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More on the Casebook Shooting:

From the Wall Street Journal law blog post on this matter, which Hanah linked to yesterday:

An Indiana Law 3L was arrested last week, accused of firing a rifle from his Bloomington apartment balcony....

What jumped out at the Law Blog were reports that he was apparently aiming his rifle at his Real Estate Transfer Finance and Development casebook ....

The Law Blog reached out for the authors of Real Estate Transfer Finance and Development, law professors Grant Nelson ... and Dale Whitman ...

"Are you serious?" said Whitman .... "Wow, he must not have liked that class very much." ... "I've had people that say my scholarship is shot through with holes, but I've never had anyone prove it literally."

"That is so bizarre," [Nelson] said. "But at least he went after our casebook instead of going after people. Thank god for small blessings." He then joked: "But it might not be so bad from West's perspective, because that's one used casebook now off the market."

Grant Nelson is my colleague (he's now at Pepperdine, but he's still emeritus here at UCLA), friend, former teacher (property and remedies, not real estate finance), and former office neighbor. Thanks to our colleague Eric Zolt for pointing out the Grant connection.

Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Sad.

Unfortunately, in that neck of the woods, he's all too likely to become a real Frankie Lawrence:

"Lawrence's trouble with the State Bar of Michigan began in August 2000 after he was charged with interfering with a police investigation over his refusal to let officers search his Bloomfield Hills home without a warrant following a dispute between his father and brother, Lawrence said.

The charge is not criminal, Lawrence said. It's a city ordinance violation that carries a $100 fine.

Lawrence's ordinance violation was prosecuted by Thomas Ryan, the attorney for Bloomfield Township who, at the time, was president of the State Bar of Michigan.

Lawrence, then a third-year law student, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, saying that he was being unfairly prosecuted for exercising his rights."

What was the charge for shooting up the casebook? Hoprefully, he won't get a judge who took that class! LOL.
10.23.2007 2:38pm
Happyshooter:
Lawrence's problem was showing insufficent respect.

You DO NOT play games with the State Bar of Michigan Officers. They do not play around up here with disrespect of either the state supreme court or the bar.
10.23.2007 2:54pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I'm waiting for Professor Volokh's analysis of whether you have a Second Amendment right to shoot your casebook. Or maybe a First Amendment right, under Johnson v. Texas.
10.23.2007 3:26pm
Cornellian (mail):
Maybe it's just a variant of the traditional "bonfire of the tax law casebooks" after the exam is over.
10.23.2007 3:28pm
Latinist:
"But at least he went after our casebook instead of going after people. Thank god for small blessings."

Actually, I'd have called that a pretty big blessing. I mean, unless the case book is awfully good.
10.23.2007 3:28pm
Rich B. (mail):
I wonder how the author determined that Nelson's deity was spelled with a lower-case 'g'.
10.23.2007 3:31pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
I love Professor Whitman's last comment:

"But it might not be so bad from West's perspective, because that's one used casebook now off the market."
10.23.2007 4:05pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Thank you, HS. I am not all that familiar with the MI Bar. I was told, however, that Lawrence was yanked out of his house by the police in his underwear. I may have missed some of the facts, as you point out. I have no real criticism of the MI Bar myself, in fact I was born in that State and lived there until age 13. It is a beautiful place in the summer, with all the lakes.

Neverthless, the 3L that shot up his casebook made me think about Lawrence and being arrested, apparently, in his underwear.
10.23.2007 4:12pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
At close range, a shotgun would have been more effective.
10.23.2007 4:52pm
Specast:
By the way, in case any prospective law students (or professors) are reading: Grant Nelson was, hands down, the most effective professor I had at UCLA. (Which, by the way, was before Eugene joined the faculty.) Everybody raved about how clear he made the concepts in Property -- not exactly the most thrilling subject in law school. What I could not figure out was why: he was not a notably dynamic or charismatic speaker; didn't salt his lectures with visual aids or quirky teaching methods. To the contrary, he taught almost totally by lecture, without much Socratic Q&A. He did put an outline of his lecture up on the blackboard before each session, but that can't be the reason for his success. Or is it?
10.23.2007 5:05pm
Happyshooter:
Thank you, HS. I am not all that familiar with the MI Bar. I was told, however, that Lawrence was yanked out of his house by the police in his underwear. I may have missed some of the facts, as you point out. I have no real criticism of the MI Bar myself, in fact I was born in that State and lived there until age 13. It is a beautiful place in the summer, with all the lakes.

His real problem was that the Township's lawyer was the State Bar Pres.

Lawrence had some good points and was winning, but in doing so he called out Ryan in public.

Anyone recall Jeffery Figer? He was a lawyer/very good tort trial attorney/almost Michigan governor.

He was riding high until he called out some supreme court members, and then when bar charges were filed for that he called out some bar officers in public.

