Monday, February 25, 2008

New Revelations from the Civil Suits

At this stage of events, it would seem unlikely that any more new items would appear. But, of course, that’s not the case. Both the lawsuit filed last week on behalf of 38 players and Bob Ekstrand’s December lawsuit, filed on behalf of Ryan McFadyen, Matt Wilson, and Breck Archer, brought a host of new information to the table.

Perhaps the two most significant items, one from each lawsuit:

1.) The Day memo

In May 2006, the Bowen/Chambers report—whose chief motivation appeared to be negating the Coleman Committee’s largely positive portrayal of the lacrosse players—inadvertently revealed that Duke Police Officer Christopher Day had penned a report, from the night of the party, stating that a Durham Police officer had told his superiors that Crystal Mangum had claimed that 20 people raped her. The Day report suggested that Mangum was—to put it charitably—a less than reliable complainant.

Day later filed an “amendment” casting doubt on his initial report’s reliability. Yet, as we know now, his first report was correct: as the Nifong ethics trial depositions revealed, Sgt. John Shelton had just the conversation on which Day reported.

Friday’s filing makes the explosive claim: “Once the case exploded into public view on March 24, however, Duke still did not produce Officer Day’s report to the lacrosse players or the public. On the contrary, on information and belief, Duke actively took steps to suppress this report, to silence Officer Day, and later (when the existence of Day’s report became public) to discredit the report.”

2.) The Wilson hearing

The Ekstrand lawsuit discusses the highly questionable Duke judicial inquiry into lacrosse player Matt Wilson. In early summer 2006, Wilson had a DUI—outside of Durham. The Duke judicial code contained no mention of students being brought up on campus charges for alcohol-related offenses committed beyond Durham; and, the lawsuit points out, no evidence exists that Duke has brought up students on such charges in the past.

In Wilson’s case, however, he was brought before Dean Stephen Bryan’s panel, and suspended from school. According to the lawsuit, Wilson’s father was told that the University decided to act because Wilson was a lacrosse player.

Even more problematic were the events of Wilson’s hearing. Richard Brodhead had suggested that any investigation by Duke into events of the party would be tantamount to obstruction of justice. Yet at his hearing, Wilson was asked about the events of the party—even though these events had nothing to do with the charges the tribunal was considering.

By its own standards, then, Duke obstructed justice by interrogating Wilson.

Other new items:

1.) Gottlieb on the case: March 15, 2006

One mystery of the case is how, exactly, Mangum’s complaint wound up in the lap of Duke-hating Sgt. Mark Gottlieb. Gottlieb had been reassigned away from dealing with Duke students (because of his pattern of abusive behavior towards them), and was involved with the property crimes, not the sex crimes, unit of the DPD.

Friday’s lawsuit provides the most convincing explanation of this conundrum: to Mangum on March 15, this wasn’t a sexual assault case at all. Instead, it was a robbery case, with the sole suspect Kim Roberts. Mangum informed Duke Police Officer B.S. Jones that she wanted to file charges against Roberts. And so, the suit contends, “In response to this phone call from Mangum, Jones referred Mangum’s case to Sergeant Mark Gottlieb, who was in charge of Property Crimes for District 2 of the Durham police.”

Only in Durham.

2.) In-class harassment: March 24, 2006

Until now, the earliest known date of in-class harassment by a Duke professor was on March 27, when History professor Reeve Huston shared the results of his “research” with his class: a sexual assault—complete with “ejaculation”—took place. The six lacrosse players in Huston’s class walked out of the proceedings. (Huston has refused repeated requests for comment on his behavior.)

According to Friday’s lawsuit, however, the first in-class harassment actually occurred on March 24—or the day after the initial press reports about the fraudulent non-testimonial order. The lawsuit notes,

Already on Friday, March 24, at least one lacrosse player, Peter Lamade, was subjected to in-class harassment by his professor before his peers. This would be the first of many such incidents in the ensuing weeks, as the campus atmosphere, exacerbated by the vitriolic harassment of the activist professors and student protestors, became hostile and intolerable to the lacrosse team.

