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What’s going on in the Faculty Lounge?

[ 155 ] March 5, 2013 |

Updated below

This is a cautionary tale about, among other things, what happens when highly privileged people who should know better don’t have the courage to stand up to an out of control internet bully and cyber stalker.

Here’s the series of events:

(1) Last week I announced that there would be no further posts on ITLSS. This decision seems to have been some sort of triggering event for Prof. Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago law school, who has had a bizarre obsession with the blog from the very beginning (For example, an amusing and instructive incident took place just two days into the blog’s existence, when Inside Higher Ed published a story about it. This story unleashed a stream of comments from a “Brian L.,” a self-identified law professor with a disturbingly comprehensive knowledge of the finest gradations of hierarchical status among law schools, who boasted that it would be easy enough to out the then still-anonymous author of the blog. Oddly enough, immediately after these comments appeared, Brian Leiter posted in the thread:

By my quick count, using the AALS Directory, there are only 4 “Brian L.’s” in law teaching, so the Brian L., above (not me needless to say), isn’t concealing his identity very much!

Yes, needless to say!

Moving right along . . .Over the next 18 months Leiter found himself unable to go very long without posting something derogatory about ITLSS, although he claimed he never read the blog (his attention was invariably drawn to it by a “distinguished colleague.”). In another odd coincidence, an anonymous commenter on ITLSS with a literary style strikingly similar to Leiter’s (what might be called “narcissistic snark”) posted hundreds of comments on the blog during this time.

In any case, my last post produced within just a few hours another blast of vituperation, which, like everything else he had written about me since the first month of the blog’s existence, I ignored.

Then this weekend I got several messages from people who said Leiter was cyber-stalking them. I looked into their claims, and discovered the following:

(1) A young associate at a Nevada law firm had sent Leiter a simple one-sentence email, containing a pointed question, but no abusive language or any other inappropriate content. This unleashed The Great Man’s wrath, in a blog post that reads like a parody of an arrogant, sublimely clueless law professor attempting to put the peasantry in their place.

(2) A post on JD Underground (since deleted), in which a poster going by the handle of “aduren” asked if a JDU poster who goes by the handle Dybbuk was [name of a lawyer]. Dybbuk’s crime, apparently, is that he referred to the distinguished professor as a “Nietzschian ubermunchkin,” and that he criticized a protege of Leiter’s as unqualified for a job on an American law school faculty, given that he had literally no practice experience and wrote on esoteric subjects that would be of no practical use to the vast majority of practicing lawyers. In the post linked above, Leiter, in his characteristically slimy fashion, announces that “Dybbuk’s most egregious piece of libel and harassment” has been removed from the internet, without giving his audience any hint about to what he’s referring (This is probably a reference to the post criticizing Leiter’s protege).

(3) An email to a lawyer, which contained a not-very veiled threat in the event that the lawyer was the person who had posted certain critical opinions regarding Leiter (but nothing even remotely abusive or potentially libelous) on certain law blogs.

(4) The very interesting story of Brian Leiter’s Rotting Teeth. BLRT is the handle of a poster who last week posted some critical things about Leiter on ITLSS, the Volokh Conspiracy, Prawfsblawg, and The Faculty Lounge. A day or two after they appeared, the posts on TFL were deleted, and shortly afterwards BLRT received two emails. In his/her words:

I received two emails. The first said “your comments are being deleted all over, how are things in Virginia?”

The second email said “I notice you’ve been posting less. Is it because everybody knows your IP address is [number]”

The author of the emails was a “Peter Aduren” at paduren@gmail.com. That name means nothing to me or to Google. Maybe it does to one of you.

A LGM commenter noticed immediately that “Aduren” is “Neruda” backwards, and that a few weeks ago Leiter had blogged about that poet. (Note it’s also the handle of the person so eager to out Dybbuk on JDU).

