Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Chronicle’s Ekstrand story: my comment

With the headline - “Students turn to Ekstrand, Law alum, for defense and counsel” - a story today in Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, begins - - -

When students find themselves in legal peril with the Durham Police Department and at odds with the University, they often turn to a local attorney who has gained a reputation as a student defender.

Bob Ekstrand, Law '98, founded Durham law firm Ekstrand & Ekstrand with his wife Samantha, Law '01, and offers services ranging from merely giving advice to students to filing a lawsuit on their behalf. He has worked with students on a number of high-profile cases over the last few years, including cases involving conflict between DPD and students. . . .

The rest of the story’s here.

I’ve left the following comment on the story’s thread - - -

I’d like to commend reporters Will Robertson and Emmeline Zhao and their editors for an informative, well-written report.

For students and parents the most informative part of the story may be attorney Ekstrand’s explanation of why it is often better to contest charges than accept a plea bargain.

Also of great value to students and parents is something made obvious by the report’s concise and accurate summary of the events surrounding the DPD raid at the W. Trinity Ave. and charges against Duke students which were later dismissed: When something comes up involving you and the police, seek first-rate legal counsel fast.

I was impressed by Robertson’s and Zhao’s legwork. They weren’t content to just interview Ekstrand but interviewed defense attorney Bill Thomas and sought interviews with president Brodhead and vice president for public affairs and government relations, Michael Schoenfeld, and former vice president for public affairs and government relations, John Burness.

I’m sorry, but not surprised, president Brodhead declined to be interviewed. Any news story which touches on fair treatment of Duke students by Durham police and proper legal representation for students reminds people of Brodhead’s disgraceful, self-serving abandonment of the Duke lacrosse players.

I’m sure if The Chronicle had asked Brodhead for an interview dealing with his vision of Duke in 2050, the president would have been happy to share it with reporters Robinson and Zhao and explain how we can all move on to helping him fulfill that vision.

Once more: well done, reporters and editors.

John in Carolina

Folks, I’ll be interested to hear your reactions to the story


Anonymous said...

I am sure that Dean Sue was not particularly happy with the advice of the Ekstrands that students should hire good legal counsel right wawy. After all, Dean Sue advised the lacrosse players that they did not need lawyers and that furthermore they should not tell their parents anything.
Of course, at this point,any parent who willingly spends the big bucks to send their offspring to Duke has got to have a screw loose. Yes, I know that it has had a great reputation but frankly is a great reputation (which in the soft sciences is of dubious disctinction) really worth the worry that one would have to have that their offspring might find themselves on the wrong side of the street with the Durham PD?