3.) The parents’ meeting: March 25, 2006

Duke never investigated the claims of in-class harassment—even after administrators received reports of improper faculty behavior at an April 6, 2006 meeting with coaches. Friday’s lawsuit makes clear that parents had pressed for Duke to enforce its own procedures—but that the University had refused to do so:

The parents asked Moneta to remind professors of Duke’s policy . . . prohibiting harassment of students, including in-class harassment of students by professors. Moneta refused, even though, as noted above, at least one lacrosse player had been the subject of such in-class harassment the day before.

4.) FERPA: April 5, 2006

One of the most serious allegations in Friday’s lawsuit involves the University’s apparent decision to share student keycode information with the Durham Police. If true, this act would have violated federal law (the so-called FERPA). For those outside the academy: colleges and universities take FERPA very seriously. Universities might ignore media criticism, or even alumni criticism, but they live in (justified) terror of federal inquiries.

Yet, as the Ekstrand lawsuit points out, Duke was aware of its obligations under FERPA in other ways. The University wanted to be able to get the p.r. benefit from its decision to suspend Ryan McFadyen. Yet student disciplinary records cannot be publicly revealed without the student signing a FERPA waiver. On the chaotic day of April 5—when Brodhead canceled the season and fired Coach Pressler—university officials nonetheless tracked down McFadyen to get him to sign a waiver. Though they had time to do so, they didn’t make any effort to ask him about the context of his e-mail.

5.) Duke/Durham Police

A consistent refrain from the Brodhead administration: it couldn’t look into the allegations, because Duke had no authority to conduct a criminal inquiry.

Yet, as the Ekstrand lawsuit pointed out, not only did Duke have the authority, it had primary authority. Duke and Durham had negotiated an arrangement in which the Duke Police Department had primary jurisdiction over off-campus houses owned by Duke. In short, the police inquiry should have been conducted by the Duke Police Department, not the Durham PD.

Duke officials had never revealed the existence of the arrangement.

6.) Board of Trustees chairman Bob Steel

Throughout the case, Steel was nothing short of a p.r. nightmare for Duke. In August 2006, he totally contradicted the official Duke line for canceling the season (punishment for the party, a need to defer to the criminal justice process). Instead, he informed the New Yorker, the season was canceled because we had to stop those pictures [of the players practicing]. It doesn’t mean that it’s fair, but we had to stop it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I think it was right—it just had to be done.”

Friday’s lawsuit indicated that Steel’s tendency to wander off message wasn’t confined to the New Yorker interview. As the lawsuit notes, the Board chairman “later stated to Sally Fogarty, mother of player Gibbs Fogarty, regarding the firing of Coach Pressler: ‘Life sucks. Bad things happen to good people and you better get used to it.’”

Steel’s deposition doubtless will be an interesting affair.


Anonymous said...

Everything about all of the law suits will be interesting. They should receive extensive media coverage but somehow I fear they won't.

Happy said...

Steel seems to have read the "Leadership Secrets of Caiaphas. Forget about the truth, do what seems expedient at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I second the above. Where is the media coverage?

Anonymous said...

Duke essentially has no choice but to settle this case for whatever the plaintiffs are asking. The consequences of the revelations from discovery process will be devastating for the school and any attempt at raising funds from alumni later. It seems highly likely that the professor's behavior will be fully documented and described- and it will not be a pretty picture.

Anonymous said...

One can only hope, that during his lengthy depositions, Steel is made to suffer multiple torn orifices.

Steel said that he was doing what was "Best for Duke". It is clear now, given the timing of his Treasury Department appointment hearings, that he was motivated more by what was "Best for Steel". In his deposition process, Steel will deserve only the best.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid the Anon above is correct. While the lawsuit briefs make for blood pressure raising reading, the coverage of them will be a one day summary of the summary. The real damage, to the LAX team, Duke and the media itself was in the almost daily breathless reporting of 'something new' that was strapped to the Procrustean bed of the media's 'evil, rich, arrogant white guys' meme.

