New developments in the civil suit, and old names up to no good dominated December.
A Duke filing issued a blunt warning to parents of prospective students at the institution: the Faculty Handbook might require professors to teach students with respect, and the student bulletin might state that Duke students should not experience discrimination based on race, gender, or other personal status, but “the Duke bulletin is not a valid contract.” In another words: if a new manifestation of the Group of 88 chooses to go after your son, the university sees itself under no legal obligation to enforce its own policies.
Attorneys for the lacrosse players discovered that in a filing claiming partial immunity, Durham attorneys had decided to . . . rewrite . . . the precise wording of the city's insurance policy to conform to the recent Pettiford decision that seemed to expand a city's ability to shield itself from lawsuits under North Carolina law.
Durham attorneys piled up more legal fees in a filing admitting that they had . . . incorrectly . . . transcribed the wording of the city's insurance policy to make it seem as if Durham's policy was the same as the city's policy in Pettiford. But, they claimed, they still deserved immunity.
The Rev. William Barber continued to dissemble, and in an almost comically inept fashion.
Duke Magazine presented an intriguing view of security on campus; and also provided the first time that a Duke publication has conceded on the record that the University possessed some legal jurisdiction over the events at the lacrosse house.
Duke is appealing an unfavorable ruling in the Pressler lawsuit.
And Reade Seligmann received the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) Boston Market Humanitarian Award for his work on behalf of the Innocence Project.
There is, of course, a dissenting view of Seligmann's character, expressed by Richard Brodhead in his first public appearance after Seligmann's arrest on trumped-up charges. Even if Seligmann and Collin Finnerty were innocent, Brodhead proclaimed, "whatever they did was bad enough." The president has never retracted or apologized for his statement.