April 17, 2017
UNC's Gene Nichol blasts politically motivated attack on Civil Rights Center, as well as university leadership
April 14, 2017
Former Berkeley Law Dean Choudhry settles lawsuits with Berkeley and with the secretary, Ms. Sorrell, who accused him of sexual harassment
The full settlement agreement with Berkeley is here: Download Choudhry - Fully Executed SA
Briefly: Prof. Choudhry will resign at the end of the 2017-18 academic year; he will pay $50,000 towards Ms. Sorrell's legal fees and $50,000 towards a designated charity; the university acknowledges that Prof. Choudhry was not found to have committed any sexual assault or to have acted with any sexual intent. I am on the road, so if I've missed relevant details in my cursory review of the settlement, please e-mail me.
UPDATE: I was astonished to see these statements from Ms. Sorell and her lawyer:
A woman who sued the University of California and the former dean of UC Berkeley's law school for sexual harassment is outraged that the school is allowing him to keep his tenured professorship, she announced Saturday...
"This is just one more example of UC refusing to take sexual harassment seriously and once again offering a soft landing even after a finding of harassment," Sorrell's attorney, Leslie F. Levy, said Saturday.
One of Prof. Choudhry's attorneys wrote to me: "You will be interested to know that Ms. Sorrell and her lawyers have had our agreement with UC for over a month and had no objection." But put that to one side: this reaction to the settlement is insane. Prof. Choudhry has given up his tenured position, and given up his salary effective July 1; he gets the "title" for another year, but is on an unpaid "sabbatical" [sic]. That is supposed to be evidence that Berkeley offered the accused a "soft landing"? What exactly does the plaintiff want here?
Everyone I have heard from speaks very highly of Ms. Sorrell, who was undoubtedfly subjected to wrongful treatment, even if it was done, as Berkeley admits, without sexual intent; so I fear she has here been given very bad advice by her attorney at this point, who is presumably responsible for this absurd and vindictive pronouncement.
ANOTHER: Ms. Sorrell and her attorney got a payout of $1.7 million from Berkeley as part of their settlement. That's an astonishing number when you recall that, e.g., Steven Salaita, wrongfully fired from a tenured position by the University of Illinois and his attorneys got only $850,000 a few years ago. The exraordinarily large settlement also makes the vindictive comments about Choudhry all the more striking.
April 12, 2017
April 03, 2017
Mary Bilder (Boston College) wrote an opinion piece for the Boston Globe about originalism and Judge Gorsuch. This elicited the following astonishing reply from originalist Larry Solum (Georgetown) on his usually benign and informative Legal Theory Blog. Some of the questions might have made sense were Solum the referee for a scholarly article making some of these claims; as a response to an op-ed, they are almost comical overreactions. Take just Solum's first intervention:
Question One: You wrote the following:
Today, most originalists contend that a judge should abide by the text’s “original public meaning” — a term of art that originalist scholars have written thousands of pages trying to explain.
What is the basis for the page count? Which articles by which originalists scholars are you discussing? I am very familiar with the theoretical literature on original public meaning, but if this claim is correct there is a large body of work that I have missed entirely.
The basis for the "page count"? Seriously? One can look just at Solum's own SSRN page to find at least 400 pages of writing on this topic. And that's just one author. Add in Randy Barnett, Keith Whittington, the late Justice Scalia, John McGinnis, Michael Rappaport, Larry Alexander, Will Baude, and Stephen Sachs, and "thousands" seems like a plausible off-the-cuff estimate. But why quibble about nonsense like this?
I would advise Prof. Bilder to let these questions pass in silence.
UPDATE: Prof. Solum replies here; I will give him the final word on this matter!
March 30, 2017
March 28, 2017
March 09, 2017
First, bail was reduced from $500,000 to $3,000, and now the criminal charges are about to be dropped. I would imagine Professor Parisi will have a good defamation action against the accuser. Do see the comments by the lawyer involved in the property dispute between Parisi and his accuser: this lawyer "believes the criminal allegations were being used to defame and retaliate against Parisi."
UPDATE: It's official, all charges against Parisi have been dropped, but not until he had to spend three weeks in jail! Unbelievable, I imagine Professor Parisi will explore his legal options against the local authorities.
March 07, 2017
March 01, 2017
Daniel Schwarcz (Minnesota) and Colleen Chien (Santa Clara) win American Law Institute Young Scholars Medal (Michael Simkovic)
The press release is here. The award is highly selective. The ALI--publisher of the influential Restatements of Law and co-creator of the Uniform Commercial Code--selects two out of thousands of eligible "young scholars" every two years for work that has the potential to change the law for the better.
Congratulations to Dan and Colleen!