Incredibly (this is a rhetorical device; those who know Leiter will find nothing incredible about it), Leiter made the following suggestion in his post attacking the “insolence” of the young lawyer who had impaired the obsessive freak’s Director of the Center For Law, Philosophy & Human Values dignity:

I do think we law professors, and especially those with blogs, have been far too tolerant of malicious and unprofessional conduct by usually anonymous or pseudonymous lawyers and students. Mr. Grover deserves credit for signing his name to his stupidity, and, of course, his intervention is a relatively mild example of juvenile nonsense emanating from putative lawyers. I’ve generally let most of this garbage pass in silence, but in the coming weeks I’m going to be posting a bit more about some alleged legal professionals whose on-line conduct deserves to be aired in public.

(emphasis added).

This is an excellent idea: hence this post.

One important question that remains to be answered is, who gave Leiter BLRT’s IP and email address, which facilitated Leiter’s subsequent cyber-stalking and harassment? The obvious suspect is somebody at The Faculty Lounge (which deleted BLRT’s posts), and the obvious candidate from among the site’s bloggers is Dan Filler, who co-blogs on Leiter’s law school blog.

I emailed Filler this morning, asking him about the comment on TFL that someone had almost immediately deleted, which posed this question. He didn’t respond, so I posed the same question to the site’s nine other regular bloggers, who also failed to respond. Subsequently, I emailed Filler to let him know I was going to assume he had given Leiter all the identifying information he had about BLRT, and that if this was assumption was mistaken, he should let me know.

He hasn’t responded to this request, which, given that this isn’t a criminal court, isn’t the kind of silence that won’t be held against him.

The lesson for anonymous visitors to The Faculty Lounge’s site seems clear: don’t assume your anonymity will be preserved, no matter what (certainly) ethical and (arguably) legal obligation the site’s administrators have to do so.

. . . Pouca, from comments:

The irony is incredible – Leiter is vituperative about anonymous commentators, criticising their morals, ethics etc. He then sneaks the identity of a few of these commentators and – not having the courage to publicly out them, outs them on blogs using a variety of pseudonyms such a Brian (prawsblawg) and aduren (other blogs) demonstrating a jaw dropping lack of any sense of self-awareness or of the utter hypocrisy involved. Moreover it is now wildly apparent that while ranting about anonymous commentators in blogs, Leiter was running multiple anonymous handles and having, it seems, sock-puppet conversations too.

Update:

(1) 24 hours after contacting them directly, I still haven’t heard anything from Dan Filler or any of the other bloggers at The Faculty Lounge. In my view, the evidence is fairly compelling that TFL turned over private contact information of an anonymous commenter to Brian Leiter, who then proceeded to anonymously harass the commenter via some fairly creepy cyber-stalking (“How are things in Virginia?” “I’ve noticed you’ve been posting less. Is it because everybody knows your IP address is _____?”)

(2) Leiter also posted under a pseudonym at JD Underground this weekend, in an attempt to get confidential information regarding “Dybbuk’s” real identity from the posters there, in order to try to get Dybbuk in trouble with his employer.

(3) Over the past few days, Leiter has also been threatening people under his own name, implying or telling them straight out that he is going to try to get them in trouble at their workplaces, because they engaged in “unprofessional” behavior. (It’s important to recall that the “unprofessional” behavior in question here consists of criticizing Brian Leiter.)

(4) This little campaign has been waged at precisely the same time that Leiter has been railing against the purported abuse of anonymity on the internet by members of the legal profession.

(5) On an amusing and pathetic side note, Leiter has employed a sock puppet at Top Law Schools in an attempt to recruit students to the University of Chicago Law School who are interested in law and philosophy, because of the presence of Brian Leiter. (“PhiloStudent’s” TLS registration email address is the same as the one Leiter used to harass BLRT and to post on JDU).

In sum, Leiter is a flagrantly dishonest hypocrite, whose actions would certainly merit professional sanction if he were a member of a bar. The people at The Faculty Lounge who are enabling this sort of despicable behavior should be ashamed of themselves.

