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May 3, 2007

Wall Street Journal Blog Reports that Autoadmit's Ciolli Has Had His Job Offer Rescinded

The story is here; an excerpt:

[L]aw firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge rescinded its job offer to Anthony Ciolli, the 3L at Penn Law who resigned as “Chief Education Director” of AutoAdmit last month. He resigned in the wake of a WaPo exposé on how the site in part served as a platform for attacks and defamatory remarks about female law students, among others....

Charles DeWitt, managing partner at Edwards Angell’s Boston office, where Ciolli was slated to be a litigation associate, told the Law Blog: “He worked for us last summer. He’s not going to work for us in the fall....”

On April 11, just over a month after the WaPo story ran, DeWitt sent a letter to Ciolli stating that the firm had recently learned of the controversy involving AutoAdmit, in particular its “off-topic” message board, and that “the information we now have raises serious concerns about your joining our firm.”

DeWitt wrote that the content of the messages on the board are “antithetical” to the values of the firm and the “principles of collegiality and respect that members of the legal profession should observe in their dealings with other lawyers.” DeWitt pointed out that in an online letter to another blogger, Ciolli and his partner Jarret Cohen identified themselves as AutoAdmit’s administrators and defended its “free, uninhibited exchange of ideas.”

DeWitt continued: “We expect any lawyer affiliated with our firm, when presented with the kind of language exhibited on the message board, to reject it and to disavow any affiliation with it. You, instead, facilitated the expression and publication of such language. . . . ” He wrote, his resignation from the site was “too late to ameliorate our concerns.”

Alas, this is hardly surprising.  As I wrote two years ago regarding the fact that Mr. Ciolli still did not "realize what he is doing to his professional reputation":

If you run a web site that features rampant racism, anti-semitism, homophobia, and sexism; that includes numerous tortious (often per se libelous) attacks on female professors at Penn; on students at Penn, Stanford, Berkeley, Pomona, and elsewhere; on various Deans at Penn; and on law professors elsewhere; and if you do nothing about any of this (even when asked), then you are inviting serious trouble and professional ruin.

Sadly, Mr. Ciolli did not listen.  Even more sadly, he and Mr. Cohen allowed dozens of people to be viciously defamed, harassed, humiliated, and threatened with sexual and criminal violence.

UPDATE:  This post by a female law student at NYU is also informative.

Posted by Brian Leiter on May 3, 2007 in Student Advice | Permalink | TrackBack

May 2, 2007

Amar from Hastings back to UC Davis

Vikram Amar (constitutional law), who moved to the University of California, Hastings College of Law from UC Davis almost ten years ago has now accepted a senior offer to return to Davis effective July 1.  That's a big coup for Davis!

Posted by Brian Leiter on May 2, 2007 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

May 1, 2007

Crisis at Ave Maria Law School

Dean Mark Sargent (Villanova) has posted the full text of a statement by faculty at Ave Maria here; if even a portion of the allegations against Dean Dobranski are true, then his career in academic administration is probably over.  Here is an excerpt from the statement:

{L]ast spring, a substantial majority of the faculty issued a vote of "no confidence" in Dean Bernard Dobranski. The response from the AMSL Board of Governors, led by Board Chairman and AMSL's largest funder, Thomas Monaghan, was a terse restatement of its support for the Dean. This rejection of open discussions, combined with retaliatory actions by the Dean, exclusion of the faculty from governance of the school, and serious violations of academic freedom were subjects of an investigation by an ABAfact-finder earlier this year. In the midst of this ABAprocess, the AMSL Board voted in effect to close AMSL and transfer its assets to a new law school to be located on the campus of Ave Maria University, in southwest Florida.

Disagreement over this proposed move is thus only one aspect of the difficulties at AMSL. Problems at AMSL go much deeper, and are much more structural. Since the vote of "no confidence" in Dean Dobranski in April 2006 over issues of faculty governance and academic freedom, he has used threats and retaliation to try to silence members of the faculty from voicing concerns about his leadership and that of Mr. Monaghan. A majority of the faculty whom the Dean believes to be disloyal to him have been punished financially and through manipulation of the promotion and tenure system. One tenured faculty member has been repeatedly threatened with termination based upon bizarre allegations. Junior faculty members have been threatened that their careers would be harmed if they associate with disfavored tenured faculty. We have also been informed that Dean Dobranski had instituted a system of monitoring our emails and computers, and student research assistants have been closely questioned about research projects of disfavored faculty members. All tenured faculty members have been removed from the Chairs of faculty committees, and such chairs are now in the control of the few faculty members whom the Dean believes to be loyal to him. Cumulatively, such intimidation and bullying has created an intolerable atmosphere of fear and contempt at our school....

"Crisis" is probably an understatement for what seems to be going on there.

Posted by Brian Leiter on May 1, 2007 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

UW's Stilt Named 2007Carnegie Scholar for Work on Islamic Law

Kristen Stilt, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Washington at Seattle (and a 1993 UT Law grad, as it happens), has been named a 2007 Carnegie Scholar for her work on Islamic law and history by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.  (Stilt also has a tenure-track offer from the law school at Northwestern University.) 

Posted by Brian Leiter on May 1, 2007 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack