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Friday, June 22, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 22, 2007

Updated — today's items:

"In short, Mr. Nifong knowingly played a game of hide and seek and seek and seek and seek with the Defendants and the Court regarding unquestionably exculpatory evidence, and he should be made to pay for the absolutely unnecessary and extensive effort put forth by the Defendants to obtain and finally identify that information throughout May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December of 2006." — Motion for Sanctions, filed by attorneys for Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann
Motion for Criminal Sanctions against Mike NifongAnne Blythe and Joseph Neff,
News & Observer:
Nifong accused of criminal contempt -- Lawyers for three former Duke lacrosse players asked a judge today to find Mike Nifong, the former district attorney, in criminal contempt of court.

A finding of contempt could land Nifong in jail.

The motion was filed with Durham Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III, who has been assigned to the lacrosse case.

The lawyers said Nifong engaged in a pattern of official misconduct that violated at least a dozen laws, rules and court orders designed to protect due process and the pursuit of truth...

discussion:
LS forum: Defense Lawyers File Contempt Motion
FreeRepublic: Lacrosse Attorneys File Motion for Criminal Charges Against Nifong

KC Johnson: The Sanctions Motion -- The motion raises Meehan’s “privacy” argument only to rebuff it completely, and then runs through the litany of false statements that Nifong gave to at least two judges and numerous defense lawyers that he had turned over all exculpatory evidence. It also asks Judge Smith to recall that Nifong gave what he himself termed “slightly different” treatment of the request for DNA Security’s underlying data—mocking the defense request, and then raising cost and privacy concerns...

Mike McCusker: The Outaw, Mickey, Wails.

references:
WRAL: Motion for Sanctions [41 pages]
N&O: Summary of sanctions motion [.pdf, 4 pages]
ABC11-TV/WTVD: Nifong Criminal Motion [.pdf, 3 pages]
---------
related:
David Schoetz, ABC News:
Contempt Motion Takes Aim at Nifong -- "Indeed, the pattern of misconduct is so extensive -- and occurred across so much time and on so many different fields of legal and ethical obligation -- that the sheer scope of it shocks the conscience and defies any notion of accident of negligence," the motion reads. "Thus, the real question for the Court is what to do about it." ...

Aaron Beard, AP/CBS News:
Motion Seeks Sanctions Against Nifong -- Mike Nifong "personally engaged in a pattern of official prosecutorial misconduct, which violated at least a dozen laws, rules and court orders designed to protect due process and the pursuit of truth," the attorneys wrote in their request...

WRAL:
Lacrosse Attorneys Want Criminal Charges Against Nifong -- Defense attorneys for three former Duke lacrosse players filed a motion in Durham County Superior Court Friday asking a judge to hold former District Attorney Mike Nifong in criminal contempt of court.

The 42-page motion, which alleges Nifong broke at least a dozen laws, cites Nifong's alleged misconduct in court on Sept. 22 and Dec. 15 regarding potentially exculpatory evidence as well as misleading statements he made to the media regarding that evidence...
discussion:
LS forum: Nifong maybe heading to jail today

more:
Fox News:
Embattled Duke Rape Case Prosecutor Mike Nifong Could Get Jail Time

Paige Leigh, Post Chronicle:
Mike Nifong, Duke Rape Case Prosecutor May Face Jail Time -- Mike Nifong, the former District Attorney, recently disbarred, who prosecuted the Duke University lacrosse rape case, may find himself in jail, if a motion is granted asking that criminal charges be filed against him, according to FOX News...
------
Rebecca Hall, ABC11-TV/WTVD:
Coach K Comments on the Duke Lacrosse Case -- For the first time since Nifong was disbarred and left office, Duke Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is chiming in on the Duke Lacrosse scandal.