Comments (155)

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  1. Yossarian says:

    Will you two please shut up about each other? You’re both preening, barely readable self-promoters. There, I’ve solved your problem for you.

    • John says:

      Yes, please. This post is horrible.

    • Malaclypse says:

      One of whom is sending e-mails to other people’s bosses, and the other of whom is warning kids about the consequences of massive student loan debt and bad job prospects.

      There is, of course, an obvious solution to not liking Campos’ posts.

      • Richard says:

        And I’m going to employ that obvious solution – not read anything that Campos posts that have anything to do with Leiter. But Campos should know that his feud and the endless postings about it have gone far beyond the boring but annoying threshold.

        • Knowing that The Faculty Lounge is not the greatest place to visit if you value your anonymity is pretty interesting, I think.

          • Richard says:

            Maybe to some. Not so much to others of us (especially if its part of the great Campos-Leiter feud narrative).

            • cpinva says:

              personally, i kind of like to know about places where my privacy is considered an asset, to be used in cheezy extortion attempts.

              but hey, that’s just me.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Endless” = 2

          • Richard says:

            There have been 2 in the last 2 days. There have been many more.

            • Paul Campos says:

              Before yesterday I don’t believe I had ever mentioned Leiter during the five years I’ve been blogging here.

              • Richard says:

                As I recall, you’ve written about Leiter for your column in the Rocky Mountain News and linked to those columns here. But I could be wrong and I’ve just read about your feud with Leiter on your own blog, not LGM.

                But, IMHO, and although I basically agree with you on the substantive matters here, these last two posts make both you and Leiter look petty, obsessive and vindictive. But its your blog. Write what you want. I’ll just ignore the Campos-Leiter stuff from now on.

                • Timb says:

                  I hope you’re starting now

                • DN says:

                  It is all the same. One person is threatening people. The other is pointing out that person is threatening people. Exactly the same. Got it

                • Barry says:

                  Richard, Paul has presented reasonable evidence that Leiter is engaged in unethical, dishonest and possibly illegal activities.

                  Many of us appreciate that information.

                  In your case you can always shut the f*ck up and stop commenting. But I guess that you’re the sort of guy who keeps on commenting about how useless a post/comment thread is.

              • Adam Malka says:

                Please, let’s not let “facts” get in the way of hyperbole. This is the internet, for god’s sake.

              • cpinva says:

                before yesterday, i’d never even heard of the guy, either on the internet, or in a professional vein.

                “Before yesterday I don’t believe I had ever mentioned Leiter during the five years I’ve been blogging here.”

                i read/skim lots of legal blogs. granted, most are tax oriented, but still. i know/work with lots of lawyers. i don’t recall ever seeing him mentioned, even in passing, on any of the blogs. i suspect, were i to mention his name, to any of the attorneys i know, i would get blank looks in response. of course, they could all be graduates of second/third tier schools, and so beneath leiter’s notice.

        • Pouca says:

          Oh I think it serves a useful purpose. Leiter has clearly been on a witch hunt – this discussion will: (a) stop him in his tracks; (b) cause his accomplices to think about the wisdom of aiding his freaky behaviour; and (c) presents a nice little tale of internet morality.

          Actually, Campos has rarely commented on Leiter in person – he has addressed some of the anti-law-school reform arguments Leiter has advanced. Those criticisms and those of others have consistently resulted in childish and sophomoric name calling.

          At the moment Leiter’s position bears a delicious similarity to that of Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

        • ChrisTS says:

          I’m sorry, but I cannot see this as an endless feud on Campos’ part.

          Of course, if someone on the blogoshpere keeps ranting against one, one is likely to take it personally. But, given the amount of traffic from each direction and the initiating roles, I cannot see that PC is equally at fault here, by any means.

        • Glenda Slagg says:

          Boring?? It’s the most fascinating stuff I’ve ever read on here. Keep it coming, Campos, keep it coming!

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          endless postings

          What?

    • Incontinential Buttocks says:

      What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian, anyway?