Unfortunately the lawsuit filing stories will be laundry list reporting with little background detail and plenty of quotes from the defense side wailing that it's all about the money and making the new theme 'evil, rich, GREEDY white guys.'

Anonymous said...

The MSM is a power-hungry money-hungry mob. They want listeners, viewers, and people who buy magazines and newspapers. If just ONE of the MSM decide to cover the case responsibly, the others will have to follow.

You guys know a lot of influential people. Find just ONE... ?? Greta?? It has all the makings of a docu-drama, which the MSM and the public just love.

I think it WILL be covered... just need to find the first one who will do it.

Anonymous said...

A cautionary word to DWIers re this lawsuit: there are two sides to every pancake, no matter how flat it gets. I am among those who are angry at Duke's fundamental arrogance and shameful self-interest in its (mis)handling of the lacrosse fiasco. However, as a recovering litigator, I understand that any party to litigation has to expect the unexpected. A complaint is just that....intial, uncontested assertions. Most complaints will have an equally forceful rebuttal. Given Duke's resources, and the likely outside legal talent it will employ, this case will be no different.

While I must assume that the plaintiffs' lawyers carefully chose their words and did reasonable due diligence in investigating the factual underpinnings of their clients' assertions, I also know from experience that if the defendants can successfully show that one or more of the plaintiffs' claims are without foundation, the credibility of the entire case can be impacted in the minds of jurors.

The plaintiffs utilized a somewhat risky strategy in filing a "speaking" complaint that alleges in detailed facts the basis for their claims. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require only "notice pleading", not the detailed account in this suit. By committing to this strategy, the plaintiffs have upped their evidentiary burden.

As a defense attorney, I have participated in, or witnessed, trials in which, after the plaintiff's closing, I thought "oh, shit, the defendants are toast." And then, after the defendant's closing, I thought "no way for a plaintiff's verdict." Such is life in the fast lane of high stakes litigation, and likely the case here.

Stay tuned!

mac said...

Note to Bob Steel as he is put on the rack and verbally stretched and humiliated by attorneys: "Life sucks."

Don't it, though.

Bad things happen to bad people, too, and you happen to be part of a very bad group of people. Enjoy!

drew said...

I can’t help but get the impression that Mr. Steel’s path through the litigation process is going to be a rocky one. At each step along the way, where a calming hand was needed from the BoT, Mr. Steel seemed to pour gasoline on the many fires.

I also still believe that Mr. Steel’s hand, or the collective hands of the BoT, are connected to the involvement of Mr. Covington in the early days of the hoax and the railroading. As a fairly successful local attorney, Mr. Covington would (presumably) not have inserted himself in the process without a client or some specific instructions and/or goals; yet the only party that stood to gain from his less than admirable actions was the BoT and (indirectly) the University. I can’t imagine the University General Counsel’s office engaging Mr. Covington, since that would have necessitated some sort of documentary evidence of his retainer. No, I suspect that Mr. Covington was sent into the fray as the “stealth” lawyer, with the hope that some of the LAX players could be suborned into a guilty plea.

When the discovery finally gets under way, and the University’s outside attorneys realize the breadth and depth of the evidence that they’ll be fighting, someone will screw up enough courage to suggest that the University has to start throwing some people under the bus. When the fickle finger of fate gets around to jettisoning Mr. Steel’s reputation and power, perhaps some of the “new” BoT (and there will have to be one at some time soon) can tell him “Life sucks. Bad things happen to good people and you better get used to it.’”

Debrah said...

H-S editorial:

Lawsuit stretches damages concept

Feb 25, 2008

Without a doubt, members of the Duke University lacrosse team went through some pretty tough times when an exotic dancer hired to perform at a team party falsely accused three players of rape. In the many months before the allegations were proven totally false, the lives of the players were turned upside down.

In addition to the bogus accusations, former district attorney Mike Nifong made matters much worse by doggedly moving forward with the case even though he had no hard evidence to support it. Nifong paid dearly for his reckless errors. He lost his job, his law license and his standing in the community.