When asked about the changes in the case in the last few weeks Coach K said he thought the results have been terrific. He lamented that this case just tore the kids' lives up and wished that Duke would have taken care of those kids a little bit better in some of their statements. He went on to state, "The Lacrosse Community, the Pressler Family, the Danowskis, there's some real heroes, but the main heroes are those kids and their families."...
related:
N&O: Krzyzewski: Lacrosse players, families "incredible"
-------
JONNA SPILBORJonna Spilbor,FindLaw.com:
Disdained, Disgraced, and Disbarred: Mike Nifong May Be Gone, But The Damage Done By Durham's Dirty Prosecutor Will Live On -- Every earthquake has an aftershock. Some are significant. Others, subtle.

Those who have followed the Duke lacrosse rape case closely, may think the recent - and, dare I say, swift - disbarment and firing of Durham's District Attorney Mike Nifong is itself the much anticipated aftershock of the case.

However, as I will explain in this column, I believe Mike Nifong himself is the earthquake whose aftershocks are only beginning to be measured...

Nifong May Have Committed Misconduct in Other Cases Too...
-------
Dr. Boyce WatkinsSLIME MONGER/DISTORTION MEISTER/round 2
Dr. Boyce Watkins "The People's Scholar Slanderer" (Syracuse University):
Nifong, Duke and the dirty, dirty south – why we still just don’t get it -- I was taken aback yesterday by the volume of hate mail I received in response to the last article I wrote about Mike Nifong, the prosecutor in the Duke LaCrosse case.

Apparently, a few folks had the urge to circulate the column through various chatrooms, news stations, magazines, KKK rallies and porno shops causing the panic that rocked the nation. One of the writers even called me a “negroid”, which is a nice change of pace. I am not sure if I’ve ever been called a “negroid” by anyone other than a scientist...

I’ve rarely seen people work so hard to defend a pack of drunken thugs, and I wonder if they would have the same passion when defending Pacman Jones, who just lost his job for a shooting he didn’t commit...

Some made the point, rightfully so, that the North Carolina Attorney General had proclaimed the Duke Lacrosse Players to be innocent. “Isn’t that cute”, I thought...
discussion:
LS forum: The Slime Keeps Oozing...
FreeRepublic: Racist Mega Barf
--------
Thomas Sowell, Post Chronicle:
Duke Case Lawsuit: Mike Nifong, Duke Univ, NY Times Face Own Lynching -- The disbarment of Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong should be just the first step in remedying the gross and cynical fraud of last year's "rape" case against Duke University lacrosse players.

Not only is Nifong still liable to civil lawsuits from the three young men whose lives he tried to ruin -- and criminal prosecution for his obstruction of justice and making false statements to a judge -- there are many other people who disgraced themselves in hyping a lynch mob atmosphere when this case first broke last year.

The New York Times, which splashed these Duke students' pictures on the front page, along with inflammatory charges against them, and went ballistic on its editorial page, carried the story of Nifong's disbarment for prosecuting them on page 16.

The 88 Duke University faculty members who took out a hysterical ad, supporting those local loudmouths who were denouncing and threatening the Duke students, have apparently had nothing at all to say now.

Not only did many Duke University professors join the lynch mob atmosphere, so did the Duke University administration, which got rid of the lacrosse coach and cancelled the team's season, without a speck of evidence that anybody was guilty of anything...
-------
William L. Anderson - teaches economics at Frostburg State UniversityWilliam L. Anderson, LewRockwell.com:
Trouble at the Prosecutorial Hilton and the Two Americas -- The issue, however, is not Paris Hilton nor her sex life, nor even her driving record. The issue is this: Her case proves to me that mob justice rules in the United States of America. Furthermore, it also demonstrates to me that prosecutors generally get a free pass when it comes to breaking the law.

Yes, that is a bold statement to make after spending a week watching Michael Nifong making very public trips to the woodshed and being disbarred and unceremoniously kicked out of his office. However, Nifong is just one prosecutor, and it took millions of dollars (tax dollars, I must add) and a Herculean effort on behalf of a number of people just to deal with his obvious lawbreaking.

