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For the record (contains Brian Leiter content)

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Updated below.

Updated again below.

Back story can be found here, here and here.

(1) On the evening of February 28th, 2013 Prof. Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago Law School sent creepy pseudonymous email messages to at least two people who had criticized him anonymously in comment threads at The Faculty Lounge. Leiter used his [email protected] email account for this purpose.

(2) Two days later, again using his Peter Aduren alt, Leiter attempted to “out” one of his TFL critics on JD Underground, with a post that was quickly deleted by the administrator.

(3) That same day, Leiter used his University of Chicago email account to sent a threatening email to a third pseudonymous TFL critic.

(4) Also on that day, Leiter published a post on his law school blog, boasting that he was going to do what he could to try to get an “insolent” and “impertinent” young associate at a law firm, who had sent Leiter a pointed but otherwise inoffensive one-sentence question via email, in trouble with the firm’s partners. In that post, Leiter also threatened to out lawyers who engage in “unprofessional” behavior, by abusing the privilege of internet anonymity.

(5) The next morning a poster started a thread at Top Law Schools, linking to Leiter’s post, and suggesting that Leiter “has too much time on his hands, and is kind of an imperious, self-important asshole to boot.” Literally within minutes after this post went up, Leiter registered pseudononymously at TLS (you have to register to read the forum on which the post appeared), using his aduren gmail account to do so. Shortly afterwards Leiter contacted the site’s legal counsel, asking TLS to remove the post. TLS refused to do so.

(6) After conversations with some of his targets, I looked into this series of events and determined via triangulation that Leiter got the email addresses he used to contact them from The Faculty Lounge. I determined that Leiter’s co-blogger Dan Filler was an obvious candidate for having given Leiter access to the critics’ email addresses, and in at least one case an IP address as well.

(7) Early last week I contacted Filler and asked him whether he had had anything to do with Leiter’s acquisition of the email addresses of his targets. He didn’t respond. I then made the information above public.

(8) Filler finally responded on Friday, by giving a statement to Above the Law that didn’t address the question of whether he had given Leiter access to the information.

(9) Over the weekend, numerous commenters at TFL asked the site’s bloggers to address this issue. Finally, on Monday morning the site’s bloggers posted this.

Comment: I remain unaware of any plausible alternative explanation in regard to how Leiter acquired the emails of the three people he harassed between February 27 and March 2. This of course suggests that yesterday’s statement from TFL is inaccurate in some way. It could be inaccurate because:

(a) One of the signatories is being untruthful.

(b) The statement is less definitive than it sounds. As someone in the comment thread suggests (btw unlike Leiter when I use the word “someone” in such a context I mean someone other than “myself” — I haven’t commented in that thread) the phrase “identifying information” could be construed to exclude IP addresses and email addresses, if the latter were just screen names.

(c) Either a former or guest TFL blogger who retains admin privileges transmitted the information to Leiter.

Of course Leiter could resolve the suspicions hanging over current and former TFL bloggers by revealing who gave him the email addresses. Short of that, the precise details of what happened are likely to remain unclear.

Going forward, I would like to pay no more attention to this sad and disturbing matter, but I’m putting up this post to help clarify a series of complex events, since unfortunately it’s quite likely that Leiter will continue to engage in this kind of thing, and it would be good for his future correspondents to be forewarned.

Update: Paul Horwitz has a post at Prawfsblawg (which he’s not allowing people to comment on) in which he upbraids me for initially suggesting that Dan Filler was the person who most likely leaked the email addresses to Leiter, and then moving to stronger statements in which I asserted that Filler “apparently” transmitted the information to his co-blogger. The latter statements were a product of what can only be described as Filler’s extremely suspicious behavior in this matter: When contacted, he simply refused for several days to address what pretty much everyone except for Brian Leiter and his numerous sock puppets now recognizes was at the least a serious breach of internet privacy norms. When he finally did speak to the issue, Filler gave, as Scott pointed out, a remarkably lame response, that only intensified doubts about his conduct. In short it took Filler six days to issue an actual denial (if one chooses to interpret yesterday’s TFL post as that).