    • Mister Harvest says:

      Refunds available at the customer service window, I’m certain.

  2. Reywal Atton says:

    Prithee sirrah! You are a most impertinent dandiprat to question the decisions of M. Leitherhosen’s boon companions. It is not for such as you to suggest that their actions may be other than completely sanctioned those of the highest moral virtues. Damn your eyes! For a florin I would have you thrashed from here to … Whitunstide. When our wheresoever that may be.

    • rea says:

      Whitsuntide is the week following Whitsunday (7 Sundays after Easter). In the Middle Ages, this was one of three weeks a year that the peasants didn’t have to work for their feudal lord.

      • Eggomaniac says:

        Christ, they had a better vacation plan than I do.

        • Warren Terra says:

          I think they had a six day week and long hours, though.

          On the other hand, there were an awful lot more observed Holy Days than we have observed holidays.

        • Rarely Posts says:

          +++

        • rea says:

          Not really a vacation. They worked full time as sharecroppers and then part time on the lands of the lord of the manor–they only got time off from the latter. And of course, it was all really much more complicated than that.

          • Shakezula says:

            And the women had to dodge the big hairy Droit de Seignuer that was running around the place.

            • witless chum says:

              I saw somebody recently alleging that formalized Droit de Signeur was actually a myth and never in force in any country. (I think this may have been in a forum dedicated to Song of Ice And Fire.) Supposedly it was made up by chroniclers who wanted to talk about the perfidy of the neighboring country’s nobility. IANAH, though.

              A noble could propably just get away with raping whomever he wanted who wasn’t another noble seems like it would have satisfied their need for cruelty.

              • rea says:

                People in the 18th Century thought it was real enough–see Beaumarchais’ (and Mozart’s) Marriage of Figaro.

                • Dave says:

                  And people in the 15th century thought there were dog-headed men somewhere out there, so?

                • The legend seems to originate in the 16th century or so (not a Europeanist or medievalist, so it’s been a while since I looked at anything related) as part of the Renaissance critiques of “Dark Ages” society, amplifed by Enlightenment writers (there’s your 18th century stuff, including the Freemason Mozart) who would believe almost anything negative about the ancien regime.

              • Barry says:

                “I saw somebody recently alleging that formalized Droit de Signeur was actually a myth and never in force in any country. ”

                Given the fact that the nobility had all of the power (and the rights of ‘justice’), even if there wasn’t a codified Droit de Signeur there would have definitely been an incredible amount of plain old rape.

                • There’s no historical accounts to support that Droit d’Signeur as an actual institution.

                  OTOH, the term villain originally came from a French word denoting a working class individual, and was used as a term of disapprobation against any upper-class person who was behaving in a bad way(i. e., acting as a working-class individual who didn’t have any breeding or good upbringing).

              • Woodrowfan says:

                wait, you mean a Mel Gibson movie was historically inaccurate?!?!?!!

          • Jewish Steel says:

            Come see the violence inherent in the system!

  3. actor212 says:

    Sounds suspiciously like a certain Associate Professor of a community college in a state located on or close to the left coast in his bloodyminded lunacy.

    Welcome to the club!

  4. Monday Night Frotteur says:

    The buffoons who run “Powerline” used to do that too. It’s a nice trick to squelch dissent when you know you’re losing.

    That said, Leiter’s the kind of human garbage that would likely interpret your departure from ITLSS as “surrender.” He probably thinks he can squelch dissent freely now…

  5. Erik Loomis says:

    What’s a faculty lounge?

  6. Hogan says:

    Filler teaches on Tuesdays; you may hear from him later.

  7. Pouca says:

    That pretty well sums it up.

    Only in a criminal court does silence not equal guilt. Dan Filler is facing a difficult discussion with some of his peers.

