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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Duke Case — Nov. 28, 2007

Items of interest - updated:

Harvard law student / bloggin with mr. cooper:
Worlds Collide -- Had the legal ethics class with Dershowitz today -- the focus was the Duke lacrosse case, so I was obviously fairly interested. We read that new book, Until Proven Innocent, and we were told that Nifong's lawyer was going to be there, so I figured it should be a good show watching Dershowitz berate him. The class started, and I looked to the back of the room to see if there were guests, and there were no lawyerly looking guys, but there was one familiar face -- Reade Seligmann, one of the three indicted players. He talked for basically the length of the class, with Dershowitz posing questions. Definitely interesting to hear the facts of the case directly from one of the guys in person instead of, like, 60 Minutes. This was the first class I've actually paid attention in for months. [...]

LieStoppers forum: Reade Seligmann Tries to Make a Difference, Innocence Project Run; Harvard Law Talk
A man went to a brain store to get some brain to complete a study. He sees a sign remarking on the quality of professional brain offerred at this particular brain store. He begins to question the butcher about the cost of these brains.

"How much does it cost for engineer brain?"

"Three dollars an ounce."

"How much does it cost for programmer brain?"

"Four dollars an ounce."

"How much for lawyer brain?"

"$1,000 an ounce."

"Why is lawyer brain so much more?"

"Do you know how many lawyers we had to kill to get one ounce of brain?"
Stu Woo / Brown Daily Herald:
M. lax jogs to help innocent prisoners -- Just before 4 a.m. this morning, men's lacrosse player Reade Seligmann '09 planned to lace up his running shoes, throw on a bright-yellow traffic jacket and run laps around the Main Green.

Seligmann, the former Duke lacrosse suspect who was vindicated earlier this year, will be jogging for the Brown team's fall charity project: a 36-hour run-a-thon to raise funds for the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exonerating innocent prisoners through DNA testing.

Seligmann pitched the idea of a lacrosse team charity event for the Innocence Project even before he committed to transferring to Brown this spring. Head Coach Lars Tiffany '90 liked the idea and organized the event this fall after team members approved, much to the delight of the New York City-based organization.

"It's an extraordinary thing that (Seligmann) and the whole team are doing," said Eric Ferrero, the Innocence Project's communications director. "That's money that will let us take additional clients and conduct additional DNA testing on behalf of our clients who are currently in prison fighting to prove their innocence." [...]
KC Johnson: Update: Good News from Brown
News & Observer:
Lawyers ask for more time in lacrosse suit -- The City of Durham and others sued by the three exonerated Duke lacrosse players want more time to craft responses to the allegations in the suit.

Any motions to dismiss and other responses were due Dec. 10. But the lawyers have asked a judge for an additional month.

Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, the three exonerated lacrosse players, filed suit in federal court in Greensboro this month alleging that former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, the city of Durham, the DNA laboratory hired by the disbarred former prosecutor and numerous police officials conspired to falsely charge the former Duke students with rape. [...]
LieStoppers forum: Lawyers ask for more time in lacrosse suit
Duke Lacrosse Suit Lawyers Want More Time -- Attorneys in the Duke lacrosse civil rights lawsuit want more time to respond to the complaint filed last month by the three exonerated former Duke students. [...]

Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann are asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and numerous changes in the way the Durham Police Department handles criminal investigations.

The joint motion, agreed by all parties, asks to allow until Jan. 15 for defense filings and then 90 days afterward for the plaintiffs to respond to defense filings. Several of the defendants are expected to file motions to dismiss the suit. [...]

John in Carolina:
A Chronicle Double Standard -- NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, who recently published The Conscience of a Liberal, spoke at Duke University last evening. The school’s student-run newspaper, The Chronicle, gave his talk prominent coverage in today’s paper. Krugman shares liberal 'Conscience')

Fair enough.

But a few weeks ago when National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor, co-author with KC Johnson of Until Proven Innocent, spoke at Duke The Chronicle imposed a news blackout on Taylor’s appearance. [...]
Matt DaSilva / Lacrosse Magazine:
In John We Trust -- In troubled times, John Danowski's steady leadership and affable character made him the face of the game -- and LM's Person of the Year --

Note: On Monday, Duke men's lacrosse coach John Danowski was announced as Lacrosse magazine's 2007 Person of the Year. The following feature appears in LM's December issue, which includes a comprehensive 2007 Year in Review package. [...]

It's hard to believe now as we settle into wrought-iron chairs outside the dining area of the Washington-Duke Inn and Golf Club on Duke University's West Campus, and John Danowski looks completely at peace in his pale yellow sweater, sleeves rolled at the forearms. Brian, the waiter whom Danowski calls by his first name, collects the bill and leaves us on a ridge overlooking the 18th hole.

Danowski never got golf. For someone who grew up playing "ballistic" sports, whose father was an NFL quarterback, it was too slow. But he came to appreciate the solitude, how you could play the back nine and discuss nothing but gradients, greens and bunkers. It was all about the game.