He gets nailed now everytime the wind blows. (Plus the US Attorney is charging him for the same 'pay the employee a $2000 bonus which he pays the Dem Candidate' scheme that every other person in business does)
10.23.2007 5:32pm
Yankev (mail):
This is taking the term "bullet points" much too literally.
10.23.2007 5:40pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Thank you for your comments, HS. I have followed the Feigler matters as well.

As I understand your point of view, the very fact of "calling out" or outing Bar Presidents, Bar officers, or Supreme Court Justices (criticism) itself is an act justifying retaliation. To be fair, however, you did forget to mention that the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed Feigler a civil rights victory against some of the bad lawyer regulation rules used against him by the MI Supreme Court.

While I would not say I agree with everything Lawrence did, or even Feigler, I truly believe that the mere fact of criticism of public figures such a Bar Presidents, Bar officials, or Supreme Court Justices -- if the criticism is legitimate (e.g., unlawful discrimination, prejudice, etc.) -- is NO justification for retaliation just because such public officials do not want to hear about something they are doing that is not acceptable in a civillized society or is bad.

I think one has to look at the policies and practices that such public figure officials are being criticized for, and then decide. And, if no one can criticize such public officials when they stray down a wayward path that is not acceptable to society, e.g., disability discrimination, sexual harassment, etc., then how do we, the public, as Americans, expect such officials can take corrective action themselves, or be investigated or compelled by law enforcement to take such corrective action?

These things are fact-specific, and I do not agree that a mere outing of a wrongful policy or practice is any justification to retaliate. In fact, sometimes, criticism results in public officials correcting and remedying something that by virtue of the remedy otself brings great esteem upon them.

See e.g. the late, great United State District Court Judge John Sirica, Times Man of the Year, 1973.
10.23.2007 5:46pm
Happyshooter:
Mary Katherine, it does not matter in this case what I think. The situation is that no one in the profession may criticise these government officials without being punished.

Therefore I will not be a critic.

In this case the thing is neither good nor bad, it merely is.
10.23.2007 6:21pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
HS, "Mary Katherine, it does not matter in this case what I think. The situation is that no one in the profession may criticise these government officials without being punished.

Therefore I will not be a critic.

In this case the thing is neither good nor bad, it merely is."

And by your formula, blind-visions impaired-autistic persons can and will NEVER have the most basic Due Process and Equal Protection rights of all -- access to the Courts, their professional licenses, employment opportunities.

Some of us are not willing to turn the clock back 200 years and be caged like animals, e.g., briefing in Tennessee v. Lane.

Some of us believe we have a right to the same opportunites others take fore granted -- access to the Courts, their professional licenses, employment opportunities.

If that is a crime or bad moral character, then we do not live in a Democratic Republic considered to be justifiably famous for its civility and equality.

BTW, I wonder how some of you who would refuse to provide access to such oportunities treat your own disbaled children/mothers/fathers/relatives/friends.
10.23.2007 6:38pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
HS, I also have to wonder if these officials are losing out on some of the best legal talent available simply by the stance which you posit -- punish the disabled perosn who asks for accommodations and access. A sink the entire ship with everyone on it sort of logic.

I really would have to give Judicial officers more credit than to ascribe to them that type of logic. I have met many fine and upstanding judicial officers in Bar functions. I don't think they all ascribe to what you posit.
10.23.2007 6:55pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
One more thing, HS:

Your statement, "Mary Katherine, it does not matter in this case what I think. The situation is that no one in the profession may criticise these government officials without being punished. ... In this case the thing is neither good nor bad, it merely is," at its core posits the notion that disabled persons cannot sue Bar Examiners, Bar Presidents, Bar Officials, or State Supreme Courts or their Justices without punishment.

Unlike Lawrence and Feigler, I am a qualified individual with disabilities, and 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12131(1) specifically gives me the federal right to sue exactly such public entities and their officials if they violate my federal rights protected by the ADA. This statute designates exactly those such public entities and officials as having the capacity to be sued. The Supreme Court in Tennessee v. Lane, left no doubt such public entities and officials when sued under Title II of the ADA have no Eleventh Amendment immunity.

But you are saying the absolute rule of "the profession" is I will be punished for exercising my federal rights enacted by Congress.

I respectfully disagree such punishment would lack a remedy. See Weixel v. NYC Bd. of Educ., 287 F.3d 138 (2nd Cir. 2002), where an actual criminal prosecution was initiated on the victim in response to their ADA protected activities (requesting reasonable accomodations).
10.23.2007 7:18pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
This is a matter for jury nullification. I certainly can sympathize with this guy. Personally, I would have shot up my UCC Sales book, but that's just me.
10.23.2007 9:06pm
markm (mail):
"The book was coming right at me!"
10.24.2007 2:11pm