Monday, August 21, 2006

Duke lacrosse: Two blogs reporting news today

Today two blogs are reporting on developments in the unfolding Duke hoax case.

First, Liestoppers reports:

Recently, LieStoppers was asked by a North Carolina attorney to assist in the preparation of a NC State Bar Grievance Complaint to be filed against Mr. Nifong by conducting research and providing documentation of Mr. Nifong's ethical transgressions with regard to Ethics Rules 3.6 and 3.8 in terms of his persecution of the Duke hoax.

The results of our research were presented in full to the attorney who requested the assistance and in part here in our A Hoax within a Hoax post. Further presentation will follow on these pages shortly.

In the interests of making our research and source material available to others intent on presenting charges of their own against Mr. Nifong prior to the NC State Bar Ethics Committee Grievance Board’s October session, we have created, and will continue to develop, our new Links section consisting of research sources and analysis targeting the issues raised by Mr. Nifong‘s ethical misbehavior.

While we do understand that the Grievance Board will eventually consider the charges lodged against Mr. Nifong, we cannot say with certainty whether the complaints will be considered in October or at the following session in January.

Members of the North Carolina Bar willing to file additional grievances against Mr. Nifong with regard to ethics rules 3.6 and 3.8 are encouraged to contact LieStoppers if in need of research or documentation assistance. Inquiries may be sent to:

Maybe dat’s da bar where da fat, bald cop da N&O can’t find is drinkin’ des days. What da ya think, Editor Sill?

Anyway , thanks Liestoppers for some very important reporting. And thanks for developing and making available a fine Legal Ethics section at your blog. When an MSM news organization does something like that, it pats itself on the back for a “public service.”

Liestoppers, pat yourself on the back.

Another fine piece of news reporting is found at KC Johnson’s Durham-in-Wonderland.

KC reports on his email interviewing
of Daniel Bowes, the head of Duke’s ACLU chapter. Bowes detailed responses provide information we haven’t had before about his chapter’s activities last Spring as well as some of its plans for the academic year just getting under way. Here’s some of what Bowes said:
As the initial facts concerning the case became clear, it was obvious to the ACLU@DUKE’s members that what D.A. Nifong was doing was unethical, inappropriate, and illegal.

However, for better or worse we made the decision to focus our efforts on increasing the conversation within Duke’s community. While we did not feel qualified to speak on the O’Reilly factor or similar shows—we felt comfortable telling our classmates that the immediate, large-scale presumption of guilt, and the circumstances that Nifong created that allowed such to happen, were reprehensible and not so different from the very same presumptions that had for so long—and still today—plagued minorities.
I don’t recall any area MSM reporting last Spring that the members of Duke's ACLU chapter had concluded what Nifong was doing “was unethical, inappropriate, and illegal.”

That’s an important piece of news in its own right. What’s more, it leads to questions the area media should be pursuing.

For example, what do Duke Law School faculty members think of Duke’s ACLU student members’ conclusions regarding Nifong? Do they share them?

Other than Professor James Coleman, I can’t think of a law faculty member who’s expressed an opinion regarding the ethics, appropriateness or legality of Nifong’s conduct.

And have media ever given us an explanation for Duke’s President Richard Brodhead’s refusal to tell the public what he thinks of Nifong’s conduct?

There is much more news and analysis in KC’s post.

Hat tips to Liestoppers and KC at Durham-in-Wonderland.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Duke Law Professor Erwin Chermerinsky will be asked to weigh in on the Duke lacrosse case. Here is an article on Professor Chermerinsky from 1999:

The ACLU of Southern California celebrates it's annual Bill of Rights Dinner on Friday, January 15, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in an event to recognize the commitment of those who champion the ideals embodied in our nation's Bill of Rights.

Writer/director Steven Zaillian and civil rights attorney Constance Rice will be presented with Bill of Rights Awards and Professor Erwin Chemerinsky with the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award: [snip] He is one of the foremost constitutional and legal ethics scholars in the country.