Mike Nifong's future?Furthermore, Nifong only has lost his law license and his job. He has not lost his freedom, despite lying to judges, withholding evidence, committing perjury, suborning perjury, engaging in obstruction of justice, and the like. In fact, there currently are no criminal investigations that are going on, despite the fact that he was an in-your-face lawbreaker, and someone whose crimes did not involve peacefully driving a luxury car, but rather attempting to subvert the system of justice and knowingly send three innocent people to prison for 30 years.

Compare the troubles of Paris Hilton to those of Nifong and ask yourself who is the greater lawbreaker. For that matter, compare Paris Hilton to Michelle Delgadillo and ask yourself who has been more flagrant in breaking the law. Yet, Nifong collects a state pension, Delgadillo makes excuses, and Hilton sits in jail...
related:
Matt Lait, LA Times:
Delgadillo's wife pleads no contest in '98 traffic case -- The wife of L.A.'s city attorney enters the plea after a Times report that an arrest warrant for failing to appear for the ticket was outstanding.
--------Dorothy Rabinowitz  - Pulitzer prize winner
EXCELLENT
Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal/Opinion Journal:
A Tale of Two Prosecutors -- Mike Nifong is punished, but Patrick Fitzgerald isn't. -- This week the Duke-Nifong drama oozed to its finale, with a payout to the victims, a confidentiality agreement, the usual salutes to the healing process, and plans on the part of the principals to begin putting the case behind them. Missing from these declamations was the core reality that had brought this day to pass. No one expected participants in this peace-and-resolution ceremony to find a moment to recall the rightful fury and amazement this case engendered across the nation and outside of it--but such a moment would not have been out of place.

The story about the Duke athletes and District Attorney Nifong was not simply a riveting drama. It was in its searing way an educational event, not just about prosecutorial ambition run amok, but about a university world--reflective of many others--where faculty ideologues pursued their agendas unchecked and unabashed. Here was a nearly successful legal lynching, applauded by a significant chunk of the Duke faculty, proud to display their indifference to questions of guilt or innocence.

Duke President Richard Brodhead was doubtless disturbed by the charges and the plight of the accused athletes. But that didn't prevent him from firing the lacrosse coach, in deference to the reigning hysteria--or treating the team members as though they merited shunning. For the most part, he kept his head down while the fires raged around him. His was, it should be said, not unusual behavior. The great consuming career goal of our college and university presidents--with the exception of oddities like Harvard's Larry Summers--has for more than two decades been the same: to avoid any word or deed that might incur the wrath of their gender- and race-obsessed faculties and allied campus activists. University presidents once had higher ambitions...
discussion:
FreeRepublic: A Tale of Two Prosecutors

related:
Dorothy Rabinowitz(Jan. 11, 2007): The Michael Nifong Scandal
----------
TWO THUMBS UP
YouTube Nifong OperaDoug From Upland, YouTube:
DFU PRESENTS: Paul Potts Sings Michael Nifong [2:13] -- Now Mike will get his due. Get his due! His due... When do these assclowns apologize...

discussion:
FreeRepublic: So long, Mike Nifong (plus, he is eviscerated in an opera YouTube)

More Nifong bar hearing videos:
KC Johnson:
Nifong: An "Old-Fashioned" Guy [1:38]
The Worst of Witt: "Egregious" Mistakes [3:45]
The Worst of Witt: The DNA Evidence [3:16]
The Worst of Witt: The Neophyte Defense [2:37]
----------
WINGNUT/Charles Rector, OMGN.com:
Racism Duke University Style -- One thing that has gotten lost in the coverage of the Duke University Lacrosse Team Rape Case is that Duke is a historically racist institution. And not just racist, but severely racist.Duke was originally founded to promote what it called the “supremacy of the supreme race.” Up until the early 1970’s, in order to get hired there, you had to take what amounted to a racial loyalty oath in which you pledged to uphold the concept of “whiteness is rightness.” ...
--------
ENABLER/Marcella Chester, abyss2hope: A rape survivor's.. blog:
Lessons From Duke Case -- alleged victims who lose public support and are labeled as an unreliable witness routinely face cruel and unusual punishment from people who claim to uphold the rights of all men.

