know how you decide that one life is worth more than another.'

=======

This is the same Ellen Dagenhart whose most prominent contribution to the local dialogue, was to post, to 2 different local listserves, the complete text of Ruth Sheehan's infamous "Team's silence is sickening" column, a/k/a "Ypu Know. We know you know" -- etc.

Ruth Sheehan had the good sense to eventually apologize, and say she was dead wrong. Did Dagenhart? NO!!! Dagenhart of course is still wrong, but is too craven and dishonest to admit it.

So, "Thanks," Dagenhart, for your VERY important contribution toward creating Durham's multi-million-dollar liability, through your ignorant, arrogant and enthusiastic backing of a total lie.

How do we decide how one life is worth more than another? I don't know, but I figure your personal contribution to the discussion is worth about a negative 30 million dollars here in Durham.

You know what I am talking about. And I know that you know. And you know that I know that you know. Idiot.

rrhamilton said...

Trinity Park resident Ellen Dagenhart: 'I don’t know how you decide that one life is worth more than another.'

Yes, true: Mother Teresa, Adolf Eichman -- pretty much the same, who's to decide?

[/sarcasm]

When people say what Dagenhart said, what they really mean is, "From an objective point of view, the kinds of people I like are really evil and the kinds of people I don't like are really good, so I don't want to grant anyone the right to judge them objectively."

Anonymous said...

Ruth Sheeham inflamed this event - threw the match. The NO helped with the fire. Sometimes an apology is not enough. which is true in this instance. She and the NO should be out of business. They an Nifong are the true villiams. Of course, Stephens and Titus kept it going for so long.

Kilgore said...

Shouting Thomas at 9:19 said:

Racial and sexual quotas are the backbone of the Democratic Party. The party's patronage system is racial and sexual quotas. This is only becoming more entrenched. I don't see this changing as a result of Duke.

Well said. I have never heard it articulated so succinctly and so well. Kudos.

Of course the compounding problem is that the republicans are not much better....ugh We are in it deep.

scott said...

RRH @ 2:52 PM --

I agree. I can recall no other instance where a blog has concentrated on a single topic for the length of time as DIW and done so much good to bring to light the information that was not being accurately reported by the PC media.

Normally concentration for such an extended period of time on a single topic would tend to become stale. I can say without reservation there has never been a dull moment here.

Given that it is so much fun to poke Durham in the eye, the fact that it has not become boring owes to two facts:

1. that there was so much that was done so wrong by so many up until AG Cooper declared the Laxers innocent;
2. after that, just when it was possible for the fire to begin dying out, some of the local citizens of Durham have begun to fan the flames to keep the blaze going with their idiotic letters to the editor and comments on this blog.

Will these idiots and schemers never reach the bottom of the pit? They certainly show no signs of slowing their descent yet.

There are a number of stories where the blogosphere has corrected the errors of other media. Most recently was the refutation of the Bee Ess written by Scott Beauchamp in The New Republic about antics he claimed to have witnessed in Iraq that were committed by him and other soldiers meant to portray the Army in a negative way. A combination of mainline bloggers such as Michelle Malkin and Charles Johnson at LGF and mil-bloggers who knew that claims Beauchamp made about the Bradley were completely offbase tore his stories to shreds. To date, TNR claims to still be investigating. They refuse to admit the lies that were published in their rag. Others, such as Newsweek, however, have commented on the TNR's deception, so it is gradually making its way out into the mainstream.

None of these in my opinion, however, compare to what DIW has accomplished. The rights inherent in the American jurisprudence system are fundamental to us all. When anyone gets a raw deal, we all should take notice and demand correction. If not, who knows who might become the next victim of Durham "justice" (a justice that is practiced in a lot of places in the US, btw)?

Durham isn't merely a geographical place on a map. It represents a state of mind that borders on insanity.

Gregory said...

Anonymous said "I think if they couldnt sue the "deep pockets", they wouldnt sue at all. Which is what you'd prefer, isn't it"

No, I want a lawsuit. Just not a suit against the citizens of Durham, the majority of whom voted against Mike Nifong, may I remind you.

Anonymous said...

Rae Evans is a woamn of her words! GO RAE!

Anonymous said...

People in Durham complain that $30 million is WAY too much. Compare it to a case from about 10 years ago in Maryland. Here are two articles about the case:

1. http://www.news-star.com/stories/101097/biz_biz.html

“Three young black men who accused the Eddie Bauer chain of racism for detaining them on suspicion of shoplifting and forcing one of them to take off his shirt were awarded $1 million.

A federal jury of four whites and three blacks found Thursday the young men were falsely imprisoned and defamed by store officials and that the outdoor-clothing company negligently supervised its security guards.

2. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n23_v92/ai_19944470

Jackson received $850,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, and co-plaintiffs Plummer and Cunningham were each awarded $75,000.

"It may make a difference in my pocket, but it doesn't give me beck my dignity," Jackson told reporters outside the U.S. District Courthouse. "I felt we were discriminated against."

The lawsuit was later settled for “undisclosed terms”.

If a jury will award $850,000 to someone subjected to one day of abuse by a "negligently supervised [PRIVATE] security guard" [jury did NOT find discrimination], what is over ONE YEAR’s worth of discrimination, defamation of character, slander/libel and false charges by MULTIPLE GOVERNMENT agents worth?

Let’s see: $850,000 X 395 days = $335,750,000 X 3 defendants = $1,007,250,000

PLUS $75,000 EACH for every other member of the lacrosse team (40+) [$75K X 45 (approx) = $3,375,000

So $1,007,250,000 (defendants) + $3,375,000 (teammates) = $1,010,625,000

Yeah. I’d say $30M is a bargin.

