It has been a week since the distressing events involving a Boalt student’s threat —a hoax — against the community at Hastings College of the Law. I am writing to let you know that all our actions following the incident have been taken with the intention of securing the safety and well-being of our community and that at Hastings, while respecting the procedural rights of the student.
On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, the Law School filed a complaint with the U.C. Berkeley Judicial Affairs Office against the law student who claimed responsibility for posting the threat on a website. We, the administrative leadership of Boalt, believe that the student’s action is clearly in violation of a number of regulations detailed in the Student Code of Conduct. The case will be adjudicated by Judicial Affairs according to campus regulations. Those regulations prohibit us from disclosing the name of the student against whom we are proceeding.
Based on the facts as we understand them today, we have recommended expulsion. This is based not only on the intrinsic wrongfulness of the act itself, but also the disruption, turmoil and emotional toll on the Hastings community and, to a more limited extent, the Boalt community as well. I have received ample evidence of this through a great many emails, some of them painful to read.
This incident has once again confirmed for me the strength and qualities of the Boalt community. Even in this challenging circumstance, you have engaged in thoughtful and productive discussions. We should all take some pride in this, imperfect though we are.
Christopher Edley, Jr.
Professor of Law and Dean
Does the punishment fit the crime here? Judging by some of the comments to this thread, some readers think expulsion would be an overreaction. Pre-Virginia Tech, what kind of behavior would get you expelled from law school?
Opening statements began today in the Phil Spector murder trial. Spector was making some god-awful faces, either because he’s nervous about being on trial for murder or because he’s still getting used to what he’s now done to his hair.
This on the prosecutor’s opening statements, from AFP via Yahoo! News:
In opening statements of what is the highest-profile celebrity trial in Los Angeles since the 1995 OJ Simpson case, prosecutors painted a portrait of Spector as a man with a “rich history of violence” towards women.
“The evidence is going to paint a very, very clear picture of a man, Phil Spector, who turns sinister and deadly in certain circumstances,” prosecutor Alan Jackson told the hearing at a packed Los Angeles Superior Court.
“It is going to paint a picture of a man who put a loaded pistol inside Lana Clarkson’s mouth and shot her to death.”
The prosecution referred to several prior incidents of violence toward women by Spector, evidence of which the prosecution had earlier succeeded at getting admitted over the objection of the defense.
Spector’s defense team is led by Gotti-defender Bruce Cutler. The defense opening statements have yet to begin. When they do, they are expected to lay out a defense based on Lara Clarkson having committed suicide. But like a commenter said earlier: women use pills, not guns.
UC Hastings officials were alerted on Wednesday afternoon of a blog post threatening a copycat murder-suicide in reference to the events at Virginia Polytechnic Institute Monday, said UC Hastings spokesperson Lorri Ungaretti.
“The threat did not specifically reference it, but it felt clear that that was what it was,” she said.
UC Hastings officials contacted the San Francisco Police Department as well as the San Francisco branch of the FBI, and cancelled classes for the rest of the day, Ungaretti said.
“The FBI investigated and found it was a student at Boalt and that it was a hoax,” she said. “Classes resumed as usual (on Thursday).”
Actually, make that the “Very Bad Ideas” file.
Our personal preference is to ignore such people and things (which is what we’ve been doing until now). But several of you have emailed us about thisincident, which has been covered in the MSM; so interest in it is obviously high.
Here’s what one source had to say:
As you may know, Hastings College of Law was evacuated [on Wednesday] as a result of an asinine post on autoadmit threatening Virginia Tech like violence, which, it turns out, was posted by a Boalt 1L. It turned out to be a tasteless joke, but the problems it has created seem to be never ending, including an ID checkpoint in front of the campus, the cancellation of numerous events including a journal symposium, and now, unacceptably, our bi-monthly ration of free beer and the Law Revue that was to follow it.
* The headline screams “Britney!” But, in fact, this plaintiff was not wearing too-long jeans and fleeing the press — he was tasered. [Houston Chronicle]
* In my college days, this kind of activity was confined to private study booths known as “weenie bins.” We respected the books. [AP via Yahoo! News]
* Are royalties drying up, or is this (PDF) a legit lawsuit? [Los Angeles Times]
* Is teamwork encouraged in law school? Well, there is no “I” in team, but there sure is one in “Order of the Coif.” [Law School Innovation]
* The National Bank Act preempts state regulation of mortgage lenders, even those that are operating subsidiaries of banks and not banks themselves. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* Payphone operators can sue for compensation from long-distance carriers. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* Department of Education can use number of pupils rather than number of school districts in determining which districts to ignore as statistical outliers for the purposes of the Federal Impact Aid Program. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* Let’s see whether this any impact on pork whatsoever. [Jurist]
* The loner gunman. [New York Times]
At least 20 people were killed today, some of them students, and more were injured during shootings at Virginian Tech University, some of them at a classroom on the campus, the police said. The gunman was also shot to death, officials said at a news conference, but details about the incident and about the identity of the gunman were still unfolding.
* Worst Craigslist prank we’ve seen in a while. [News Tribune]
* Leaves homemade videos of karaoke sessions and musical burping in the dust. [MSN]
* Whenever you fall into a funk and feel that you have nothing to show for your life thus far, think of this sad lawyer, who has only placed a $2000 reserve value on her entire life. [Star Tribune]
* Looks like a heavy courseload. [QuizLaw via Jesus' General]
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