Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bar investigation closes.

The bar investigation instigated by the Professor from Ashley Madison has been closed. ("We have concluded our consideration of the above matter and have determined to proceed no further"). I am relieved and grateful that the First Amendment protects one's freedom to spoof a foolish law review article, or to describe that law review article as slop, or to refer to a law professor junket to Waikiki as a luau train. Or even to use the shocking word "comely" (outside the presence of children, of course).

Contrary to what the complainant apparently believes, it was never personal. It was and is about a horrible scam called American legal education in which a haughty and pampered elite of deans and professors enriches itself off the misplaced trust and likely future misery of bright but naive kids. Therefore, without regard to race, gender, or creed, I have criticized many law professors for callous or self-aggrandizing statements or activities and have mocked or satirized examples of pretentious silliness pretending to be legal scholarship. Thanks again to the First Amendment, the great leveler. And, yes, in the course of my blogging, I have made a few wisecracks that I regret making.

If my scamblogging has focused on self-styled progressives, it is mainly because I am progressive myself. I wince when righteous sentiments about economic and social justice are expressed by hypocrites and poseurs. In my view, the level of one's progressive commitment is measured primarily by advocacy for and service to the poor, not by how many times one uses the words "intersectionality" or "counternarrative" in the span of a CV-inflating non-peer reviewed journal article that nobody will ever read.

There is plenty I could say about the interesting events of the last six months. However, I think the more constructive approach is to announce the favorable outcome and move on. I intend to blog no more about this professor or her bar complaint, though others may. (This intention is not iron-clad. I will defend myself online if necessary).

The legal academics I have profiled or referenced on this blog and at JD Underground may not appreciate this distinction or believe it, but here goes: While I am not overflowing with respect for them, neither do I target individual law professors for criticism out of personal animosity. Rather, I call attention to law professors' writings, statements, and CVs in order to illustrate aspects of an intolerable system. It would defeat my purpose in scamblogging to get trapped in an interminable feud with any one professor. That is why I wrote, back on November, 24, 2013 (comment at 6:13 PM), and repeat now: "I have said everything I needed to say about this professor's qualifications and scholarship. It would be good judgment on her part, on both our parts, to allow this matter to conclude. My guess is that [we] have this in common: there are other things we would rather focus on."  

I will conclude with a few lines by A.A. Milne that charmed me when I was a small child, and that I still think are pretty cool as a middle-aged lawyer who has spent his career representing indigent clients: 

And sometimes when our fights begin,
I think I'll let the Dragons win
And then I think perhaps I won't,
Because they're Dragons, and I don't.








60 comments:

  1. A word about comments:

    My approach to comment moderation has been very close to no-holds barred because a blog like this ought to provide persons who have been victimized by law schools with a forum to complain, or even vent.

    However, this post is a special case, and I would appreciate restraint. I know it does not exactly accord with the tribute I paid to the First Amendment in my post-- but for this comment thread, and only this one, I will err on the side of censorship.

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    1. Imagining The Open ToadJuly 17, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      I'm happy to learn this ended well, as it should have.

      Also, for what it's worth, I applaud the decision to apply a heavy mod hand as needed for this topic, given the tendency of certain people to paint guilt by association.

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    2. Dybbuk, the First Amendment doesn't prevent you from editing your own blog. It simply prevents Nancy Leong from editing your blog.

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  2. Congratulations on being vindicated for exercising your 1st Amendment. I am sure Bryan Leiter is disenchanted with this decision since any criticism of him or the legal academy is akin to utter insolence.

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    1. Leiter invoked a half-baked legal theory to egg on his hapless followers. According to this theory, legal ethics are violated when law professors are held accountable for their inflated promises, lavish expenditures, and ridiculous publications. Since this theory is widely believed at a certain Indiana law school, Leiter is eminently qualified to fill the open deanship there.

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  3. We are glad that you fought the good fight and that the investigation was closed. Glad to have you back!

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  4. Huge congratulations on putting this ridiculousness behind you. It was madness, and the other side pulled together so many unrelated things to try and make you look bad that unless one really took the time to wade through to the bottom of what was real and what wasn't, one might almost believe them. But it was all hocus pocus (and an attack on the 1st amendment).

    You're an excellent critic and it's good that you're back.

    Sadly, she managed to get herself tenured in the interlude, but we can look forward to many more years of insipid drivel from her.