For their trouble, the three players who were formally charged reportedly received a hefty settlement from Duke. They are also likely to receive damages from the City of Durham, although the amount is still undecided. Those three, it can be convincingly argued, deserve some compensation. Their humiliation was intense, public and wrong.

But we must confess to being less convinced about the level of damages suffered by 38 other members of the lacrosse team who filed a lawsuit last week against Duke and the City of Durham. Their attorney, Charles Cooper, said the suit is the only way to hold officials accountable for what they put the team through.

Of course, the players and their parents have every right to sue. Again, we acknowledge they had a tough time. At first they were accused of not cooperating with police, and they were probably criticized and ostracized by some on campus.

But it's harder to understand how they were damaged to the point where significant monetary compensation is warranted. If disappointment and distress qualifies for monetary compensation, then most of the world has a valid lawsuit against someone. It almost seems to trivialize the concept of damages.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the players and their families see an opportunity to reap a financial reward by punishing the citizens of Durham. Sorry, but we have to object to that.

It is also troubling that the cancellation of the 2005-2006 season, one in which Duke was in a position to compete for a national championship, is now being cited as example of how team members were somehow damaged. Disappointed? Sure. But damaged is a tougher sell.

Duke President Richard Brodhead was well within his rights to cancel the season, based on a pattern of behavior by the team.

To its credit, Duke offered to help the families with their legal costs and other out-of-pocket expenses, which seems generous. But the players and their families rejected the offer. Now Duke officials say they will vigorously contest the lawsuit. We encourage the City of Durham to do the same.

In our litigious society, everyone has the right to sue. That doesn't mean everyone has the right to collect.

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray the families will stay the course,and insist that no settlement is acceptable which does not make a full public accounting of who did what. In other words, one that names names, and holds people accountable. At that point,if Duke wants to buy out the contracts of all of its upper level administrators, 88 plus faculty members, and others, fine. Let them do so. But let the public see exactly what went on - and hold the administration and faculty who led the framing crew accountable. Their names should be very publicly associated with this disgraceful affair.

To the lurking Klan of 88, administrators, and your apologists: This was never about money. It is about the truth. It is about honesty. It is about accountability. You just don't understand these concepts, do you?

Orson Buggeigh

Anonymous said...

"The consequences of the revelations from discovery process will be devastating for the school and any attempt at raising funds from alumni later."

I think some perspective is in order...... most of the "revelations" have already been published, I suspect..... I doubt that discovery will be heavily published by the media. Whether you agree with it or not, Duke has already "moved on" in the minds of most people, especially the people who matter to Duke. From Duke's perspective, it's already over, and wishing otherwise will change nothing.

Debrah said...

This is explosive.

If, indeed, this case began as just an alleged robbery and disagreement between Mangum and Kim Roberts, then this is worse that we all thought.

The DPD--Gottlieb, in particular--jumped at the chance to concoct something once he found out that the stripper party was in Trinity Park, where he and the DPD had long overstepped and singled out the lacrosse players for a long time.

At the request of the slimey Trinity Park residents.

Anonymous said...

Well, there may be two sides to every pancake, but once the terabyte of Duke faculty, staff, and administrator emails hits the fan, one of those sides is going to be looking pretty gross.

Anonymous said...

The H-S editorial still doesn't get it, does it?

They still think it is about the Lacrosse Players.

It isn't.

It is about the failure of leadership in all ranks of responsibility in Duke and Durham.

What does this writer mean that Brohead had the right to cancel the players' season in the "light of the teams behavior". What behavior does he mean? Why didn't they cancel ALL the althlete's seasons, in the "light of THEIR behavior".

What behavior does the writer mean?

Debrah said...

Response from the public editor of the NYTimes about the McCain fiasco.

Did he do the same type of critique on their coverage of the lacrosse case?

I don't recall.

mac said...

The HS commentary that Debrah posted proves why the case needs to go forward, and some major remedy is needed: when the HS talks about the "pattern of behavior" of the team, they are engaged in the perpetual libel of which we speak.