Anonymous said...

What's that sound off in the distance that Nifong hears getting closer?

It's the Hounds of Justice!

LieStoppers said...


Thank you for your kind words.

Please be advised that we have found it necessary to revise the text of the post you have generously referred to here inorder to correct slight, yet significant, inaccuracies.

We apologize for any inconvenience our error has caused you and your readers.

Best Regards,

Your Friends at LieStoppers

Anonymous said...

While I understand the argument has two sides, I agree with the stance of the majority of the Duke Law School faculty, that their making public pronouncements on the various legal issues of this case, including Mr. Nifong's ethics violations, would provoke the response that "Well of course they would say the law is this way or that way. They're Dukies," and that challenges from neutral legal sources are by far the most effective way to convince the public that the prosecution of this case has been most improper. I believe this is a separate issue than the response of the University as a whole.
I only find fault with Professor Robinson O. Everett continuing to allow his endorsement of Michael Nifong, understandable as such endorsement may have been when made, to remain on the candidate's website. I applaud Professor Everett for his attempts to persuade Mr. Nifong to ask for a special prosecutor, et al., but I believe that Mr. Nifong's conduct is thoroughly undeserving of endorsement of any sort.

Anonymous said...


This is greast news and let's hope your research is put to good use.

Just be careful that you don't end up on Nifong's enemies list. Granted it's growing but you never know when or where he'll strike.


TKG said...


Is there any way to confirm the ACLU's claim(s)that they engaged folks in the Duke community on Nifong's behavior?

Anonymous said...

Oh, please, what a limp defence.


Anonymous said...

To the poster @ 3:28 PM who wrote:

"...I agree with the stance of the majority of the Duke Law School faculty, that their making public pronouncements on the various legal issues of this case, including Mr. Nifong's ethics violations, would provoke the response that "Well of course they would say the law is this way or that way. They're Dukies,"

So what if does provoke such a response? The fact that they are from Duke does not detract from the force or validity of their arguments. It sounds like an excuse to dodge a controversial legal issue taking place right under their noses.

3:28 post continued: challenges from neutral legal sources are by far the most effective way to convince the public that the prosecution of this case has been most improper.

Your statement implies that the majority of the Duke Law faculty believe that the prosecution of the case has been most improper. Do you know this to be true?

Anonymous said...

To the 9:56 poster -
I think they are taking into account the political reality. If they commented their remarks would be valid, but the effect of their remarks in the minds of many would be to invalidate the remarks of others to the same effect.

My poll of Duke Law Faculty is by no means complete. The first comment I got, not for attribution, was "my current working theory is that he is bi-polar."

Anonymous said...

To 01:46 post:
The following is from

[begin excerpt] At Duke Law School the faculty has been buzzing about the case, according to professor James Coleman, who chaired a committee to investigate the lacrosse program.

"You've got a prosecutor playing to race," he says. "It's disgusting. If he's willing to [make race an issue] to go after what he thinks are three white kids with influence, what will he do going against some poor black kid in a case where people are saying, 'You've got to convict somebody?'

To me, a prosecutor who's willing to cut corners in any case is a prosecutor who's subverting justice."
[end excerpt]

As far as I know, Professor James Coleman's remarks were not invalidated in the minds of anyone, despite being from Duke. He seems to be one of the few adults at Duke with a backbone.

Anonymous said...

just left this comment at the N&O Editors Blog:

under today's "Most Popular Stories: Last Seven Days" are articles dated 8/21, 8/18, 8/16 8/16 and the lead item is dated 8/2. according to my calendar, 8/2 is 20 days past. the fact that the headline is misleading (the two players are were residents of the house and one is not charged) adds to the suspicion that there is some bias to the N&O coverage of this case.

Anonymous said...

Pertinent to media issues...
Overexposure: When media coverage blocks out the sun

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