Many of those who kept saying, "innocent until proven guilty" hated the fact that this woman's claim was being investigated at all. They decided this based simply on who she was and because of who the alleged rapists were. Look at the number of people who said they knew the truth about this lying **** the day the story broke. They don't have ESP. They decided that women like her can't be raped, especially not by upstanding white college men. Case closed...
---------
FUNNY/eTrueSports.com
Nifong To Star On American Idol -- "He can sing and he can cry," says Simon Cowell.. As eTrueSports went to press, The Detroit Free Press was reporting that Smokey Robinson, who wrote "Tracks Of My Tears," was seeking an injunction to prevent Nifong from using his signature title song. "Over my dead body," said Robinson.
-------
Anne Blythe & Benjamin Niolet, News & Observer:
Hardin vows transparency as DA -- Superior Court judge says restoring 'credibility and integrity' to the Durham district attorney's office will be his goal -- Jim Hardin, the traveling Superior Court judge tapped to serve temporarily as district attorney, said Thursday he will spend the next four to eight weeks evaluating staff, going over the office's procedures and making whatever changes are necessary...

Hardin said Thursday that he had no specific personnel changes in mind, but he could and would make any he saw fit. What is important for the office, Hardin said, is being able to explain decisions and being as transparent as possible.

"Because we're on the law enforcement side of government, that typically is not something we're real comfortable with," he said. "But I believe we have to be as transparent as we can." ...
--------
KC Johnson:
Hardin's Choices -- This morning, Jim Hardin begins his first full day in his return stint as Durham district attorney...

While Hardin—imitating President Brodhead—announced that “we’re going to move forward,” implementing the goals outlined by Willoughby and Easley would require him to take a hard look at the two members of the office, other than Nifong, who played a role in the lacrosse case.

The first such figure, of course, is Linwood Wilson. Hardin has stated that he will make no personnel changes during his interim tenure, but the idea that the person who executed the December 21 frame could still be collecting a public salary is highly troubling...

But the Nifong ethics hearing also revealed that one other person in his office played a much larger role than previously known: Assistant District Attorney Tracey Cline...
discussion:
LS forum: Tracey Cline: What did she know - and not know?
TalkLeft: Hardin's Choices
---------
Mike Pressler gets a hug from supporter Sherry Hollcraft during his book signing.Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Pressler gets to 'The Truth' -- The former Duke lacrosse coach is back in Durham with copies of his new book -- Mike Pressler, the former Duke lacrosse coach, waited more than a year for the truth to come out about false accusations of sexual assault that cost him his job.

On Thursday -- in what has been a week full of news surrounding the Duke lacrosse case -- the coach-turned-author told a crowd of supporters at the Regulator Bookshop that he still awaits one thing: an apology.

"A big part of education is when you're wrong, you admit you're wrong," Pressler said.

Nearly 150 people packed the Regulator on Thursday evening to show support for a man who lost his job at the height of the outrage over an escort service dancer's false accusations that three lacrosse players raped her.

Pressler is on a book tour with Sports Illustrated writer Don Yaeger, who helped write "It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives It Shattered." ...

"I'm embarrassed over our administration, the way they handled the situation," said Jean Senter, an administrator who has worked at Duke for 17 years...
discussion:
LS forum: Pressler at The Regulator, To sign books, 7 p.m., June 21
Mike Pressler(r) and Don Yaeger(2nd fm rt.) sign books for a standing-room only crowdJon Ham, Right Angles:
Pressler book-signing wrap up --They went directly to questions after Regulator owner Tom Campbell introduced them. Pressler was visibly angry at times talking about some of the outraged he endured over the past 15 months. And he got emotional at one point talking about his daughter and her letter to President Brodhead. Yaeger was very professional and well-spoken and, though he surely wrote the book, he let Coach Pressler have most of the limelight, seeming to know that it is his story, after all.