    The irony is incredible – Leiter is vituperative about anonymous commentators, criticising their morals, ethics etc. He then sneaks the identity of a few of these commentators and – not having the courage to publicly out them, outs them on blogs using a variety of pseudonyms such a Brian (prawsblawg) and aduren (other blogs) demonstrating a jaw dropping lack of any sense of self-awareness or of the utter hypocrisy involved. Moreover it is now wildly apparent that while ranting about anonymous commentators in blogs, Leiter was running multiple anonymous handles and having, it seems, sock-puppet conversations too.

    Now the question becomes – which of the commentators on the lawyersgunsandmoney blog is Leiter? Will he come with a sock puppet? Will Filler post here – will he do so anonymously?

  8. LeftWingFox says:

    his attention was invariably drawn to it by a “distinguished colleague.”

    Mr. John Q. Google, Esq.

  9. wengler says:

    There’s a lot of navel-gazing and social circle party punching going on here. The guy sounds like an oligarchy-worshiping asshole, but does it really matter?

    Policy posts are so much better.

    • HyperIon says:

      Yeah, that’s my take.

    • Thomas Friedman says:

      This is the sort of thing that might cause me to pop some popcorn, though in this case without looking quite so much like an amoral sociopath.

    • Pouca says:

      If you want meat in the policy posts – that is to say that they are not written devoid of any input about the underlying factual realities, you need posters to be able to know that their comments will not result in “outing.”

      The posts on the faculty lounge at issue, where names were leaked to Leiter it seems were posts about policy – mostly student loan and college, graduate school and law school economics, but they were informing policy with hard fact that Leiter did not like.

      Leiter’s objective in outing posters was to ensure that the policy debate was carried on only by those who would echo his views. That is why this matters.

      • wengler says:

        Noted, but these posts have been like hearing parts of a conversation where I don’t know who is speaking or what they are talking about.

  10. anon for sure says:

    Keep the updates coming. Those of us who anon post on Prawfs, TFL, TaxProf, or now JDU and ITLSS need to know what Judge Brian is up to. Of course I trust him to know who’s behaved maliciously or unprofessionally and deserve a good outing and career killing.

  11. Steve says:

    Paul,

    What I admire about you is that you have balls. I hope you’ll reconsider your decision about closing ITLSS. There’s still so much to say and developments to cover.

    -S.

  12. Anon says:

    Those of you that haven’t followed Paul’s other blog won’t understand the need for these posts. Leiter needs to be himself “outed” as both a cyber stalker and an anonymous blog troll. Now that it’s been confirmed, I don’t expect to hear much more from Paul about it. But this had to be said. You’ll get the LGM you know and live back again soon.

  13. liberalrob says:

    Re: aduren == Neruda, Peter is probably a mistranslation of Pablo (which should have been “Paul”).

    Aren’t flame wars fun?

    • Mary Aduren says:

      ‘zounds, ye hath the wrong on’t, villein. Peter be my soul’s mate in the eyes of God and man, though Lord knows he’s man enough for two of me. What’s more, thy handle shrouds thyself but poorly, I’ve half a mind to track thee down like the cur thou art.

  14. NejBob says:

    So does Leiter prefer Belgium or Blueberry?

  15. Funkhauser says:

    Frankly, I don’t care about this spat, insofar as I’ve internalized the “law school is a raw deal” message and pass it along to the undergrads I teach.

    I just feel the need to comment that the profs at the Faculty Lounge all seem to be employed at the third tier law schools that are the worst bargains in terms of cost/debt to potential benefit. The schools are probably a net negative to their students, and I hope that the faculty there thoroughly understand that.

    Of course they would oblige someone more powerful in the discipline at little cost to them. What benefits are there to upsetting a chair at the U of C?

    On the other hand, the burden of proof still hasn’t really been satisfied in this exchange, except to reveal that said chair is a jerk.

    • Pouca says:

      Heh heh…

      You know when lawyers hear the term “burden of proof” and “think like a lawyer” as Leiter would put it … they ask what burden.