Now there are other explanations for Filler’s conduct besides direct guilt: perhaps he’s covering for someone else at TFL, or perhaps he just doesn’t know how to handle this kind of squalid controversy (in which case I suggest he might not want to continue to hang around Brian Leiter.) And I do acknowledge that it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Leiter got the emails from some source other than TFL (though no one has even suggested how this could have happened, given the known facts).

If at some point in the future Filler is cleared, I will of course give that event as much publicity as I can. Until then, he’ll have to live with what remain well-founded suspicions regarding his conduct in this matter.

Update II: Cross-posted from comments at TFL:

I wish to emphasize here for the internet version of posterity that Brian Leiter, whose latest update on his blog regarding this matter reads very much like the work of a mentally unstable individual [link added by SEK] does not deny that he is “Peter Aduren,” author of pseudonymous messages to TFL commenters, who, quite understandably in my view, perceived those messages as harassing and threatening. The question of who outed these commenters to Leiter is a secondary issue which, while important, is not nearly as important as Leiter’s ongoing behavior.

I hope that someone at Chicago has the good sense to intervene, and to get him the kind of help he seems to need.

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  • Mary Rosh

    I for one can vouch for the moral superiority and overall excellence of Prof. Brian Leiter!

    • Friedrich Nietzsche

      And his armpits smell like apple juice.

      • Pushkin

        Brian Leiter is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

        • Retiel

          Brian Leiter was way cool
          Everybody liked Brian Leiter
          Everybody wanted to hang out with him
          Anything he wanted to do, he did
          He turned water into wine
          And if he wanted to He could have turned wheat into marijuana
          Or sugar into cocaine
          Or vitamin pills into amphetamines
          He walked on the water
          And swam on the land
          He would tell these stories
          And people would listen
          He was really cool
          If you were blind or lame
          You just went to Brian Leiter
          And he would put his hands on
          And you would be healed
          That’s so cool
          He could’ve played guitar better than Hendrix
          He could’ve told the future
          He could’ve baked the most delicious cake in the world
          He could’ve scored more goals than Wayne Gretzky
          He could’ve danced better than Barishnikov
          Brian Leiter could have been funnier than any comedian you can think of
          Brian Leiter was way cool
          He told people to eat his body and drink his blood
          That’s so cool
          Brian Leiter was so cool
          But then Paul Campos got jealous of how cool he was
          So Campos killed him
          But then he rose from the dead
          He rose from the dead, danced around
          Then went up to heaven
          I mean, that’s so cool
          Brian Leiter was way cool

          • Hanspeter

            But what else would Brian Leiter do?
            Would he make a plan?
            Would he fight grizzly bears?
            Would he travel to the year 3010?
            Would he beat Kublai Khan again?
            Cause that’s what Brian Leiter should do.

            • Hogan

              He had a pocket full of horses
              fucked the shit out of bears
              He threw a knife into heaven
              and could kill with a stare
              He made love like an eagle
              falling out of the sky
              Killed his sensei in a duel
              and he never said why

              Let the 3Ls beware
              Let the associates beware
              He’s coming
              He’s coming
              He’s coming

              • Brian Leiter raised my dead puppy and gave him a chew toy.

              • Mary Rosh

                He saves children but not the lower and middle class indebted law school graduate children…

  • The wiggle room is obvious, Paul: (to periphrase) “some temporary bloggers have administrative acces.”

    So there’s at least one sockpuppet, and they’ve used them before.

    Who gives a guest blogger admin access? I’ve guest blogged at any number of sites, and have always been asked to submit ahead of time for editing, since my piece will represent that blog’s editorial staff.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      The idea of giving guest bloggers administrative access would be a bizarre example of maladministration. Especially coming from lawyers. Then again, the likely scenario outlined by Paul above already suggests that the TFL crowd aren’t the sharpest nails in the tool-shed.