Lacrosse used to be that way. [...]
Gang of 88 trainee

Robert Zimmerman / "low-level" Duke faculty / Re:harmonized blog:
The Duke lacrosse racket (postscript) -- Near the end of yesterday’s post, I described the liestoppers as having to prop up their claim to be crusading for Truth, Fairness, and Justice on the basis of the lacrosse case by engaging in “rhetorical warfare that brings the battle lines into sharp relief” (I’m using the term “liestopper” loosely for the vehement defenders of the lacrosse team that gather on , , etc.). Right on cue there was a flare-up of that today. The main thing it reminded me was how much of it is hypersensitivity on behalf of the team–more overcompensation, I think, for the fact that the lacrosse players are less than compelling as victims of Grand Injustice. A refrain on the message boards of liestopperland is the many more or less libelous insults that left-wing professors, columnists, bloggers, etc. have hurled at the team, and the oh-so-few apologies that have followed. Today it was one of those revisited–Prof. Claire Potter (aka Tenured Radical) insulted the team back in April and never made good, then a few days ago she took a jab at DIW. KC Johnson came back this morning huffing and puffing about her “reckless, unsubstantiated allegations.” [...]
Robert Zimmerman / "low-level" Duke faculty / Re:harmonized blog:
The Duke lacrosse racket -- Representing one side, the ““–activists who rallied on March 26, 2006 to denounce the lacrosse team at the site of their disastrous party on Buchanan Blvd. For the other side, , a professor at Brooklyn College and outspoken critic of critics of the lacrosse team, who blogs on (DIW). Neither stands alone–I’m not claiming that either is single-handedly responsible for the way things have turned out. In the first few weeks after the news broke there were a number of rallies condemning the team’s actions and highlighting the issues of sexual assault and racism, some on campus and some off, and there were similar messages in the media and elsewhere. The potbanging protest left an especially deep impression on all that followed, though. And there are several other blogs and web sites dedicated to exposing the terrible injustice they believe has been done to the team. DIW seems to me the most influential and insidiously polarizing of them. is the grassroots hub of the network, though, and for my own convenience I’m going to refer to the community as a whole as “liestoppers.”

To some extent DIW and the potbanging protestors is an arbitrary pairing I’ve settled on by indulging the bad habit–one I share with most everyone else who commentates about the case–of writing first and foremost about the things that piss me off. Despite all sorts of differences, though, what the pair has in common (treating the protestors as a single perspective) is significant. Both were galvanized by an act they saw as despicable, and so blatantly true to type for the people who committed it that it was also a perfect scourge. Diametrically opposite the bad guys are some good guys, and the portrayals of both sides of the face-off are predictably skewed. [...]
comment: Zimmerman writes a 1600+ word summary of the lacrosse case and conveniently forgets to mention the numerous anti-lacrosse actions of the infamous Duke "Group of 88" faculty? How nice. Instead, he focuses on KC Johnson and the "potbanging protestors," note he misspells protesters as "protestors." (The word is also misspelled on the Group of 88 'Listening Statement') This guy is a keeper at Duke.
Glenn Sacks / MensNewsDaily.com:
CNN's Nancy Grace & the Duke Lacrosse Case -- Carey Roberts' interesting new column The Disgrace of CNN's Nancy Grace (MensNewsDaily.com, 11/27/07) details the way Nancy Grace beat the drums against the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players. [...]

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show also skewered Grace over her enthusiastic support of the false accuser, noting that Grace is "the person who had staked the most on this case." On April 11, 2007 North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced they were dismissing the charges and said that the accused players "are innocent." The next day Stewart asked "Put through hell for over a year--how will the media show contrition?" He then said "let's see how Nancy Grace handled it" and cut to Grace's April 11 show--and there was a substitute host!

Carey Roberts / MensNewsDaily.com:
The Disgrace of CNN's Nancy Grace -- When special prosecutor Nancy Grace won 100 felony cases in a row, she was riding the fast-track to legal notoriety. But in 1997 the Supreme Court of Georgia charged her with “inexcusable” actions that “demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness.” And eight years later her career came off the rails when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded Grace had “played fast and loose” with ethical canons.

So Grace left Georgia and signed on as a commentator for Court TV. In 2006 Nancy again boarded the fast train when she struck a deal with CNN to anchor her own Nancy Grace Program.

Then along came a woman named Crystal Mangum — drug abuser, exotic dancer, and serial rape accuser.

Shortly after the alleged March 14 assault, wild stories began to circulate about what had transpired at 610 North Buchanan. Within days Nancy Grace was claiming — falsely – that the players had refused to provide DNA samples. She theorized, “If there had been evidence, I’m sure it was flushed down the commode or gotten rid of, innocently or not.”

Just for good measure, Grace added this remark for her vigilante-justice viewers: “What if this girl was your girl? You know, I’d burn the place down, for Pete’s sake!” [...]

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