Which pattern do they refer to?
The collective GPA and graduation rate of the Lacrosse team, which was exemplary? The volunteerism, which was extraordinary? The fact that the young men did exactly the same thing - (hiring strippers) - that Coach K's young men did? And other athletic teams, as well? These "patterns of behavior?"

Or is the HS referring to somethig more general, something very common to the larger student body? Underage drinking, frequent hookups, loud noise. Why are the student athletes being singled out?

Maybe because the predjudice against them is now so ingrained, that it has become part of the common mythology.

I only wish the SH=HS crowd could be sued for promulgating and perpetuating the myth. The proof is in their own words.

JorgXMcKie said...

The more of this that comes out the angrier I get. I teach at a much less prestigious university than Duke, and we have had our own problems (including one very bad one), but at least we seem to have owned up to our mistakes and shortcomings.

If *any* of the above charges are true, there should be a general housecleaning that leaves the BoT, the top couple of levels of the administration, and at least 87 professors out of jobs.

These disgusting people will probably never (in this world) pay the full price of their conduct, but I hope Duke shells out big time (although I'd settle for shelling out some and owning up big time [not my choice since I'm not a LAX player]).

As for the H/S,why should anyone expect those ignorant, bigoted bozos to recognize reality at this late date? They are a blot on the idea of marriage between cousins.

Anonymous said...

Lawsuits are bar fights. The plaintiffs have broken the bottle. Now we will see how the defendants respond. The plaintiffs attorneys are serious people and have chosen a high risk, high visibility strategy to litigate. Duke will have to reply in kind. If they get to discovery, the stakes for Duke will skyrocket. Keeping all of the defendants coordinated with common interests under common defense will be a nightmare.
Notice that as the case has dragged on that the city executive and the chairman of the board of trustees have gotten their name in the public eye more and more. They are not happy about the exposure and are dreading the discovery process.
Steel was very willing to throw anyone under the bus to protect Duke as an institution. Now it's his time. Maybe they need to cut their losses and blame Steel.

Anonymous said...

To 10:04am:

While I agree with you that the Plantiff's pleading was more than a notice, it appears that the plantiff's are trying to force Duke to settle by strongly hinting at what the next phase of the process will look like for Duke. I suspect that there are a lot of folks in the administration and the BOT that would like this whole affair to go away and would be willing to pay dearly out of their $6B endowment. The plantiff's may or may not prevail, however it is apparent that they will make this case very embarrasing for Duke if and when it proceeds the discovery phase.

Anonymous said...

Don't expect to get everything in discovery. The most damaging emails have probably been deleted.

Also, I am not sure I like the precedent of opening up private conversations to public observation. There has to be a place for frank and confidential discussions.

That being said, the lawsuit is important because it is clear that Duke still feels protecting the gang of 88 and their agenda is more important than taking an honest look at what happened and why.

It appears that it is easier to face losing millions in legal fees and damages than having to tell the gang of 88 that they were way out of line. They are more afraid of some crackpot professors than they are of losing a lawsuit.

This is a small example of how deeply rooted the PC insanity is in even our most elite universities.

Anonymous said...

Gang88 is active at Columbia U:

February 25, 2008 -- Teachers College claims to be independent of Columbia University - but when it comes to moral cowardice, it's hard to tell them apart.
To wit, Teachers College revealed last week that an 18-month investigation has determined that Professor Madonna Constantine had lifted the work of a colleague and several students.

Now, plagiarism is a firing offense at Morningside Heights, right?

Amazingly, no. ..
If her name seems familiar, it should. She's the prof upon whose door last fall was found a four-foot noose; the discovery sparked a national uproar, and the case remains unresolved.

Se faked the noose incident and plagiarized material from other people so standard Gang88 behavior, and naturally it is racist to accuse her. These people make me sick.

I know Universities are controlled by ultra-liberal wackos but it is still interesting to see the moral bankrupt of these once great institutions. Basically, they are nothing more than racist hate-mongering 4th tier institutions, main purpose of existence is to push ultra-liberal racist agenda.

