Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Duke’s "Barcelona defense"

Duke University’s motion to dismiss the rights violations suit complaint filed by attorneys for 38 members of the university’s 2006 Men’s lacrosse team amounts to “we didn’t do anything wrong and we knew nothing about the frame-up run by Mike Nifong.”

Duke’s motion is very faulty, as KC Johnson explains in this post.

It’s also very Fawlty.

You remember the British comedy series Fawlty Towers. John Cleese played Basil Fawlty, the arrogant, maladroit owner of Fawlty Towers, a small hotel in Torquay.

Andrew Sach played Manuel, the well-meaning waiter who time and again was confronted by guests complaining about their rooms or the food.

Manuel had a stock response for them: He’d shrug and say in accented English:

“See theese man? (pointing to Basil Fawlty.) He knows eeeverything. Me? I know nothing. I’m from Barcelona.”
Duke’s using Manuel’s "Barcelona defense."

I expect President Brodhead during discovery will point to Nifong and say: “See theese man. He knows eeeverything. Me? I’m from Yale.”

Will the university award Sach an honorary degree? Or at least give him a trustees' vote of thanks?


Anonymous said...

Hoo boy!! I didn't think the Duke defense team was THAT dumb! They're actually letting Jamie Gorelick handle some of the trial work. They couldn't have picked a less capable trial lawyer; she's a two-bit bureaucrat whose chief accomplishment in government service is the "wall" she erected between the various intelligence agencies, thus allowing the 9.11 suicide pilots to succeed. Talk about karma!!
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

John -

Love your analogy. I frequently reference Manuel when asked something I don't know. In any event, let's see how far that defense get them.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Manuel was channeling Sgt. Schultz...

(apologies to LTCK86)