      • Shakezula

        The idea of giving guest bloggers administrative access would be a bizarre example of maladministration. Especially coming from lawyers.

        Being an attorney doesn’t convey instant understanding of the interwebs.

        However, like doctors, attorneys are prone to assuming that an accomplishment in one area (becoming an attorney) conveys instant understanding of everything. This results in some Olympic class face plants (including the one that ends with the clang of prison bars) which could easily be what happened here.

        • rea

          Being an attorney doesn’t convey instant understanding of the interwebs.

          Witnesss my own adverture in guest blogging, in which I was given the keys to a . . . prominent lefty site while the proprietor went on vacation, and couldn’t figure to how to post anything. Fortunately, I was not the only guest blogger . . .

          • Shakezula

            Please don’t be offended, but that made me laugh in an immoderate manner.

            But I was laughing with, I promise.

          • Cody

            To be fair, some CMS can be really complicated. Especially if no one gave you a hint to where the administrator page is.

            • Shakezula

              No, I know. It really was an “Oh no, poor you,” facepalm laugh.

    • SEK

      Who gives a guest blogger admin access?

      It’s a Typepad site, it’s impossible not to give a guest blogger admin privileges. (Says the guy whose other blog is a Typepad site.)

      • No, seriously

        Well, my other blog is a Mercedes. Swear!

      • legion

        My other girlfriend is a Typepad site. She’s Canadian.

  • Advokat

    “since unfortunately it’s quite likely that Leiter will continue to engage in this kind of thing”

    I don’t think he can help himself.

  • Advokat

    For the record, in case something happens to the TFL thread. Of course, we don’t know who posted this:

    “Nobody is even pretending to care anymore about the truth — this has devolved into an “eye for an eye” rant by two or three obsessive folks. Leiter was mean and had the audacity to come after those who anonymously smear academics — and job-seekers, as many of you are!!! — so you’re going to pester and try to injure everyone who’s ever associated with him. Remember, that’s what STARTED ALL THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Among other things, that’s a tacit defense of what the outed commenters said; but it is no defense of their reprehensible actions to argue that someone else did something similar after the fact. Painfully parsing the language of what was obviously a good faith attempt to satisfy your ever-changing paranoid demands while, at the same time, condemning exactly the statement you demanded as a lie underscores the futility of trying to engage you all in an actual debate. The fact that, you claim with nearly zero evidence, Leiter uses anonymous posts to attack others — a practice that you argue is BAD but then proceed to hypocritically do yourselves repeatedly — is sufficient in my view to discredit your purported “quest” for “justice.” Go vent on JDU or someplace that is already a cesspool of free-floating rage. This is a serious academic discussion forum, not your playground for compulsive, juvenile bombast. You may be right that Leiter has been mean to your idol Campos, but Campos has plenty of access to means of public self-defense (he has his own blog(s), after all); he does not need an undisciplined posse to continually lob painfully repetitive tripe at people who have now established they have zero relationship to this so-called problem. The real issue seems to be that you feel threatened, your cloak of anonymity has proved not quite so impervious, and you’re now trying to obscure (or justify) your own reprehensible past behavior by shifting the blame to innocent and well-meaning folks who have tolerated your airing of grievances far longer than even a broad sense of decency and egalitarianism warrants. If dubyyk (or whatever the handle is) is outed, it’s a victory for civility on the internet. If you want to impact the law school system, you should work harder not to so fully discredit yourselves and your cohort with this craziness. Unless, of course, someone would like to defend on the merits the right of those who may be outed to say what they said with zero accountability.

    Posted by: anon | March 11, 2013 at 09:15 PM”

    • sibusisodan

      This is a serious academic discussion forum, not your playground for compulsive, juvenile bombast.

      In other news, fighting in the war room is now prohibited.

      • Advokat

        Advokat needs to practice the skill of writing about himself in the third person.

      • NonyNony

        This is a serious academic discussion forum, not your playground for compulsive, juvenile bombast.

        This can only be written by someone who has never attended a faculty meeting.