Anonymous said...

For the people who “just don’t get it,” who think “it’s all about the money,” please take a look at what the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) did in a recent case (the website is available by subscription only)

22 Feb. 2008, Global Arbitration Review

Title: Moral damages award sparks debate

Quote from article

>>>On 6 February, a tribunal . . . ordered the Republic of Yemen to pay Omani construction company Desert Line Projects total damages of US$24 million. The tribunal found that Yemen had "maliciously" obstructed the enforcement of a domestic arbitration award in Desert Line's favour. As well as material compensation, the award included US$1 million 'MORAL DAMAGES' [emphasis added]- which the tribunal said was "more than symbolic".

Moral damages, to compensate for harm to reputation or distress, have been awarded before - but rarely at ICSID. . .

According to the tribunal, the "physical duress" used by the government officials "affected the physical health of the claimant's executives and the claimant's credit and reputation." . . .

Says . . . a specialist on damages in investment treaty claims: "The award references the duress exerted on the claimant's executives and its effects on their physical health, but it ultimately seems to rely on loss of reputation to the claimant as the basis for the moral damages portion of the award. The reference to "malice" on the part of the State seems to suggest a punitive element, but the tribunal has clearly put this in the "moral" damages category."


Obviously, even an international tribunal gets it.

Anonymous said...

Any chance Duke/Durham will learn something from D.C? (see article dated Feb. 22, 2008)

Family to End Litigation Over Journalist's Death -- Improvements in Care Cited at News Conference
“The family of a slain journalist, whose death exposed problems with the District's emergency medical care, said yesterday that the city has made significant improvements over the past year.

“David E. Rosenbaum's relatives, who agreed last year to forgo a lawsuit against the D.C. government as long as reforms were made, said they were satisfied with the city's efforts so far and that they will END THE LITIGATION.” [emphasis added]
. . .
“The Rosenbaum family initially sued the District government for as much as $20 million in damages. Last March, the city agreed to set up a task force on emergency medical services, and a member of the Rosenbaum family served on the panel. At the time, the family said the suit would be dropped if changes were made within a year.

Yesterday, family members said the District has improved quality assurance, training and supervision in the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Additional efforts -- to CHANGE THE CULTURE OF THE DEPARTMENT so that firefighters and medics are treated and paid equally -- are still needed, Marcus Rosenbaum said, but family members think those improvements will come. [emphasis added]

"We will keep an eye on progress and point out where we think it is lacking," he said.

[DC Mayor] Fenty declared, "A lot of lessons have been learned."

Somehow, I don’t think people in NC will pay any attention.

Anonymous said...

Re: Campus Rape Myth
Heather Mac Donald has written a good article about the campus rape myth. It seems to me the whole “Take Back the Night’ rally at Duke during the crisis, was based on a hoax as well.

I still firmly believe if the situation required the end to the Lacrosse season, surely the feminists should have defused the situation as well. Instead they invited in outsiders and more hostility into a known tense atmosphere.

That is more than a double standard, it is stupid. Hopefully, college students will start to question the real purpose of the anger studies programs.

I found this sentence especially interesting:
“While [women’s studies professors bang pots] and blow whistles at antirape rallies, in the dorm next door, freshman counselors and deans pass out tips for better orgasms and the use of sex toys.” Also, this description, “dour antimale feminism”
City Journal
Heather Mac Donald

The Campus Rape Myth
The reality: bogus statistics, feminist victimology, and university-approved sex toys

It’s a lonely job, working the phones at a college rape crisis center. Day after day, you wait for the casualties to show up from the alleged campus rape epidemic—but no one calls.

Campuses do everything they can to get their numbers of reported and adjudicated sexual assaults up—adding new categories of lesser offenses, lowering the burden of proof, and devising hearing procedures that will elicit more assault charges.

The academic bureaucracy is roomy enough to sponsor both the [dour antimale feminism] of the college rape movement and the [promiscuous hookup culture of student life.]