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    1. News to me, but I'm not surprised. Par for the course as these limo-libby institutions.

      These are your LawProfs, kids! Folks who write drivel all day, teach maybe six hours a week, and file bar complaints against practicing lawyers they don't even know. As my Dad used to say (who actually worked for a living): "If you are actually worried about what other people are saying about you, you clearly don't have enough to do."

      There are times were the salt of the earth can say more in one sentence than a LawProf can in one hundred law review "articles."

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    3. Yes, Professor Leong was quite proud of her early tenure decision at Denver. I think they realized she'd be a good fit for them.

      Happily, this case brought attention to the content of her many publications, so her employment situation should be quite stable for the rest of her career.

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    4. Professor at 1:30 PM, I'll give you a 154 for that effort.

      More likely, Leong's articles weren't getting the traction they needed, so it was time to manufacture a crisis in order to get the attention required. Never mind that these falsehoods cost someone else some actual money, the end justifies the means, of course.

      "They realized she'd be a good fit for them." Yep. Just like ScamDeans and LawProfs are happy to live off the backs of students, Leong was apparently happy to get someone else to pay for her "stardom." Two peas in a pod.

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  5. Hot damn, dybbuk, I'm pleased as punch for you! I couldn't imagine another outcome, rationally, but you never know for sure what judge and jury will actually do. As someone who, ahem, actually practices law, you know this more than most.

    I'm doing my Snoopy-dance right now!

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  6. Snoopy Dance?

    Like this Dybbuk. Do it like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=RFAulpHi0kA#t=103

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  7. Congrats. Great news. Glad to have you back.

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  8. Excellent news, dybbuk. Thank you for helping to expose the hypocrisy of legal "academics." I look forward to seeing more articles from you.

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  9. Justice has prevailed! Thanks for sharing the excellent news.

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  10. Just got to thinking...has this news been sent over to ABAJournal, ATL, Feminist Law Professors, Brian Leiter, and the like? Considering the firestorm this caused back in January, where literally everybody came out of the woodwork to comment on an event that was cleary the American equivalent of Boko Haram kidnapping little girls, I'm sure those self-same commenters would all be VERY interested in the outcome of this particular matter.

    Ha. Looks like some LawProfs are more than happy to dish it out, but the poor, fragile dears certainly can't take it. Best to stay in the bubble where it's safe and warm.

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    1. Agreed. This is rather big news, and given it's initial coverage in various outlets when Nancy made a song and dance of her righteous posturing, I'm sure they'd all be as interested to know its wonderful outcome.

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    2. Imagining The Open ToadJuly 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      I'd say it is big news, but should be spread only to the extent dybbuk wants to spread it. For example, I'm sure Paul will cover it or at LGM (or not) after discussing with him.

      I could see a person in dybbuk's shoes saying, "just let it fade away - I've now told the people who need to know".

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  11. Welcome back, my friend. We're winning the fight and need you leading the charge.

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  12. I hope you learned something from this. Your criticisms of Leong's article were 100% correct; it was a worthless article. However, you could have left out the personal insults. You had a right to include them, but they detracted from the force of the article.

    I also hope that Brian Leiter learned something from this, too. Bullying someone doesn't help your position. Despite the strength of his scholarship, Mr. Leiter is the least respected scholar in the law school world because of his caustic personality.

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    1. The personal comments have been discussed ad nauseam; Dybbuk has even apologized for them. Let us move on.

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    2. Anon Law Prof, please stop your schoolmarmish concern trolling ("I hope you learned something from this"). And let me take this teaching moment to explain false equivalents to you. Writing a caustic, hilarious, and accurate article that lampoons great excesses and insipidity in legal "scholarship" (Dybbuk) is not the equivalent of trolling the internet, donning sock puppets, and behaving under false pretenses in an effort to harass somebody who has the "insolence" to actually criticize members of your profession (Leiter / Aduren / etc).

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    3. We need to distinguish "racist and sexist" comments about individuals from more general observations about the distorted personalities of a substantial number of law professors. Perverse incentives and a lifetime of privilege can turn normal people into raving lunatics, flinging false accusations at the slightest deviation from their fictitious narratives of moral and intellectual superiority.

