Saturday, November 17, 2007

I got some sharp criticisms from two professors

One professor emailed me back and said:

"As a former defense attorney, I am shocked by your characterization of plaintiffs' attorneys as the fourth headless branch of government. That is simply wrong and a distortion of the legal system. Your premise is simply wrong and mischaracterizes the legal system. Let us stay within the framework that we have and talk about how the legal system works or fails to work properly and not engage in such gross mischaracterizations that will skew any discussion of the topic. I have no urge to participate in such discourse. Sincerely, ___________."

I replied as follows:

"Dear Professor __________,

"Thank you very much for your reply.

"I assume you are familiar with literature and proponents that advance the point of view that an unelected fourth branch of government has come into being in substance, so I will not cite you anything in response to your comments (unless you request the same of me). As a citizen, I have endeavored to articulate the case against plaintiffs' lawyers and append below two of my past writings. I think this debate is worthy of getting more in front of the public's consciousness at this time by reason of the Edwards candidacy and I am making efforts in that regard.

"Again, thank you for your reply.


Another professor emailed me back as follows:


"I am a plaintiff''s oriented torts professor. A quick survey of my scholarship should convince you of this fact. I am also a Kerry/Edwards supporter, partly because of the torts issues.

"So while I am sympathetic to your cause, I am appalled by your e-mail. It is offensive. To suggest that you monitor the materials that I might use to support any of my classes is, frankly, rude and presumptuous, and I worry about your e-mail's effect on my colleagues. If I were you, I would edit your e-mail to stop after your offer to come and present on tort reform topics.

"I spend most of my time in the first year teaching students how to read and analyze cases. You can check out my case book and scholarship to determine my perspective. You might do the same with other torts professors you contact."

I replied to this professor with this:

"Dear Professor ________,

"Thank you for your reply.

"I have written strong opinions on the subject of plaintiffs' lawyers in the past and am, as a citizen, endeavoring to find venues by which the debate can be elevated in the public's consciousness at this time in connection with the Edwards candidacy. Appended below are two of my past writings. If there would be any forum at Emory where debate could be had in front of law students, I would be most interested. Please let me know if you can suggest anything.

"I apologize that my email was offensive to you. I am interested in the arguments and presentations on the various sides of the debate and I wish to argue the side as I see it and necessarily, I guess, against the other side. I suppose that can be viewed as "monitoring", but I should not think it needs to be received as offensive in an academic environment.

"Again, thank you very much for replying.


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