The only thing that doesn’t fit into the university’s new commitments is [serious scholarly purpose.]

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous said 2:32...

...Well, there may be two sides to every pancake, but once the terabyte of Duke faculty, staff, and administrator emails hits the fan, one of those sides is going to be looking pretty gross.
Absolutely, and rather than divide up the standard pancake for analysis, attorneys are going to find the Duke side of the pancake has grown exponentially.

Rather than fight over pieces of the pancake it is always best to first grow the pancake.

Syrup requirements will become legend before this is over.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

1. Two sides to a pancake is only true if the pancake is poured onto the griddle. Duke is not going to allow either side of this pancake to be seen.

2. So the person that posted about the families not settling for just money is correct. A full accounting is needed. That probably won't happen, but some people at Duke must pay as a warning to others. The Dean of students will likely be offered up. I wonder if that is enough?

3. The interesting thing will be if Duke will fold before or after depositions start and are posted on the web? All it will take is one deposition for Duke to start to understand the implications of what they will be quized about. I would guess discovery of e-mail will take place before depositions and when Duke reviews what they must disclose in the e-mails, the start offering heads as well as money.

Anonymous said...

"Now, plagiarism is a firing offense at Morningside Heights, right?

Amazingly, no. .."

Hey, isn't affirmative action still the Law?


mac said...

Emails can be deleted...but you don't know who has them, who they might've been forwarded to, and if they're incriminatory and have an alternate existence on someone else's computer, somewhere?

I wonder if the deletion of such evidence might be considered obstruction of justice, evidence tampering, maybe something else?

Besides, deleting an email doesn't neccessarily remove it from the hard drive. To do that, you basically have to smash the hard drive with a hammer, or put it under an MRI.

As someone has already said: hiding evidence is often worse than the evidence itself. (See Rosemary Woods/Richard Nixon/17 minutes of blank tape.)

Anonymous said...

For months Brodhead was the face of evil at Duke in the lacrosse case. After reading some of the lawsuits allegations, Brodhead pales in comparison to Steel.If the BOT have an ounce of honesty left they will replace Steel immediately.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Duke has hired an outside PR consulting firm to help in its defense? If so, when was it hired and who are they? Are any of Duke's tactics and statements made to date indicative of a professionally managed message?

Finally, does the law serve ham, eggs and grits with those pancakes?

Anonymous said...

What Broadhead wrote:

"I have canceled the men’s lacrosse season and all associated activities, effective immediately. Lacrosse Coach Mike Pressler has submitted his resignation to Athletics Director Joe Alleva, effective immediately."

What he should have written:

I have canceled the G88's courses and all related activities, effective immediately. Holloway and the other instigators have submitted their resignations to Provost Lange, effective immediately."

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if the deletion of such evidence might be considered obstruction of justice"

Yes. It is called obstruction of justice, as you said, and it is a very big deal (much worse than anything Duke actually did or did not do). Given the IQ level at Duke, I'm pretty sure Gang88/Duke admin have been busy deleting emails.

In Discovery phase, it is typical that only the user PC's are searched. If something interesting turns out somewhere, then full search (e.g. server backups) will be searched. Here, Duke (and DPD)may have destroyed the backups as well.

Jim in San Diego said...

Wrong reference.

See, "Houston, you have a problem", on Liestoppers.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

"'She's the prof upon whose door last fall was found a four-foot noose; the discovery sparked a national uproar, and the case remains unresolved.'

Se faked the noose incident"

An awful lot of people made themselves look foolish during the Duke case by jumping to conclusions about who did what. In many cases they justified this by pointing to something else the suspects had done, or allegedly done, and assuming that to have done one bad thing was to be guilty of any bad thing that anyone happened to suspect them of.

Let's not become that which we oppose.

Anonymous said...

colleges and universities take FERPA very seriously. Universities might ignore media criticism, or even alumni criticism, but they live in (justified) terror of federal inquiries.

Unless of course they have connections in the DOJ and are therefore immune from Federal accountability....