      There are a large number of “burdens,” for example in civil cases it is “preponderance of the evidence,” i.e., based on the known facts, is it more likely than not. And in civil cases there is no 5th amendment unless a crime is alleged, so a lawyer can draw inferences from silence on a question. To a civil standard things look bad …

      Now if this was a criminal case it is beyond a reasonable doubt – where you might have a point about the burden of proof, especially as 5th amendment protections apply.

      But this is the internet discussion standard of proof, concerning people who are hair trigger responders to posts about them. Here there was a strong inference – and yes, silence can equal guilt.

      • Paul Campos says:

        Speaking of silence I haven’t heard a word from Filler or any of the rest of the TFL crew. That speaks volumes.

      • PA says:

        It’s not merely that “the profs at the Faculty Lounge all seem to be employed at the third tier law schools” and would therefore feel a need to “oblige someone more powerful in the discipline at little cost to them.”

        It’s that Brian Leiter and Dan Filler co-run the blog “Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports.” Obviously, Leiter gets top billing, but Filler still gets prominent mention as a co-author at the top of the blog.

        Oh-so-coincidentally, Filler also helped establish The Faculty Lounge, and is one of its principal authors.

        In other words, if anyone would have both (1) access to the IP and e-mail addresses obtained through TFL, and (2) a close relationship with Brian Leiter such that that person would pass on the information to him, it would be Dan Filler. When coupled with silence on all fronts, it certainly looks suspicious.

        Certainly not ironclad proof, though.

      • Funkhauser says:

        See, now I learned something from someone who thinks like a lawyer. I’m not one. Thank you for the explanation.

    • catclub says:

      “The schools are probably a net negative to their students, and I hope that the faculty there thoroughly understand that.”

      I suspect that the faculty may be much more aware of that than the average employee at a large organization. Mortgage broker, defense dept research scientist, insurance salesman….

  16. PA says:

    It’s not merely that “the profs at the Faculty Lounge all seem to be employed at the third tier law schools” and would therefore feel a need to “oblige someone more powerful in the discipline at little cost to them.”

    It’s that Brian Leiter and Dan Filler co-run the blog “Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports”:

    http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/

    Obviously, Leiter gets top billing, but Filler still gets prominent mention as a co-author at the top of the blog.

    Oh-so-coincidentally, Filler also helped establish The Faculty Lounge, and is one of its principal authors:

    http://www.earlemacklaw.drexel.edu/faculty/FacultyProfiles/Daniel%20Filler/
    http://www.thefacultylounge.org/

    In other words, if anyone would have both (1) access to the IP and e-mail addresses obtained through TFL, and (2) a close relationship with Brian Leiter such that that person would pass on the information to him, it would be Dan Filler.

    Certainly not ironclad proof, though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Note that TFL’s blogroll includes Leiter’s Nietzsche blog, which is 100% irrelevant to anything law-school related.

  17. Modest proposal says:

    I propose ranking the law faculty at Univ of Chicago by various metrics to keep Leiter isolated from humanity.

  18. Detective, Cyberbullying Division says:

    Here’s all the sleuthing that’s fit to print:

    http://brianleitercyberbully.blogspot.com/

  19. anon says:

    So, I logged into the paduren account earlier today. The original password was ‘neruda’ (very clever, Brian).

    After looking through it, I changed the password on the account and then went out for the day.

    After coming home just now, I found I wasn’t able to log back in. I guess Brian emailed the Gmail folks and they restored his access.

    But nonetheless, I guarantee that Peter Aduren is Brian Leiter. I posted about this on the previous thread but it didn’t make it through moderation.

    (if anyone wants a hot date, go find PeterChile on Match.com)

    • That is not good. Stop doing that.

    • Lurker says:

      I agree. This is a respectable blog, and we should not condone hacking, which is criminal. Indeed, the commenter above has likely committed a federal felony.

      I suggest that one of the writers of this blog makes a formal note condemning “anon’s” actions, whether they be true or not. This would be prudent, so you could be on record on not approving criminal actions. Simply ignoring this kind of comment could well be construed encouragement of further criminality.

