Saturday, September 29, 2007

Duke Suits & N&O’s “not clear”

The Raleigh News & Observer reports today:

Duke University officials confirmed this week that they have been talking for months with attorneys for current and former lacrosse players -- other than the three who were charged with rape -- to try stave off a lawsuit.

It was not clear what would form the basis of a suit by players who did not face criminal charges. Duke officials would not discuss details of the claims. […]
The entire N&O story is here.

The basis of a suit is “not clear” to the N&O?

If the "not clear" was delivered in a "backgrounder" by someone at Duke "speaking off the record," that's understandable.

But for the N&O to offer readers what purports to be straight news that it's "not clear" what could be a basis for a suit against Duke is laughable at best, disingenuous at worst.

The N&O knows better.

And so does citizen journalist Quasimodo at Liestoppers Forum who on 9/26/07 @ 8:57 a.m. posted many possible bases for suits as follows:
Well, for starters, off the top of my head I can think of, maybe :

Defamation (many remarks by Brodhead implying guilt)

violation of FERPA (not something a private individual can sue for, but still applicable to show culpability)

false light (many remarks and actions by Brodhead and the Admin. implying guilt)

conspiracy to deny civil rights (i.e., access to counsel, selecting Covington, claiming a false 'student-teacher' relationship)

conspiracy (with Nifong, to help cover up FERPA violation)

discriminatory actions in the classroom

discrimination against the team (no other team ever had its coach fired and its season cancelled--and this 'discipline' was ordered BEFORE there were any convictions, merely on the bases of charges--so much for 'waiting for the justice system to act')

DUMC personnel furthering the hoax, and continuing to spread 'anonymous' stories
that there had been injury to the accused

not permitting the accused to take additional courses at other universities (harming their education and costing them a year delay in their schooling) . . .

Willie Gary would be all over this and have a billion dollar claim in a heartbeat.
Duke’s already settled five suits resulting from its mistreatment of Coach Mike Pressler and the Duke lacrosse players.

Message to Raleigh N&O: Did you talk to attorneys who’ve followed the case and litigate in areas where Duke is vulnerable to suits?

While those attorneys will very likely disagree on many things, I’m sure they could all make clear to you many bases for possible suits.

Something else, the N&O has never made clear why it withheld from its March 25, 2006 “anonymous interview” story and for days thereafter news the N&O had of the players’ cooperation with police.

It's time the N&O disclosed on what basis it suppressed that very important news.

Message to Quasimodo: Throughout the Hoax, you’ve served truth and justice. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Great work again by John in Carolina. And hail to Quasimodo.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the leverage the students have against the tattered remnants of Duke's reputation.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone think the N&O will face a libel suit?