      Even Anon Law Prof felt it necessary to mention Brian Leiter, for which I respect the good prof. It's a useful exercise for all of us to observe Leiter's online behavior and then try to differentiate ourselves from that malevolent wretch.

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    5. Well put, 7:21 PM. Many, many LawProfs have demonstrated themselves to be rather "special", that's for sure.

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  13. Great news dybbuk. Its good to have you back. However, I do have one quibble about your post. In particular, this sentence:

    "It was and is about a horrible scam called American legal education in which a haughty and pampered elite of deans and professors enriches itself off the misplaced trust and likely future misery of bright but naïve kids."

    "Bright" kids might have fallen for the scam five years ago. But the ones falling for it today aren't bright. They're morons. Spend some time on Law School Lemmings if you need proof.

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    1. Agreed. The idea that law students in general are bright is utter garbage. Most of them range from undistinguished to downright moronic.

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    2. I've got to say that I find Law School Lemmings to be a fascinating enterprise. It's a brilliant idea, really, but I think all of us could show a bit more compassion and understanding for deluded young people who are about to destroy their lives.

      To some extent, I'd like to follow the example of Dick Dago on LSL and actually contact young people considering law school. Contact is the first stage of intervention. Behind the dull-witted rationalizations and exemption fantasies we see on LSL, there are some precious lives worth saving.

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  14. Dybbuk, this is excellent news. You went far, far above the call of duty by choosing to stand your ground and fight this battle, and I'm glad to hear that common sense has prevailed, even if at great personal expense to you.

    Perhaps it's a sign that more and more people are starting to see the legal education system as full of expensive egos, false claims, and ruined students' lives, and the collective tolerance for the arrogant attitudes of those who purport to teach the law is starting to crumble.

    Again, congrats for being the guy who had the courage to stand up, point, laugh, and exclaim loudly that the empress and her countless fellow self-appointed rulers have no clothes.

    It will be interesting to hear Nancy's spin on this matter. No doubt a series of blog articles will follow, and I look forward to reading - then ignoring - them with mild interest.

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    1. Imagining The Open ToadJuly 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      "You went far, far above the call of duty by choosing to stand your ground and fight this battle"

      Charles, not sure what you mean by this part? To my understanding, failing to fight a bar complaint normally results in a default finding against you.

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    2. To clarify, I was referring to the initial stages, long before the complaint was filed (assuming the complaint wasn't a foregone conclusion and her initial attempts to elicit remorse and retractions from Dybbuk weren't for the purpose of collecting "hard" evidence.) Dybbuk could have backed off in the face of her threats and apologized, but chose to call her bluff - most successfully.

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    3. Imagining The Open ToadJuly 18, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Charles, thanks for the reply in explanation.

      I also agree with your intimation in the "assuming..." parenthetical. Based on my view of events as they went along, I have doubts that any level of contrition would have avoided the complaint.

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    4. There probably wasn't any way to avoid this case, ridiculous as it was. Professor Leong, acting on her ideological imperatives, her self-image as a legal pioneer, and some very, very bad moral and legal advice from fellow professors, wasn't about to let this one go.

      In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, Dybbuk showed great courage and fortitude in fighting the false accusations against him. I've known people in similar situations, and they often had great difficulty concentrating on their work. Dybbuk, however, kept up with a workload that would have left the average law professor huffing and puffing in the courthouse washroom within half an hour.

      Most important of all, Dybbuk reaffirmed that he's a principled attorney. That's a priceless reputation to have, invaluable to both his social activism and his legal career. I think it's safe to say that many law professors are neither principled nor attorneys, and precious few are both.

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  15. Congrats! As punishment for trying to chill discourse and wasting the ISBA ethics group's time, Nancy should have to write an article in some TTT journal about the mess she caused.

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    1. Not ISBA-- ARDC. Illinois doesn't have a unified bar.

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    2. "As punishment for trying to chill discourse....should have to write an article in some TTT journal..."

      I'm sure this was part of the grand plan, all along. What is "punishment" for people who have to hold down a real job is "meat and drink" for those who don't.

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    4. The ideal punishment for trying to chill discourse would be tenure at the University of Denver, where discourse of any kind is a rare and fleeting event.

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    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. I'm sorry you had to waste a moments thought on a complaint. Bogus or not, a complaint is draining.

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  17. Missed your posts man.

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  18. Congratulations. The whole thing was ridiculous.