        Or, for that matter, a discussion in an actual faculty lounge.

        • John (not McCain)

          Or used the faculty restroom.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Shorter anon:

      Groupthink from a mob of bullies cowering behind their user-name aliases. Groupthink! Groupthink! Naaa naaa naaa-naaa naaa!

    • Scott P.

      “Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who…”

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        Unfortunately, there’s no “‘uge tracts of LAND” at stake. Just poo-flinging.

        Still looking for the Grail-shaped beacon.

    • No, seriously

      Advokat – I’m pretty sure that who you think posted that is who I think posted that. It hit on every on of his pet topics.

      • herr doktor bimler

        By now there are probably “Comment like Brian Leiter” sockpuppet-impersonation competitions underway.

  • yenwoda

    “Back story can be found here, here and here.”

    The real back story we’re all interested in is what the hell happened between you and Leiter when you were law students together at UM.

    • Hogan

      Nah, I’m good, thanks.

  • anon

    Leiter was given admin rights at TFL?

    • Malaclypse

      Explicitly denied in the statement.

      • Jon Hendry

        Maybe aduren had admin rights.

        • Cody

          Or retieL nairB got access.

  • (contains Brian Leiter content)

    Oh, great. Now all the LGM posts are going to have to add
    Processed in a facility that also processes Brian Leiter
    content
    , aren’t they

    • Does this mean on Passover they’ll have to open up a kosher blogging facility?

    • penpen

      +11111

    • Jon Hendry

      There’s Brian Leiter content in my “beef” lasagna!

    • legion

      Product may contain some horse’s ass.

      • spencer

        +harrumph

      • Kathleen

        Or pink slime.

      • herr doktor bimler

        Legion is resorting to an Ad Houyhnhnm argument.

        • Jameson Quinn

          oh my god. You win one miniature internet. That is awesome.

  • Shakezula

    Shorter: Haters gonna hate.

    Entertainment value aside, I’m glad this is going down on Leiterhosen’s permanent record. If it warns people to limit their exposure to this toxic man-child and his enablers, so much the better.

    • Jameson Quinn

      As of this posting, google autocomplete takes “Brian Leiter’s r” and… does not suggest “Brian Leiter’s rotting teeth”. You should probably check that yourself by typing it out completely, though.

  • changing story?

    Paul: at first BL’s explanation on his blog was that dybbuk’s identity was “volunteered by someone” that you had, uh, “made water” upon.

    Now BL’s explanation is changed somewhat, stating instead that “dybbuk’s identity was volunteered by different people” that you had made water upon.

  • BLRT

    Considering the nature of the evidence, this case was never going to be proven beyond all doubt. That’s fine, it doesn’t have to be. We know what Leiter did and he knows that we know. Hope he’s happy with himself. What an embarrassment.

  • Theoden

    Give ’em hell, Paul!

  • Hayden Arse

    Throughout this discussion, which I have followed with much amusement, I have been bothered by the awkwardness of the usage of “sock puppet”, and “sock puppetry.”

    I humbly propose renaming this activity “Leitering” henceforth.

    In addition to linking Brian Leiter to the activity in perpetuity, it sounds like a combination of loitering and littering which also seems apropos.

    • Scott Adams

      I can get behind this idea.

      • No, seriously

        Scott, I would have expected something a little more Dilbertesquire, coming from you.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      You are CLEARLY unaware of long-hallowed internet traditions!

      Keep it up, and we’ll have to ‘sic the Ghost of Earl Curly, Mary Rosh, and Kibo on you.

      You. Have. Been. Warned!

      • Kibo

        Leiter is not Allowed.

    • Jon Hendry

      “Leitering with intent”

    • I’mLeiteringRightNow

      I like. Let’s Santorum him.

    • Dan

      How about “Leitering with intent”

      • Dan

        damn, should’ve read all the way down

  • Pushkin

    I think we can all agree that Leiter is the real victim here.

  • Peter Aduren

    Agreed; that man is a saint!