All in all, a very enjoyable event with no untoward hitches.

Jon HamJon Ham, live blogging the Pressler book signing:
Concerns for safety [7:46 pm] -- Pressler: The players have moved on. They made a mistake in judgment “and they owned up to that immediately.” “How many times do you have to pay for the same offense.” “They became the teachers and everyone else became the students.” Handled selves with honor and integrity “and stayed the course.” “Once you start something, you finish it, and God help me those guys finished it. Huge round of applause. . .

Who would she pick? [7:42 pm] -- Question: You said there’ve been no apologies. Settlements have now been made. Why won’t Duke apologize now?
Pressler: “You’d have to ask Duke.” Says we’re all educators. “What is the message we’re sending to the youth of America?” ...

Universities and crises [7:38 pm]

Did Duke do everything wrong? [7:30 pm] -- Yaeger: “Duke was playing one-move chess. They didn’t know where the game was going to end. There was no thought. There was just reaction.” Can’t say they did everything wrong...

Questions for Brodhead [7:27 pm]
Meeting Mike Nifong’s nephew
[7:22 pm]
The wisdom of a 15-year-old [7:17 pm]

It wasn’t smoke, but a smokescreen [7:07 pm] -- Regulator owner Tom Campbell is introducing Don Yaeger and Coach Pressler. Said at first he thought “where there’s smoke, there must be fire,” but later he said he realized it wasn’t smoke, but a smokescreen...

Standing room only now [6:46 pm
Pressler just arrived [6:41 pm]
The crowd so far [6:24 pm]
The Herald-Sun is in da house [6:16 pm]

A chuckle from Pressler’s book [6:04 pm] -- My wife just chuckled and I asked her what was so funny. She showed me the part on page 6 of Pressler’s book where the players were so excited about having nice, classy strippers that they made the freshmen clean the living room so they wouldn’t offend them with a dirty house. You can tell they were up to no good.

There will be security tonight [6:02 pm]

Jackie’s copy of Pressler’s book [5:51 pm] -- Jackie Brown just showed me her copy of Mike Pressler’s book. It has been autographed by Reade, Dave and Collin, Joe Cheshire, Brad Bannon and KC Johnson. Dave’s was the most poignant: “Thanks for my life, Dave Evans.”

Am at the Regulator [5:43 pm] -- thanks to the help of owner Tom Campbell, have a nice comfortable blogging station, with power.

Live-blogging Pressler [3:33 pm]
---------
Brian DeRoy, NBC17:
Former Duke Lacrosse Coach Speaks To NBC17 -- Former Duke Lacrosse Coach Mike Pressler has made a list to be proud of. After just one week on the shelves his book is in the top 30 in the New York Times best seller list, 28th place to be exact...

You can see the entire interview with coach Pressler, uncut and unedited, this Sunday morning on NBC 17'S At Issue.
-------
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Pressler says police used coercive tactics -- Durham police investigating the Duke lacrosse case used coercive tactics against players on the team, but are due for a comeuppance, former Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler told a capacity crowd Thursday at The Regulator Bookshop.

Pressler, in town to promote "It's Not About the Truth," the book about the case he co-authored with writer Don Yaeger, said police investigators were intent on getting team members to "say certain things" to corroborate a phony rape charge regardless of whether they were true.

But he noted that the detectives who led the Durham Police Department's probe, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Investigator Ben Himan, recently procured a lawyer through the N.C. Police Benevolent Association.

