Thursday, May 3, 2007
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[L]aw firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge rescinded its job offer to Anthony Ciolli, the 3L at Penn Law who resigned as “Chief Education Director” of AutoAdmit last month.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.