  • Anonymous

    How do we know that [email protected] is Leiter? A lot of this case against him rests on that.

  • ironic irony

    This whole thing needs to be turned into a telenovela.

    • No! no! They’d change it around too much. Look what they did to “Pillars Of The Earth” and its sequel.

  • No, not really Peter Aduren

    Now I regret my joke post for possibly confusing people. Historical researchers of the future reviewing these archives: the above Peter Aduren was not Brian Leiter for once but someone mocking him. Brian Leiter, right. What do you mean you’ve never heard of him, they don’t teach about him in philosophy classes of the future?! Preposterous!

    • Pushkin

      Insolence!

    • The Future

      Hi primitive pastling, what you call “Philosophy” is known as Leitersophy to us.

      • Charlton Heston

        Dammit, you really did blow it all to hell!

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Was Peter Aduren the *real* author of Shakespeare’s plays?

      Just thought I’d put it “out there”, so some Eng Lit student 100 years from now can get a PhD. I’m generous that way.

      • Cody

        If all the internet blogs and comments are preserved, there will be tons of easy papers to write.

  • Anon

    FWIW, smart money seems to be on Tamara Piety right now as the most likely guest blogger culprit. Will never be able to prove it, of course.

    • No, seriously

      What reasons are “smart money” betting on this person?

      • BLRT

        She’s the most likely suspect after Dan Filler. For one, she’s a guest blogger at TFL, so she had access to the information yet didn’t sign the statement. For two, she’s had several unpleasant altercations with dybbuk in comment threads at TFL and Prawfs. Leiter’s original explanation for what happened with dybbuk is exactly such a person had provided Leiter dybbuks info. For 3, she authored posts that featured comments from dybbuk, Mac&, and BLRT, the three people who apparantly reported to Campos that they received mail from Peter Aduren. In my case, I only left comments on one thread at TFL and it was one of hers (and it was about Brian Leiter).

        Again, not enough evidence to preclude other possibilities, but more than nothing.

      • JDE

        From a recent Prawfsblawg comment thread, Tamara Piety wrote:

        “”Rich and comfy” eh? Well dybbuk I am rich compared to most people in America I guess (but I don’t make anywhere near $200 M). And I would say pretty “comfy” although I live in a 1 bedroom rental and drive an 11 year old car and have still not paid off my student loans and won’t until I am 70 I think. But perhaps I am not typical. But you sure do live up to your name –“malicious spirit” indeed. I have this sneaking suspicion that “dybbuk” is a sock puppet for a law professor somewhere. But save your vitriol. ”

        http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2013/02/the-costs-of-legal-scholarship.html

      • No, seriously

        BLRT and JDE, thank you for taking the time to explain.

  • oldster

    Paul, serious question:

    What does a blog-owner/administrator see about the commenters who visit?

    Most of us commenters don’t own our own blogs, so we don’t know. I know that you can see my IP address, and thus work out my state and rough region.

    But what else can you see about other sites that I visit? Can you see which site I last visited? Which site I’m about to visit?

    I ask because the “AutoAdmit” page on Leiter contains copious information about other sites that his sockpuppet had visited, and it had to come from what they saw when he visited their blog, right?

    So could one of you put up a post, giving a short tutorial on “what blog-owners see about the people who visit their blogs”?

    • Paul, if he has admin rights, can see my IP and my email address.

      • djw

        Yes. Every blogger here has those privileges.

      • sibusisodan

        …and if there’s some analytics involved in the backend of the site, it can show where visitors came from and where they go to. But I don’t think this info is _directly_ linked to IP address/email: it’s partly anonymised (sic). You could probably link visit info/behaviour to IP info if you had access to both the backend and the analytics, but it would be tedious.

        Anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about able to confirm/deny this?

        • SEK

          Anyone with admin privileges here (and with any WordPress site) can get that information, but it’s not organized and in a single place, so it’s a pain in the ass, so much so it’s not even worth the effort (or if someone thinks it is, they must really think it is).