    • Reywal Atton says:

      So I broke into the palace, with a sponge and a rusty spanner…

      Am I old? Did breaking into people’s shit become not illegal when I wasn’t paying attention?

  20. Albert Ross says:

    Leiter does have a history of this sort of thing.

    http://www.autoadmit.com/leiter.html

  21. Ich weiss. says:

    “Peter Aduren” is Brian Leiter, and the IP leakers to “Peter Aduren” were either the admins at Faculty Lounge (chief suspect) or Prawfs (minor suspect).

  22. Jason says:

    This is very revealing about Leiter. It’s also some really dark shit.

  23. Really? says:

    Not cool to hack Leiter’s gmail account 9:57, even if he’s a total hypocrite and bully. Keep the moral and intellectual high ground here. Just because the faculty lounge violates the law and web privacy rules doesn’t give you the right to hack Pablo naruda’s gmail.

  24. arguingwithsignposts says:

    So I guess lawyers who comment anonymously aren’t behind 7 proxies?

  25. arguingwithsignposts says:

    Just by the way, it wouldn’t be exactly hard to get an IP address on a blog if one were smart enough, given that LGM leaves visitor stats wide open for anyone to see.

    I can’t say whether this Faculty Lounge place does so, since I’ve never heard of it, nor do I care to visit given what’s been reported here, but it’s an alternative theory of how one might obtain such info.

    • PA says:

      You may notice (1) that doesn’t give you a complete IP address (even for that fraction of posts where it gives a partial IP address), and (2) it doesn’t give you an e-mail address.

      • arguingwithsignposts says:

        I never mentioned anything about the e-mail address. But I have seen web stat links on blogs that have more complete IP addresses available for view. Just making note of that fact.

        As far as I’m concerned, people who try to “out” pseudonymous posters with whom they disagree are lower than trolls.

  26. joe says:

    This is fun to watch.

  27. Anon says:

    This is an unbelievable story. While I don’t condone the actions of the guy who hacked the paduren@gmail.com email address, he claims to have confirmed that the contents prove it belonged to Brian Leiter (see his full comment in the earlier thread).

    So we now have pretty compelling evidence that Brian Leiter is crazy. I realize many law professors won’t want to “lower” themselves to taking interest in the Campos/Leiter fued, but I hope they at least come to learn some of this stuff. He is confirmed to have hunted down and obtained IP addresses and email address of the authors of blogposts (and not on his own blog, he doesn’t allow for criticism on his own blog). He used that information to send threatening emails under a false name. Is that legal?

    Slightly less crazy, he uses the pseudonym Peter Aduren to troll internet boards like JDU. The great Brian Leiter spends his free time on JDU? Yes indeed, its confirmed. This is the guy who claims to have never read Campos’ blog. I’m sure Paul doesn’t have the time or inclination, but he could probably do some sleuthing of his own and connect up IPs associated with Peter Aduren to comments on his own blog. Again, not that it would be worth to time to do so.

    What effect is this discovery going to have? Perhaps none. The thing upthread from autoadmit is pretty damning, maybe even worse than this, and that doesn’t seem to have stopped Leiter. The guy is just nuts, what else can be said?

  28. I guess I should know who Brian Leiter is, but I’m not sure why. He’s a faculty member at a fancy law school, which is a nice job, but not a job that is very important. If you have a secret, the best place to put it is in a law review article. If you must tell someone, tell a law professor– nobody listens to them.

  29. JDE says:

    From this thread:

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2013/02/the-laundry-list-of-irrelevant-subjects.html

    “I think the proprietors of this blog should out both MacK and dybbuk, both of whom abuse their pseudonymity.

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 18, 2013 8:44:27 AM”

  30. anon says:

    Paul Krugman’s words today seem particularly apropos, even though they deal with far more important matters than this:

    The dignity of office can be a terrible thing for intellectual clarity: you can spend years standing behind a lectern or sitting around a conference table drinking bottled water, delivering the same sententious remarks again and again, and never have anyone point out how utterly wrong you have been at every stage of the game. Those of us on the outside need to do whatever we can to break through that cocoon — and ridicule is surely one useful technique.

