Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lawyer confident Churchill would lose lawsuit

Scott Robinson, "a Denver trial lawyer specializing in personal injury and criminal defense" who writes an occasional column for the Rocky, says Ward Churchill will lose his (possible) lawsuit if he's fired by CU. Robinson concludes:

Churchill's attorney likens his client to Galileo. More apt comparisons are to erstwhile journalist Jayson Blair or disgraced young novelist Kaavya Viswanathan . . except for the fact that those two plagiarists owned up to what they did.

Not so Ward Churchill.

Will the committee findings be enough to insulate CU from legal liability for what could be viewed as a personnel disciplinary action undertaken in retaliation for Churchill's controversial public statements?

Probably so, even despite the ongoing demands for his dismissal by politicians, who appear heedless to the fact that they are providing valuable ammunition for Churchill to use in his upcoming legal battle.

Far more certain is this: After months of investigations, the costs of ridding the university of Ward Churchill are only going up

The whole piece is all over the place like that. Worse, Robinson doesn't say exactly why--for what concrete legal reasons--he's so sure CU would prevail in a court fight with Chutch. He doesn't, for example, address two worrisome points mentioned in this post--that CU conducted a confidential process in public, and that they went after Churchill because of speech they acknowledged was protected by the First Amendment. Do they need something akin to probable cause to investigate a professor's scholarship? Nobody has answered that--at least, not to this reporter's satisfaction.

Update: For some reason Iowahawk's classic "Chutch" TV script doesn't link to the equally classic Part Two: Chutch, Hawaiian Style! Rowwwrr!

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