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  19. I missed your thoughtful comments.

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  20. Congratulations, and thank you.

    I just want to say that while I do not consider myself a "progressive," one of the things I've appreciated from 'go' about you, the posters here, and everyone I've encountered who is active in speaking and spreading the truth is that your devotion to the issues trumps petty, unconsidered, shallow, "political" loyalties.

    The scamblogging movement thinks freely, discusses freely, speaks freely - the way it should be. The skins are thicker and the hearts warmer than anyone who is more distant from the reality of this 'system.' It is truly a diverse and tolerant group.

    The tenor of this conversation that so many including you really started, to my observation, is one that demands that we confront the reality of systems in our society that creates economic winners by necessarily creating economic losers.

    Many professors claim they are innocent, hapless beneficiaries of a system beyond their control and therefore beyond any legitimate claim to their consciences. We offer the counter-weight. One cannot benefit, sit by silently, or self-righteously attack and try to silence the opposition, and then claim to be an innocent babe. Well, one can try, but that's not worthy of respect or deference. It's not true. We are more connected in our economic fates than that insouciance suggests, and if the professors don't believe us they should check their enrollment stats.

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  21. Welcome back dybbuk:

    No the other side will not learn a thing, but it's good to have you posting again.

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    1. The privileged, pampered, parasitic law professors have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. This could have been a resounding wakeup call for them, but they're still fast asleep.

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  22. I much prefer the counter-narrative of this post to the counter-counter-narrative.

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    1. Imagining The Open ToadJuly 18, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      But further discussion of the narrative is always counter productive, assuming participants refresh the page to see new comments.

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  23. I really wish that any law professor who made an unsubstantiated ethics charge were required to post that fact at the top of his or her career narrative, or curriculum vitae. What better way to harness the narcissism of the average law professor in the service of a greater social good, namely the application of scarce legal resources to genuine crimes or complaints?

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  24. Yeah! Dybbuk, glad to have you back! I have missed your posts and comments! I hope you get back to blogging/writing right away!

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  25. You're a great and courageous man, Dybbuk. Congratulations and welcome back!

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  26. Apparently Brian Leiter has less influence than he thought. His attempt to make up new laws for the state of Illinois was soundly rejected by actual lawyers. It just goes to show how absurdly out of touch most law professors are.

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  27. Brian Leiter has nothing to say about this on his law school blog. He's too busy condemning fellow law professors for writing legal memos that someone will actually read. I think he's losing his mind.

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  28. Congratulations dybbuk. Great (and right) that you prevailed.

    OT - People I know in real life often show up on my LinkedIn 'People You May Know " page, presumably because they've looked for me on LinkedIn. Today I noticed a name I recognized but of course do not know - Robert Illig, who has been the subject of a post here on OTLSS.

    I commented on that post (anonymously as always) and I have not signed up for OTLSS's 'follow by email', and yet it appears that somehow Robert Illig found out who I am (not that it matters).

    Has anyone else noticed his name showing up in "People You May Know" at LinkedIn or Face Book?

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    1. Illig probably doesn't have your info. Linkedin probably pulled from your prior google activity.

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    2. 7:20 am here

      Pretty certain I did not ever Google him, and am not concerned for myself.

      But if several other posters have had him pop up on their LinkedIn/Face Book page that might mean someone other than one of this site's administrators has some sort of access to the 'innards' of this site.

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    3. There are no "innards" that we have access to. All we (or I, at least) have access to is an additional page where we can write and edit posts and see very broad stats of site usage that in no way tracks any IP addresses or personal data. There's no means to identify anonymous posters whatsoever. I would put your experience down to Google getting cleverer and cleverer (and creepier), or a coincidence.

      Were this blog, on the other hand, privately hosted (rather than hosted by Google like this one is), the owner would have access to just about any piece of personal data he or she chose to collect. Commenting on such blogs should be avoided at all costs.

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  29. Well, my friends, Rob Illig made an absolute fool of himself a few months back, but I'm happy to see that he gets around the Internet from time to time. He might learn something.

    I see Illig as mostly a whiner, with an unrealistic self-image that's been needlessly reinforced by others. He doesn't appear to be possessed by the sneering sadism and Gestapo fixation that torment some of his colleagues. That Illig alert was essentially meaningless until you commented about it in a public forum.

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