Seeing that, "I remember [then-District Attorney] Mike Nifong saying why would we need attorneys if we're not guilty," said Pressler, who lost his job last year three weeks after a 28-year-old stripper lodged the false allegation. "I wanted to say to them, 'Have you ever heard of an innocent person going to jail?' "

Pressler added that the police responsible for botching the case are "going to get their's in the end." ...
discussion:
LS forum: Pressler: Police used coercive tactics
---------
Barry SaundersENABLER/Barry Saunders, News & Observer:
Prowling for scraps of Nifong -- Pressler and others leave no doubt that they won't be content until Nifong's pinstripes are replaced by prison stripes.

I've received scores of e-mail messages and telephone calls from such people, accusing me of defending Nifong on Tuesday in a column. All I can say is, with friends like me, the dude doesn't need enemies...

The rest of you need to chill -- or save that anger over prosecutorial misconduct for the next time someone lacking a blueblood pedigree gets unfairly prosecuted.
related:
Letter to News & Observer:
Disgusting disservice -- Reading Barry Saunders' June 19 column disgusted me. From his thinly veiled agreement that "something happened" in the infamous bathroom to his song lyrics suggesting selective prosecution based on a defendant's financial status, Saunders again performs a disservice to the Durham community. While overlooking real issues like the narrow decision (9-8) by the Bar to try District Attorney Mike Nifong, Saunders seems to want us to believe that the whole mess was another example of class warfare brought on by economic privilege.

Hogwash!

Bill Powers
Durham

---------
Connie Schultz, Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com:
Duke trio learned justice is not blind -- These young men are a year older but decades wiser.

They now know that at least 203 other wrongly accused men never had their swing at justice because they had no family members with the means to wage the costly fight for their freedom.

They know that prosecutors are seldom punished for misconduct.

They know this means something is very wrong with our system of justice.

They could have closed the book on this horrific chapter in their lives but chose instead to meet some of the men whose stories mirror theirs in ways they could never have imagined a year ago.

There was scant media coverage of this encounter because the Duke players insisted they weren't the point. I only found out after calling Eric Ferrero at the Innocence Project, which works to free the wrongly incarcerated through post-conviction DNA testing...
-------
Opinion, News-Tribune (Tacoma, WA):
Duke lacrosse scandal: A cautionary tale for all -- Nifong’s motives and behavior were reprehensible. The stripper was black; the lacrosse players were white. Nifong – then an appointee – needed black votes as he ran for district attorney. So he milked the case’s racial angle for all it was worth.

Almost as inexcusable were the attacks on the defendants from others – including many Duke faculty members – who apparently assumed the players must have committed the crime because they were privileged white jocks...
-------
HAPPY TALK/Editorial, Herald-Sun:
Hardin a great choice -- Those who long for the day Durham can move beyond the lacrosse case should be pleased with Gov. Mike Easley's selection of Jim Hardin to serve as temporary district attorney.

Hardin preceded Mike Nifong in the DA's job, serving for 11 years until 2005 when Easley named Hardin to a Superior Court judgeship. His appointment should return desperately needed stability to the office after the nightmare of the lacrosse case.

Hardin will need to step down from his judgeship while he returns to his former office, so the community owes him a big debt of gratitude.

Both Easley and Hardin must feel chagrined for recommending Nifong as DA. In retrospect, it was a mistake. But based on Nifong's 28-year record of solid experience, how could anyone have predicted that his tenure would go so terribly wrong?

But that's in the past, and tapping Hardin as a temporary replacement feels like the right move for the future. It puts a trusted, sure hand in the office, as well as a person who can help choose a permanent replacement...
-------
Letters to Herald-Sun:
Nifong must pay

Having followed the Duke lacrosse case, I feel that Nifong should not only be disbarred, but also sent to prison. He was willing to send three innocent young men to prison to be re-elected. These young men have had their lives thrown into turmoil, their families lives disrupted all for re-election. He has to pay for this.

Nifong's actions also make one wonder if there are any other innocent people in prison who were in his court.

