Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chemerinksy on Scalia and Setting Examples

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky has an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times (do people there actually read newspapers?) castigating Justice Scalia for being a bad influence on the lawyers of today and tomorrow:
But lately my students have been turning in legal briefs laced with derision and ad hominem barbs. For this trend, I largely blame Scalia. My students read his work, find it amusing and imitate his truculent style.
And you say law professors don't teach practice skills - he's got his Young Pioneers writing full legal briefs with opportunities for truculence!

After admitting that he finds some of Scalia's art "delightfully funny," [1] Chemerinsky points out the peril facing the legal profession:
But Scalia's browbeating is childish, even vain; like a harshly negative book critic, he revels in his own turns of phrase. And his attitude, just like his legal theory, affects the profession as a whole.
If legal professionals ignore Scalia's meanness or — worse — pass around his insults at cocktail parties like Wildean witticisms, they'll encourage a new generation of peevish, callous scoffers.
My Legal Profession Cocktail Parties(fake trademark symbol) will never be the same.  The last thing we need is more peevish, callous scoffers.  Bad, Scalia, bad!

We find a much better example for lawyerly conduct in Dean Chemerinsky, who, as a successful academic in his mid-50s, decided to take on the founding deanship at a totally frivolous, but absolutely needed (social justice!), law school that charges over $40,000 for in-state tuition to a second-tier public school while he and his wife take home hundreds of thousands in federally-backed loot from suckers. 

After all, actions speak louder than words.  Future lawyers, instead of being peevish, callous scoffers, be full-throttle wealth-transfering exploiters.

[1] Absolutely true - nothing molests my fancy until I projectile vomit like a legendary Scalia opinion.  But I think Dean Chemerinsky can do better than "delightfully funny."  How about "taint-ticklingly ribald, as-if Clarence Darrow, Archie Bunker, and Jim Gaffigan trysted menege-a-trois, Providence granted them an indulgence for the anathema, and from the befouled linens germinated Scalia's mordant wit."


  1. Let's see, according to UCI's Spring 2015 Course Catalog, Chemerinsky is presently teaching 3 whole courses:

    First, a 2-unit LECTURE course entitled, "Constitutional Analysis II," and second, a 4-unit LECTURE course on Federal Courts, AND a 1-unit, "SKILLS" course for 3rd year students...aye, that's the one.

    In his spare time, Chemerinsky decides to engage in group defamation of the students in his Skills course (also a divulgence in violation of FERPA aka the Buckley Amendment) and publish it in a national newspaper.

    Maybe he should be sued...

    1. Given that law students almost always err on sucking up to professors over expressions of individuality, one has to wonder where they REALLY got the idea to be nasty.

    2. All we know for sure is that Chemerinsky's Skills students are a "new generation of peevish, callous scoffers," despite his "hav[ing] told them to stick to persuasion and to dissecting the opposition's logical fallacies."

      I understand these students to be defamed.

      If I see a transcript from UCI showing they took "Skills" in the Spring of 2015 at UCI, I will go ahead and conclude (reasonably) that the Dean of UCI does not recommend them for employment, and certainly doesn't recommend their personal, moral character.

      Funny, though, apparently their MONEY is still green.

      Chemerinsky, unable to instill anything approaching a corrective virtue in the little brutes, admitted them, kept them on for 3 whole years, and doesn't mind being paid handsomely by those he holds in total contempt.

      Still, since it's all a lost cause, next time California is looking to cut some pork barrel spending from the budget, they should look to the University of California, Irvine Law, which the Dean has finally admitted is a total failure.

  2. Let's see: Chemerinsky scams hundreds of students (and taxpayers) out for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the other guy is the bad example?!?

  3. "You presume to criticize the Great and Powerful Chem! You ungrateful creatures!"

  4. I'm sure their truculence will be appreciated in the (highly unlikely) event they actually take a case before Justice Scalia. They're just preparing for that day.