Anonymous said...

In the early 1990s an inmate at the East St. Louis jail was improperly placed in a cell where he was beaten to the point where he suffered significant, permanent impairment of his cognition. He will require custodial care for the rest of his life. He sued the city and won a judgment of several million dollars, which the city claimed it didn't have. The presiding judge awarded him city assets until this judgment was satisfied,including City Hall. Thus, for years in the early 90s, a municipality paid rent to a man in a nursing home who had been maimed under their watch. Eventually the judgment was satisfied and the plaintiff sold the building.
Thus, there is a precedent for plaintiffs being awarded city assets as part of a settlement.
Could Durham, NC wind up paying rent on municipal buildings to Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann? Any thoughts from those in the legal profession on this?

Tall T (not a lawyer)

Michael Bacon said...

You know, I showed up here a couple weeks ago to try to talk, to try to open a dialog, to try to see if it was possible to get past the noise on both sides. (Yes, I know I said Victoria Peterson wouldn't win any major endorsements. The fact that she got DCABP shows how far off the cliff Lavonia Allison has gone. She still won't win.) But while I think K.C.'s legal scholarship deserves utmost respect, some things here are just plain ridiculous.

Barry Saunders' column is "race baiting," despite the fact that he never mentions race once in the article. (Barry's been accused of being racist before, when he told Rueben Studdard to lose some weight -- people apparently didn't realize he was black.) And K.C., your link to something that Barry supposedly wrote last year is broken, so I have no idea what you're talking about there.

Ellen Dagenhart is somehow out of line both for saying the settlement is excessive in the paper (I said the same thing in the N&O article, but apparently you can't find anything to slam me with) and for giving Gottlieb some props for his enforcement of city ordinances against Duke students. Look, I know "Gottlieb" is synonymous with "Satan-spawn" around these parts, but frankly, if you continue to deny that the near East Campus party scene was not out of control to a level that was dangerous to students and neighbors alike, put the crack pipe down. Gottleb made some pretty awful missteps in the Lacrosse case, but that means everything he's done is suspect?

To be complete, here's what I told Matt when he called about the article: If someone can give me a decent case for why $10 million a head is an appropriate number (The bizarre logic in 9/17 7:14 PM doesn't count as decent, sorry), I'll listen. Maybe I'll be convinced. But it certainly seems high, particularly since, as I understand it, most of the suit is for personal damages, not punitive. (As K.C. rightly points out, there's a role for high punitive damages.) The players deserve a decent settlement, and I'm willing to pay my part as a Durham taxpayer. But $30 mil? You better have a damn good reason.

Whatever... At some point, one of two things is going to happen. All of you who obsess over this case will find something better to yell about, or if you're really that interested in seeing reform in a rather typical small southern city you have barely any connection to, you'll actually bother to have a two-way conversation with the people who live here. (Here's a hint: yelling at us incoherently in the comments section of a blog most of us don't read is unlikely to change behavior.) Once you're ready for the later part, and are at least ready to put down the caps lock key, you can find me here. I realize that I might have just as well invited a bunch of pyromaniacs into my house to help me with the gas, so here's a warning. If you get too ridiculous, you will be mocked. If you act like a civilized person, though, we might be able to learn something from each other. (And yes, I acknowledge that a lot of you can probably teach me quite a bit I don't know about the lacrosse case.)

-Michael

Anonymous said...

Michael 6:09
"Ellen Dagenhart is somehow out of line both for saying the settlement is excessive in the paper (I said the same thing in the N&O article, but apparently you can't find anything to slam me with) and for giving Gottlieb some props for his enforcement of city ordinances against Duke students. Look, I know "Gottlieb" is synonymous with "Satan-spawn" around these parts, but frankly, if you continue to deny that the near East Campus party scene was not out of control to a level that was dangerous to students and neighbors alike, put the crack pipe down. Gottleb made some pretty awful missteps in the Lacrosse case, but that means everything he's done is suspect?"

----------

I did not slam Dagenhart for saying that 30M is excessive, and you know it. I slammed her for the fact that her most prominent, previous contribution was to post, to 2 different Trinity Park listserves, the full text of Ruth Sheehan's infamous "You know" article. A slanderous piece of garbage.

And I pointed out that, while Ruth Sheehan had the integrity to confess that she was dead wrong, Dagenhart has done no such thing. That's why, in my opinion, she is both a coward and a liar.

God forbid Dagenhart might acknowledge a grievous moral wrong, by herself or by her fellow potbanger-types, that might damage her Real Estate business profits -- eh?

As for Gottlieb -- he is a serial perjurer, a racist and a classic "bad cop," and an enemy of any remaining shreds of what is right and just in the DPD. His flat-out firing, in disgrace, should be a minimum requirement of any settlement, and even if there is no settlement, Durham is a bigger idiot than Dagenhart if Gottlieb is not demoted to dog-catcher.

Michael Bacon said...

I wasn't talking about yours (which honestly, I overlooked. My eyes glazed over reading 130 comments -- sorry). I was talking about K.C. calling her out.

KC Johnson said...

To Michael:

My point on Dagenhart was a straightforward one: in any civil suit, the pattern of practice of Mark Gottlieb would be an area where Durham is clearly vulnerable. So it seems to me unsurprising that a person who actually praised a figure who could be a caricature of a rogue cop is critical of the idea of settling with the players.

As for Saunders--perhaps there is an explanation other than race for the columnist's diametrically opposed treatment of black rape defendants and white rape defendants. But I'd submit that anyone who didn't see his most recent case column as race-baiting was being willfully naive.