          Typepad, which the Faculty Lounge uses, and Expression Engine, though, collate all that information. It appears with your comment, along will all the other information that’s difficult to get through WordPress: where you clicked in from, how long you stayed, your IP address, your geographical location, what you clicked on when you left, etc.

          • oldster

            This is useful, SEK. But turn it into a post!

            And is the answer that a given blog can only see the sites directly before and after?

            So, if Autoadmit can see that a Leiter sockpuppet has been visiting Hotornot pages for UT students, then that’s because he clicked directly from Autoadmit to that page, or from that page to Autoadmit?

            • It’s simple to track outgoing clicks using a bounce page or JavaScript, and most content management systems have that built in. It’s possible to evade that kind of tracking with browser plugins, to varying degrees of success and reliability.

              Tracking the origin of incoming links is even easier, because it’s built into the web browser to report on each request where it was referred from. You can disable this behavior too, but not without making a lot of websites act weird and buggy.

              Sites which choose to do so also can use JavaScript to track an enormous amount of information about you — any mouse movement, click, or keystroke in that browser window can be tracked. Sites cannot track anything you do outside the browser window or in other tabs. But I have seen marketing analytics services which allow site administrators to look up and replay any user’s entire session using the site, even down to any time spent idling or hesitating.

              Advertising networks can track you across multiple sites and use that to develop a marketing profile for you. They can even potentially link together your sessions on multiple computers if you log into the same account from those computers. This isn’t entirely reliable, of course — because I work with someone who reads Spanish-language websites, for instance, certain ad networks occasionally give me Spanish ads at home, too.

              Public outrage in the late ’90s got the advertising networks to adopt relatively strict privacy policies, and the average schmoe can’t buy non-anonymized data about their site visitors for love or money. In theory.

        • SEK

          I meant to be replying to this:

          You could probably link visit info/behaviour to IP info if you had access to both the backend and the analytics, but it would be tedious. Anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about able to confirm/deny this?

          Yes, extremely tedious with WordPress, not the least bit with other platforms.

          • You can, with a bit of patience use the open sitemeter data (has it been closed off).

        • That’s usually only about IP so different services will put people in slightly different places.

    • oldster

      Different way of asking this:

      Suppose I made a scrupulous habit of traveling to an innocuous page, e.g. the Google front page, whenever I leave a blog, and prior to visiting any blog. Instead of clicking from Crooked Timber straight to LGM, I always go to Google in between.

      Would that make it impossible for LGM to see that I had just been reading CT, and CT to see that I was leaving them to come to LGM?

      • SEK

        If you go to Google then type in our address, we may be able to dee you came from CT. But if you search for our address through Google and click on the search result, that’s what we’ll see.

        • Malaclypse

          So you are saying you cannot secure our border with Crooked Timber?

        • The Kenosha Kid

          But if I leave this site and go to dirtyteenagewhores.com you would be able to find that out?

          I’m just asking for a friend.

          • Jameson Quinn

            A site can’t see where you go if you type in the address. But if you click over to goatse using this handy link, then in theory they could.

  • BlueLoom

    Perhaps Paul can turn this into a well-reviewed book. James Lasdun did.

  • No, seriously

    Horwitz over at Prawfs just posted a new (no comments allowed) post taking Campos to task for (without using this phrase “walking it back”).

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2013/03/shame.html#more

    • Pouca

      What is odd about this is that when the question was being asked – who leaked to Leiter – prawfsblawg was in the picture but eliminated because not all the cyber-stakees had posted there. Now Horowitz wants to point the finger back a pawfsblawg and, well Horowitz. Is this a guilty conscience or idiocy?

      • Lady M. Out, damned spot! out, I say! One; two: why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky! Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

    • Anonymous

      Where does Horwitz think Leiter got the data? The Easter Bunny?

      • No, seriously

        Lawd, NO! The Ether Bunny is a semi-religious mythical creature. Horwitz knows that Leiter hates all things religious and semi-religious (just can’t “Tolerate” `em, y’know), mythicality irrelevant.