Donald W. Booth
Akron, Ohio
---------
Roy Olsen, Roy's Reflections blog:
Shakespeare on Nifong -- Not long ago I was called to jury duty. As always happens, I’m put in a panel for a criminal trial and then not picked. I’ve got used to it over the years and have gotten real good at observing how other judges operate.

Anyway, when the defense lawyer began his voir dire, he asked the very standard question,

“Does anyone here think that a defendant is guilty just because he or she has been indicted?”

A couple of people raised their hands in response to his question. He asked one of them,

“Do you believe that prosecutors never make mistakes? What about that rogue prosecutor in North Carolina?”

Needless to say, the prosecutor objected and the court sustained the objection and told the jury to disregard the question.

Shortly afterward, we took a break. In the hall, I heard a number of panel members talking about the Duke Lacrosse case and remarking that the defense lawyer had a good point. When one considers the typical attitudes of Harris County juries, their favorable remarks were all the more remarkable...
--------
LieStoppers:
State Bar V. Nifong: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law --

NCBar.com: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [.pdf, 31 pages]

Disciplinary Hearing Committee Chair F. Lane Williamson:
The Hearing Committee has deliberated and has reached a unanimous conclusion as to each of the contested issues that have been submitted by the parties. What I'm going to do is to read each of the contested issues that are listed in the Pre-trial Order, and then to indicate "yes" or "no," and in some cases with some explanation, but generally without any further elaboration...

[...]

Thirteen: "Did Defendant by representing to the Court that the substance of all Dr. Meehan's oral statements to him concerning the results of all examinations and tests conducted by DSI were included in DSI's report, a, make false statements of material fact or law to a tribunal in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1)?"

The answer is yes.

"B, engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Revised Rules of Professional Conduct?"

The answer is yes...
---------
SLIME MONGER/DISTORTION
Susan Estrich, Yahoo News:
The Dregs Of Duke -- There are no heroes and no winners in the Duke lacrosse case, unless you count the North Carolina Board of Bar Overseers, which clearly did the right thing in disbarring the rogue prosecutor. Mike Nifong's selfish preoccupation with getting himself re-elected led him to not only seek an indictment that should never have been returned, but also to dissemble in public about what was going on in the investigation. His downfall should serve as a reminder of the power prosecutors wield, usually unchecked, to play God with people's lives...

The woman in this case was obviously troubled, to say the least, and no experienced prosecutor or police officer would have brought charges based on her conflicting, inconsistent and unsupported accounts — unless he had an agenda of his own. There has never been a single study that proved women lie about rape more than men or women lie about other crimes. But when they do lie, and when it is as transparent as it was here, the only humane course is to steer them toward getting help, not take advantage of their obviously troubled state...

Finally, there are the young men themselves. Make no mistake. They didn't deserve what they got. But they were not drinking tea in church when this incident began. They had engaged strippers to entertain them while they drank and taunted them.

No one has denied that racial slurs were uttered, that the girls were treated badly, so badly that they left but were later convinced to return for more abuse. No one has questioned the authenticity of an e-mail sent to the group by one of the uncharged teammates, promising to "skin" the girls next time he had the chance. No, it wasn't rape, but it wasn't respect, either...
discussion:
LS forum: Estrich Predictably Wrong, The Dregs Of Duke
---------
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Sensible settlements or sell outs? -- Duke did it again!

First, it settled confidentially with the Dowd family that brought a punitive grading suit against Duke and perennial visiting Professor Kim Curtis. The Dowds got a P instead of a D for Kyle, improving his GPA and class standing, and, to be sure, more money than they paid to bring the suit. Duke avoided discovery and, worse, trial.

Then, Duke settled confidentially with the Finnerty, Seligmann and Evans families, sparing itself even the impact of publicly filed complaints (the Dowds filed a great complaint) and sparing its faculty from litigating with those families...
-------
NY Times watch:
Thomas Lifson / American Thinker:
The Incredible Shrinking New York Times

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia