Statement by Law Deans on Stimson Remarks

The following statement, dated January 14, 2007, has been signed by more than 57 U.S. law deans, with more joining by the hour:

We, the law deans undersigned below are appalled by the January 11, 2007 statement of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles “Cully” Stimson, criticizing law firms for their pro bono representation of suspected terrorist detainees and encouraging corporate executives to force these law firms to choose between their pro bono and paying clients.

As law deans and professors, we find Secretary Stimson’s statement to be contrary to basic tenets of American law. We teach our students that lawyers have a professional obligation to ensure that even the most despised and unpopular individuals and groups receive zealous and effective legal representation. Our American legal tradition has honored lawyers who, despite their personal beliefs, have zealously represented mass murderers, suspected terrorists, and Nazi marchers. At this moment in time, when our courts have endorsed the right of the Guantanamo detainees to be heard in courts of law, it is critical that qualified lawyers provide effective representation to these individuals. By doing so, these lawyers protect not only the rights of the detainees, but also our shared constitutional principles. In a free and democratic society, government officials should not encourage intimidation of or retaliation against lawyers who are fulfilling their pro bono obligations.

We urge the Administration promptly and unequivocally to repudiate Secretary Stimson’s remarks.


[first 57 signatories below]

William E. Adams, Jr.
Acting Dean, Shepard Broad Law Center
Nova Southeastern University

James J. Alfini
President and Dean
South Texas College of Law

Michelle J. Anderson
Dean and Professor of Law
CUNY School of Law

Katharine T. Bartlett
Dean and A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law
Duke University School of Law

Louis D. Bilionis
University of Cincinnati College of Law

Jeffrey S. Brand
University of San Francisco School of Law

Brian Bromberger
School of Law, Loyola University at New Orleans

Don Burnett
University of Idaho College of Law

Robert Butkin
Dean and Professor of Law
The University of Tulsa College of Law

Evan H. Caminker
University of Michigan Law School

Jim Chen
Dean and Professor of Law
Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville

Neil H. Cogan
Vice President and Dean
Whittier Law School

Allen K. Easley
President & Dean
William Mitchell College of Law

Michael Fitts
University of Pennsylvania School of Law

Stephen J. Friedman
Dean and Professor of Law
Pace University School of Law

Arthur R. Gaudio
Dean and Professor of Law
Western New England College School of Law

Jon M. Garon
Hamline University School of Law

Peter Goplerud
Florida Coastal School of Law

Mark Gordon
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Jack A. Guttenberg
Dean & Professor of Law
Capital University Law School

Patrick E. Hobbs
Seton Hall University School of Law

Gilbert A. Holmes
Dean and Professor of Law
University of Baltimore School of Law

John C. Jeffries, Jr.
University of Virginia School of Law

Elena Kagan
Harvard Law School

Harold Hongju Koh
Yale Law School

Larry Kramer
Richard E. Lang Professor and Dean
Stanford Law School

Frederick M. Lawrence
Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law
The George Washington University Law School

David A. Logan
Dean and Professor of Law
Ralph R. Papitto School of Law
Roger Williams University

Lydia Pallas Loren
Interim Dean and Professor of Law
Lewis & Clark Law School

Philip J. McConnaughay
Penn State University
The Dickinson School of Law

Cynthia Nance
Dean and Professor of Law
University of Arkansas School of Law—Fayetteville

Charles I. Nelson
Dean and Professor of Law
Faulkner University

Nell Jessup Newton
UC Hastings College of Law

Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law

Margie Paris
University of Oregon School of Law

Rex R. Perschbacher
Dean and Professor of Law
University of California at Davis School of Law

Peter Pitegoff
University of Maine School of Law

Lawrence Ponoroff
Dean and Mitchell Franklin Professor of Private & Commercial Law
Tulane University Law School

Lawrence Raful
Dean and Professor of Legal Ethics
Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Robert Reinstein
Dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Richard Revesz
Dean, New York University School of Law

Lauren Robel
Dean, Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington

Nancy H. Rogers,
Dean, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Karen H. Rothenberg
Dean & Marjorie Cook Professor of Law
University of Maryland School of Law

Edward Rubin
Dean and Professor of Law
Vanderbilt University Law School

Lawrence G. Sager
Dean, School of Law. University of Texas at Austin

Michael Schill
Dean, UCLA School of Law

David M. Schizer
Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law
Columbia Law School [update: was left off the list I was sent]

Gary J. Simson
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Aviam Soifer
William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai'i

Rayman L. Solomon
Rutgers University School of Law – Camden

Leonard P. Strickman
Florida International University College of Law

Symeon C. Symeonides
Willamette University College of Law

Emily A. Spieler
Northeastern University School of Law

Ellen Y. Suni
Dean and Marvin Lewis Rich Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law
University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law

Kellye Y. Testy
Dean and Professor of Law
Seattle University School of Law

Frank H. Wu
Wayne State University Law School

David Yellen
Dean and Professor
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

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5 Responses to Statement by Law Deans on Stimson Remarks

  1. BroD says:

    I’m glad to see the Dean of my state university among them.

  2. Jeff Cooper says:

    I wish my dean were.

    I know someone who is of counsel at one of the large New York firms (he’s past the firm’s mandatory retirement age for partners). A couple of years ago, he took on representation of one of the Guantanamo detainees. The firm approved the representation, but they would not permit him to use the firm’s name–no doubt because of crap like Stimson’s suggestion.

  3. I’m curious since these law school deans seem to feel so strongly that it is wrong to criticize an attorney because of who they represent as clients, how many of them spoke out when John Roberts was attacked viciously during his hearings because of who he represented as clients?

  4. Joe says:

    Thorley Winston, be specific. Who attacked Roberts at that hearing regarding Roberts’ clients and what did the attacker say?

  5. Mudlark says:

    “We teach our students that lawyers have a professional obligation to ensure that even the most despised and unpopular individuals and groups receive zealous and effective legal representation.”

    I wonder then why none of these deans has spoken up against what Nifong has been doing in Carolina (“Scottsboro II”).

    That would seem to be a ready made case for the defense of civil rights, the right to equal protection of the laws (even if you are a white male preppie athlete–surely the most despised and unpopular group today), the right to a speedy trial, due process, protection from racially-motived hate groups (new black panther party), the right to being considered innocent before conviction, the right to change of venue, etc.

    Sure, they have adequate representation–because they can afford it. A lot of people in NC cannot;
    and the lacrosse case is far from being the first case of state-sponsored injustice there (think Gell, for example).

    Anyone of the 57 care to sign an open letter calling for judicial reform in NC?

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