        • OhioDocReviewer

          The Leiter Bunny…he knows who’s been nice and who’s been insolent.

          • please dont out me

            Brian Leiter, Professor of Law, Philosophy, and Chimpanzee Values.

  • The strangest thing happened last night. Brian Leiter showed up at my home, ranting about some rumor I was going to be offered a tenure-track position at Chicago. He assured me this was impossible, and then told me I should not accept such an offer.

    Naturally, I told him that if such an offer were impossible, he need not worry about my accepting it. He then asked if any offer had been made, and I said no, and then he asked me to promise to refuse it if it were made, but I refused to make such a promise, and again reminded him of his assertion that it would be impossible.

    Saying something about the position being meant for his protege, he quitted the house and drove off back to Stuart Hall in a chaise and four.

  • Ehcsztein

    Paul, do you have any idea how this incident might be viewed at the U of Chicago? I would think it’s rather embarrassing for them. Certainly Leiter has quarreled with many people in the past, but there’s something particularly vindictive, petty, and downright mean-spirited about this. Now maybe Leiter is such a vaunted academic that this incident will bounce right off him. But I don’t think so. Do you think anyone’s snubbed him at lunch?

    • Theoden

      Leiter is not well-known for his academic skills, it’s more his philosophy department (and to a lesser extent, law school) rankings and his incessant blogging.

      • Pushkin

        Hey, Leiter’s “the most powerful man in academic philosophy”!

        Just read his wikipedia entry!

        • Pseudonym

          What does it say about his opinions on philosophy that he brags how his greatest accomplishment is becoming the most powerful man in that field?

  • Advokat

    Naturally, Leiter intends to get the final word in:

    AND A FINAL WORD: Crazy Campos’s jihad against Dan Filler has come to an end, not with Campos apologizing, but with his continuing to cast aspersions on Filler and others at TFL, even though, as I noted last Friday, he’s been barking up the wrong tree all along (he apparently has little sense of the depth and breadth of enmity towards him and his crew, and it extends well beyond those who blog–I will, in any case, not name my sources, who did the morally correct thing in exposing scoundrels and creeps, but who do not deserve to be harassed and defamed by those who want to harass and defame with impunity). There also turns out to be quite a bit of backstory about what’s been going on at Colorado, that will perhaps come out in time, and which may explain Campos’s slightly insane and obsessive behavior in the last week. Anyway, I’ll give the final word about this freak show to a colleague elsewhere, who wrote to me last week regarding the pseudonymous and anonymous trolls: “I, for one, hope that you put the fear of god into them. I’ve been unable to avoid the consistent spamming our normal blogs have taken over the last year from the likes of these schmoes (‘MacK’ and the others main perpetrators), one can only hope that they’re cowering in a corner thinking back on the foolishness of repeatedly attempting to defame and intimidate honest and well-meaning educators. It’s one of the worst symptoms of the right-wing anti-intellectualism that seems to get frothier in this country each election cycle. As for our friend in the rocky mountain state, I really think he’s either run into some well-deserved, serious career problem (other than lacking all talent as a scholar) or has gone wholly round the bend.” As some readers pointed out, even Campos’s many false allegations may have the salutary effect of making the bottom-feeders in cyberspace (including Campos’s dozen-or-so trolls) a bit more cautious going forward.

    • Pushkin

      If you object to Leiter’s tactics, you are guilty of “right-wing anti-intellectualism”, insolent fools!

    • cdernem

      It’s amazing how everyone who anonymously sends Leiter emails writes exactly like Leiter.

      • Advokat

        He’s just channelling his inner Vyshinsky.

    • brad

      When you have no actual defense, attack your accuser.
      Seems he’s learned how to think like a lawyer.

    • sibusisodan

      Anyway, I’ll give the final word about this freak show to a colleague elsewhere, who wrote to me last week regarding the pseudonymous and anonymous trolls:

      So his final word on anonymous trolls is from an anonymous colleague conflating Campos with right-wing anti-intellectuals and saying he lacks all talent as a scholar?

