damnum absque injuria

June 11, 2004

Professor Yoo Update

Professor John Yoo has a fine article in today’s Dog Trainer explaining the rationale behind his memo regarding al-Qaeda, the Taliban soldiers and the Geneva Conventions. Read it. If you agree with Yoo, or at least agree that his ideas aren’t so far out of bounds to justify the fact that this jerk is calling for his head, be sure to sign the counter-petition in favor of academic freedom if you haven’t done so already.

Speaking of the Michael Anderson, the jerk heading up the anti-academic freedom drive, the guy is such a self-absorbed jerk that the jerk even accuses the San Francisco Chronicle, of all papers, of being biased against him. What a jerk. He also criticizes the paper’s token reasonable person, Debra Saunders, but is too much of a jerk even to dignify the column he’s complaining about with a link. I guess Berkeley’s knee-jerk liberals think they’re more important an influential than they are, even if they have blogs hosted on Blog*Spot and named after a legal doctrine that essentially means “it doesn’t count.” Just in case you aren’t totally convinced he is a jerk, here’s a photo:

Hi, everyone, I'm a jerk.

I mean, seriously, when was the last time you met anyone with a look that smug on his face, who wasn’t a jerk?

John Rosenberg, who is anything but a jerk, has more on the Yoo controversy. And here’s the latest from another non-jerk, Juan Non-Volokh.

June 1, 2004

Boalt Update

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:24 pm

The pro-academic freedom / anti-PC fascism petition has moved. Whether or not you agree with Professor Yoo’s interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, you should sign it if you believe he has the right to say what he said. Unfortunately, many of my fellow Boalties do not. Shame on them.

May 26, 2004

Boalt Update

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:40 pm

Any Boalt residents or alumni who, unlike this idiot, actually like the idea of free speech, academic freedom and/or the rendering of competent legal advice, should seriously consider signing this petition. Hat tip: Juan Non-Volokh.

UPDATE: The petition has been moved.

April 1, 2004

Damn, Damn

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 5:21 pm

Boalt has just lost one of its best IP professors, Mark Lemley, and its top 10 ranking by Useless News and Distort.

The worst part is that unlike almost everything else I’ve blogged today, this one is not an April Fooler.

April 22, 2003

The Case That Won’t Die

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:28 am

No sooner had I confidently pronounced that L’Affaire Dwyer had “died down” and was “all but forgotten,” than I read that the University of California is seriously considering a ban on relationships between faculty and students in response. Surprise of all surprises, the insufferable Laura Stevens is right in the middle of it. Stevens, you may recall, was the attorney/hatchetwoman a Boalt alumna hired to smear then-dean John Dwyer and destroy his career, even while keeping her client anonymous. It is not clear whether the client herself is involved in the current effort.

I don’t know whether the new policy is a good idea or not. The problems of having a professor date his/her own students are obvious, but it is less obvious how this should play out for faculty members who wish to date students who are not their students. On the one hand, there is a clear power differential. On the other, well, we’re all adults here, aren’t we? The one thing that does seem clear to me is that whatever the merits of a ban on student/professor relationships, the Dwyer debacle should not play a significant role in determining that issue. It bears repeating that Dwyer never had that student in any of his classes. Even if he had, Boalt’s blind grading system would have made it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for Dwyer to have used that power to his advantage anyway.

January 5, 2003

Dwyer’s Other Crime

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:03 pm

As one of the three bloggers John Roemer of the Daily Journal has accused of taking John Dwyer’s side in the Boalt controversy, it behooves me to point out a second crime which, although Erin did briefly allude to it here, has largely remained hidden in plain view: driving under the influence/while intoxicated (DUI/DWI). While the question of Jennifer Reisch’s consent (or lack thereof) to the sex act is in dispute, the fact that Dwyer drove Reisch home after a night of heavy drinking does not appear to be. As best I can determine, this leaves only three possible scenarios, each of which makes Dwyer guilty of at least one crime:

  1. Dwyer was just as sloshed as Reisch. By getting behind the wheel, Dwyer seriously compromised his own safety, Reisch’s, and that of everyone else on the road. On the other hand, Dwyer’s capacity to “consent” to a sexual encounter, and his corresponing ability to recognize Reisch’s diminished state, was just as impaired as Reisch’s, so it’s hard to fault him more than her for what was essentially an act of poor judgment on both of their parts. Dwyer is innocent of sexual assault, but guilty of DUI/DWI.
  2. Dwyer was sober, having paced himself or simply quaffed ice tea while everyone else got plastered. Then, after playing the Designated Driver, a sober Dwyer proceeded to take full advantage of a woman so obviously drunk that she was ready to pass out – and didn’t even quit when she did. Dwyer is innocent of DUI/DWI, but guilty of sexual assault.
  3. Dwyer was drunk enough to have no business driving, but sober enough to recognize that Reisch was in no position to genuinely “consent” to anything. Maybe she passively acquiesced, or maybe she even said something ambiguously sexual to Dwyer, but in any event, Dwyer was still lucid enough to know that this was “the alcohol talking” and not a genuine offer of sexual favors. Dwyer is guilty of both DUI/DWI and sexual assault.

There might be a fourth possibility out there, somewhere, that would exculpate Dwyer of all criminal liability, but if so, I have yet to hear it. And if there isn’t, why hasn’t the Alameda D.A. brought criminal charges in what ought to be an open-and-shut case?

December 31, 2002

Or Maybe Not

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:21 am

I’m not sure how long I can stay off the topic of the Boalt scandal now that it has gotten me instapundit(t)ed. Glenn’s link has only been up about 15 minutes, and I’ve already received almost double the normal daily traffic. To all of Glenn’s readers, welcome!

Positively the Last Thing I’ll Ever Post About the Boalt Controversy (I Think)

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:55 am

Contrary to the implications of Friday’s post, the Daily Journal article wasn’t confined to San Francisco; it ran in the Los Angeles Daily Journal as well. On the upside, the L.A. version had a much more reasonable headline (“Internet Users Weigh in on Controversy Over Boalt Hall Dean”) than its San Francisco counterpart (“Boalt Sex Scandal Takes a Spiteful Turn on the Internet”). Perhaps this reflects the fact that the only truly spiteful statement appearing in the article – attorney Laura Stevens’s characterization of Erin, Stefan and/or me as “vile” – wasn’t made over the Internet. Then again, maybe the differing headlines reflect the fact that while Los Angeles is still a liberal town, it’s not so ultraliberal as to regard terms like “spite” or “hate” as synonyms for “dissent.”


December 18, 2002

Boalt Update

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:31 pm

On Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a horrendous essay by Prof. Linda Hamilton Krieger, one of the professors at Boalt Hall School of Law who met with Jennifer Reisch, the formerly anonymous accuser of Dean Dwyer following the notorious 2000 incident that ultimately ended Dwyer’s career. Professor Krieger’s piece is so unapologetically slanted that it practically screams out for a fisking. Allow me.


December 17, 2002

Berserkeley Update

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:12 pm

Erin O’Connor has outed Jennifer Reisch, Professor Dwyer’s (formerly) anonymous accuser. Good for her. Once again, the media has utterly failed to do its job, and bloggers have picked up the slack.

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: Stefan Sharkansky has some interesting comments on this topic as well.


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