  31. Jason says:

    I guess Leiter is taking a break from blogging. If I didn’t know who Dan Filler is, I’d have to assume him to be another one of Leiter’s terrible pseudonyms.

  32. TWBB says:

    In reference to Paul’s comment that Leiter’s actions would be sanctionable if he were a member of the Bar, I’m not sure if I agree. Yes they’re pathetic, and while they may violate ethical rules as to civility, I don’t know if they rise to the level of actually meriting bar sanctions.

    If they did, however, Leiter is actually a member of the New York bar, and has apparently been one since soon after he graduated:

    https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/attorney/AttorneyDetails?attorneyId=5450433

  33. [...] Prof. Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago Law School. (Earlier entries can be found here and here.) So if the subject doesn’t interest you I suggest you don’t read the post, and/or ask for a [...]

  34. I don’t know much about the Campos-Leiter feud. I do know though that Campos has been telling the truth about the value of a law school education and how law schools lie about employment stats to get gullible young men and women to enroll. If anything, Campos has vastly understated how bad it is out there in the job market.

    I have read less from Leiter than Campos. What I’ve read though suggests that Campos is simply making stuff up and a law school education is a wonderful value that will lead to wonderful job opportunities. BS. Nothing but BS.

  35. [...] is the first in a series of posts. Others in the series can be found here and [...]

  36. [...] what’s happening here is, in fact, important. First of all, I was dismayed to see some of our regular commenters (as well as Johnathan Adler) portray this as some sort of personal feud in which Both Sides Are [...]

  37. [...] of crusade to out at least one commenter who said ouchy things to him. Campos wrote about this. Again. And again. Leiter got back from an international conference and blasted Campos again last night [...]

  38. [...] University of Colorado, raised the issue of whether Brian Leiter has been cyber-stalking critics on Lawyers, Guns & Money earlier this [...]

  39. Badger Pundit says:

    Professor Campos,

    For what it’s worth, when I’m reading your posts about this matter, I find myself leaning your way; you’re an able advocate and vivid writer, even though the details here do get a bit mind-numbing. But when I’m reading Professor Leiter’s posts, I find myself leaning his way; he’s also an able advocate and vivid writer, whatever shortcomings he may have.

    To the degree that people undecided on this matter might be interested in understanding what you regard as misbehavior by Leiter, to be effective I suggest you consider putting together a special Wiki page on Leiter, similar to the one William Jacobson has put together for Elizabeth Warren:
    http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/01/announcing-elizabethwarrenwiki-org.

    That way, there would be a page where all the main episodes involving Leiter would be listed, with links to a page containing details on each one. Such pages could link to all the various blog posts and comments you’ve been referencing, to make it easy for people to follow the key points.

    Ideally you’d invite other people with an interest in Leiter, quite possibly including ones favorable to him, to contribute, and to vet the content to make sure it’s accurate and fair. And the Wiki could include links to any subsequent posts by Leiter addressing the Wiki. The Wiki would quickly become the central source of information about Leiter, pro or con, and it would provide a solid basis for people to make judgments about his conduct and character. Absent such a central repository of information, I doubt many people will take the time to slog through dozens of blog posts on various blogs to try to understand the key details of this apparently long-running controversy.

    If you or someone else decides to launch such an effort, I would be willing to contribute on the subject of Leiter’s involvement with Autoadmit a few years back,which I followed at the time, and which was my main exposure to Leiter until you recently ramped up your posting about him. E.g.:
    http://www.autoadmit.com/leiter.html
    http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2008/11/autoadmit-updat.html

    Quite possibly an effort like this would be overkill, but it seems that Leiter puts a lot of effort into ensuring that people he thinks have misbehaved on the internet pay the price, so if you’re correct in your criticisms of Leiter perhaps the same treatment of him is merited.

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