      And using Leiter’s own words in this para, outing the colleague who, it might be said, defamed Campos in this comment would be the morally correct thing to do?

      Also: he really, really needs to work on his use of parenthetical asides if he wants his anonymous sockpuppets to remain anonymous. Compare Advokat’s 9.06 snip from ‘Anonymous’ with the one from the esteemed gentleman himself above…

  • Leiter is a Child

    Quite the attempt to divert attention, though. It’s fairly obvious it was someone who blogs–no one else would have JUST e-mail and IP addresses.

    Still, keep up the pressure, I guess–it looks like some of them are cracking, frankly.

  • 2 minus one equals one

    “And I do acknowledge that it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Leiter got the emails from some source other than TFL -Paul Campos

    Dybbuk said: It was either Prawfs or Faculty Lounge.

    http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2013/03/brian-leiter-professor-of-law.html

    Briansrottingteeth said it was not Prawfs.

  • advokat

    “Pushkin” comments on one of Leiter’s colleagues at the University of Chicago Law School:

    Posner Criticized for Blog Comments on Condoms, Catholicism and Molesting Priests
    By Debra Cassens Weiss
    Dec 2, 2010, 10:14 am CDT
    Comments

    Posner has always shot from the hip, it’s just that in the past he has done it in fields without clearly defined standards of good work or established intellectual leaders. He’s never liked doing research, or thought much of it. Like a lot of middle school kids, he thinks he’s the first person to have the idea that just occurred to him, so checking to see what others have said on the topic would be fruitless. Professional Economists have always thought of him as somewhat of an amateur, and in the last twenty years he’s added philosophers, political theorists, intellectual and cultural historians, and now theologians to that list. Only in law, the default choice of the B+ intellect, would he be considered a sophisticated thinker, so naturally, he gravitated to law. But, as Darrell Royal was fond of saying, “even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes,” and Posner has here with his comments on Catholicism and contraception (his views on pedophilia, on the other hand, are so simple-minded as to be laughable). You might say he’s half-right, as always.

    By Pushkin on 2010 12 02, 3:22 pm CDT

    • Theoden

      Fascinating, if Leiter is Pushkin and it got out that he was bashing Posner it would make things very, very uncomfortable for him at U of C. They are very proud of having Posner on the faculty.

      • Hrgfg

        Possibly true. It doesn’t quite sound like him to me, though–is he likely to have called law “the default choice of the B+ intellect”? Perhaps he thinks of himself as in the supposedly more rigorous philosophy field, and hence above it all, though.

  • advokat

    The mysterious “Ganger” puts up a comment that explains that anonymity is inappropriate, when it comes to insolently mocking esteemed professors. Nothing “creepy” about this!

    Anon at 10:08 — The email you describe does not sound inappropriate to me. You were posting mocking a professsor’s physical characteristics, and he sent you an email suggesting that he knew who you were. I don’t see anything creepy about that or disproportionately threatening; it sounds like he was trying to get you to stop. Rather than stop, you are seeking protection from others so that you can continue.

    If someone were posting about you like that and would not stop, what would your reaction be?

    Posted by: Ganger | March 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM

  • 2L Punk ass kid

    “I would like to pay no more attention to this sad and disturbing matter…”
    Not sad and disturbing. Petty and juvenile. HTH.

  • anon

    Paul –

    I realize that this thread is by now rather old. I have, however, one question which I’d like an answer to.

    With regard to your item 5: “Literally within minutes after this post went up, Leiter registered pseudononymously at TLS (you have to register to read the forum on which the post appeared), using his aduren gmail account to do so.”

    How does this claim reconcile with the earlier claim that Leiter is PhiloStudent using the same email on TLS? If he posted as PhiloStudent, years ago, on TLS, was he able to register a second pseudonym to the same email address on TLS? I don’t know how TLS works, having never been there.

    Anyway, I know this issue is long dead but I’m a bit curious.

    Thanks.

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