Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Statement of Non-Concern Regarding Brian Leiter

I write this post as a riposte to the "Statement of Concern" posted by some renegade philosophers who have a problem with Brian Leiter, law professor and guardian of professional virtue at the University of Chicago.  It's revolting that these philosophers would use Leiter's words against him, when clearly his razor-sharp invective was meant for nefarious third parties.  If you especially hate yourself and want to be frustrated at the insolence of certain people, feel free to read Paul Campos's wrong-headed take on the situation.

I write not to share in these unhinged whack-jobs' concerns, but rather to declare my non-concern.  Let us review his words as reported (we can only hope these statements are fake and the real ones have even more BAM to them):
Also, calling me “unprofessional” is probably defamatory per se in Canada, so I’d suggest you stick to “unethical” (since “ethical” as we all know has no cognitive content). It may be in the US too, I haven’t asked my lawyer yet, but I will.
...
So what should I expect going forward? I’m trying to plan out my litigation strategy for the next year! 
[in later correspondence] 
The statement now on your blog that I am not a philosopher is defamation per se, since it impugns my professional competence. You can express the view that I am a mediocre philosopher, but you can not, without legal consequences, assert that I am not a member of the profession I am a member of. That comment better disappear or be revised so as not to be defamatory. 
[in later correspondence] 
I'm a lawyer, my wife is a lawyer, and most importantly, one of my best and oldest friend is a lawyer, and you don't want to get to know him.
Whiny impertinent bastard children sometimes defame Leiter by saying he isn't a real law professor or that he doesn't have a lot of practical experience as a lawyer or what have you.

Well, look at this!  Counterproof!  The man obviously not only understands the black letter law of defamation, but he can apply that black letter law to factual situations in his daily life.  And he's not just dangling ivory tower theory here; he's actually writing lawyerly correspondence.  The man's got a litigation strategy for goodness sakes.

And to top it off, by using Leiter's correspondence in this way, they're actually copying (plagiarizing!) a tactic Leiter masterfully used on Thomas R. Grover, Esq. of Nevada.

17 comments:

  1. Who is Brian Leiter? I am beginning to think this internet persona is a product of a rogue NSA faction. Surely this cannot possibly be a real person? The behavior is too inexplicably bizarre to be anywhere under the bell curve. It has been created as a distraction to protect the federal loan siphoning cabal

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    1. "Brian Leiter" is like a very bad, very dark antagonist to Batman. It's the kind of role that destroyed Heath Ledger. Just imagine the anguish and confusion that must overwhelm Brian Leiter as he forces himself to play the role of Sadistic Keyboard Warrior every day of his miserable life. I'm surprised that he's lasted as long as he has.

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  2. His Wikipedia page (doesn't every law professor have one?) is rather scary. It doesn't look like it was objectively put together as there is no mention of any of the very numerous complaints or controversies. The last sentence states,

    "He has also written scathing critiques of journalists and philosophers, including Carlin Romano,[6] Thomas Nagel,[7] Leon Wieseltier,[8] and Paul Campos.[9]"

    There is no mention of what other people have written about him.

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  3. Did he seriously claim that being a philosopher is actually a "profession"?

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    1. I consider philosophy to be an inherent property of the human mind. Most people naturally want to ask questions about right and wrong, how we think, what is beautiful, and so forth. But Leiter is crass and shallow enough to try to process the big questions into tiny little packages to support his own delusional narrative of personal superiority. His ridiculous one-dimensional "Gourmet Report" is just the tip of a shivering iceberg of irrelevance. And there's now some very strong evidence of mass revulsion among philosophers at Leiter's latest incident of juvenile thuggery. I'm confident that the vast majority will ask themselves why they continue to allow a malicious outsider who can't even get a joint appointment to wreak havoc on their careers and institutions.

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  4. REAL philsophers drink hemlock, bitchez.

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    1. They also have the option of pouring cyanide on their almond chicken. Take yourself out with takeout, as the hipsters like to say.

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  5. Better never than leiter. Calling for a boycott. He is a self centered old man who is stuck in 19th century.. He does not deserve our time. Boycott his classes, his website.

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    1. Brian Leiter is a very important expert in law, philosophy, and human values. Read the following post, and be elevated, both intellectually and morally, by his beautifully expressed human values.

      http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2013/03/we-get-mail-thomas-r-grover-esq-edition.html

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    2. I can already observe massive momentum towards a University of Chicago boycott. However, I don't see a need to boycott his blog. Some people find the meltdown of his career to be morally instructive or even highly entertaining. His blog is actually the best source of news about the internet thug and masturbatory pseudo-intellectual called Brian Leiter.

      Enjoy his blog of you're so inclined, but don't click on the ads.

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    3. or, click on them hundreds of times and then more, so they shut his click account down and no more pennies.

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  6. All snark and sarcasm aside, I find the growing academic revulsion towards Brian Leiter to be profoundly liberating and enormously refreshing. Like a bum vomiting cheap vodka all over the sidewalk, the philosophical community finally has a chance to start all over again and forget that this poisonous, unnatural control freak ever existed.

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    1. Leiter is like a bad trip on philosophical acid.

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  7. "Impertinent bastard children"? You mean baby lawyer and former Eagle Scout Thomas R. Grover, who sent Leiter a reasonable, civil, one line private email asking how (since he has never been admitted to the practice of law) Leiter considered himself qualified to say "how lawyer's think"?

    The same young lawyer that Leiter then called "impertinent" (I mean, who but a pompous ass even talks like that in this century?) and proceeded to PUBLICLY humiliate with a three hundred word post on his blog, and who Leiter also wrote to threatening to embarrass the young man with his senior partners for having the gall to "question another professional"?

    I have a news flash for all you non-lawyers (including Leiter):

    Unless a person, even a law graduate, is admitted to the practice of law in at least one jurisdiction, he may NOT refer to himself as a "lawyer" and doing so is a serious ethical breach, which in combination with other unseemly behavior by Leiter calls his law school into disrepute.

    (See e.g., District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Ethics Opinion 16-05, issued June 17, 2005, foot note 1 < http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/documents/rule49_opinion16-05.pdf>.)

    BTW, when I sent Leiter an irate email calling him out for insulting me and my parentage using one of his pseudonyms ("Pushkin") on the ABA Journal, he threated to (illegally) instruct the campus police of his university to run a "criminal background check" on me.

    The man has a seriously flawed personality- as these poison and threatening emails now coming out vividly show - and the notion of a professor writing a colleague telling him he works for a "shit department" being in charge of the only rating service for philosophy graduate programs is utterly absurd.

    And by what right or authority to you refer to lawyer and former Eagle Scout Glover as an "impertinent bastard"?


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    1. "And by what right or authority to you refer to lawyer and former Eagle Scout Glover as an "impertinent bastard"?"

      Divine right.

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    2. Leiter referred to himself as a lawyer more directly and more recently, in his thuggish email to Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins. This could very well be illegal, although such laws are rarely enforced. It also comes perilously close to the strained interpretation of blackmail or extortion that Leiter tried to invoke against Campos.

      At any rate, Carrie would appear to have a nice civil suit in the making against Leiter, for harassment and for misrepresentation of himself. By the way, Carrie, I'm not claiming to offer a professional opinion here. Please consult a US attorney for details on your upcoming jackpot from Brian Leiter's pocket.

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    3. Y'all need to stop whining that the Blighter's not a real lawyer. He was barred in NY over 25 years ago, about the same time he was working to gain extensive experience as a litigation associate for a few months at elite firm Kaye, Scholer.

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