Celebrity lawyer Alex Spiro will refile lawsuit by Altman’s basketball players

9/8/2016: Federal Judge McShane has ruled in favor of UO. The Emerald has the story here. Duck advocate Tobin Klinger has the party line in Around the O, the official organ of the Ducks:

“The court’s decision dismissed all of the students’ claims and upholds the University’s position that the students were afforded appropriate due process under the UO’s student conduct code. In addition, it affirms that the student conduct processes are separate and independent of criminal matters.

But Klinger fails to report that Judge McShane left the door open to refiling. And, according to the more accurate report by the Oregonian’s Tyson Alger here, it seems that the young men’s legal counsel, well-known celebrity attorney Alex Spiro, plans to try phoning it in one more time:

Court documents show that many of the claims of the players against the university were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they’ll be allowed to refile within the next 30 days. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane did dismiss the players’ claim of not receiving due process with prejudice, meaning that it can’t be refiled.

“We are simply redrafting the pleadings and moving forward with the case pursuant to the court’s decision,” said Alex Spiro, the lawyer for Dotson and Artis.

Judge McShane’s full opinion is here. I believe this is the last of the lawsuits related to the alleged rapes on the night of March 8, 2014, if it ever ends. UO paid Jane Doe $800K, Morlok and Stokes $425K, $2.5K for Shelly Kerr’s ethics fine, and unknown amounts for lawyers, including defending UO attorneys Doug Park and Sam Hill from an Bar ethics complaint. And, of course, UO’s “brand” took a huge hit.

As it happens, just an hour before this opinion was released Duck AD Rob Mullens was talking to the UO Board of Trustees. They had no questions for him about any of this, including why the academic budget had to pay for it.

The gist of Judge McShane’s decision:

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I’m no law professor, but it seems pretty clear-cut. UO’s Deputy Counsel Doug Park offered the student-athletes a deal that would allow them to go play basketball somewhere else, and they took it after getting advice from their own lawyers:

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Then they had second thoughts. Judge McShane essentially said “too bad, a deal’s a deal”.

8/27/2016: Celebrity lawyer Alex Spiro calls Dana Altman’s black basketball players “boys”

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Spiro has an amazing website here, although not quite as amazing as his co-counsel, preeminent sperm donor expert and insurance fire-loss litigator Alan Milstein.

I’m no legal historian, but I’ll guess that the NAACP’s Thurgood Marshall – whom Spiro cites in his response to Duck attorney Michelle Smigel’s motion to dismiss – never called his adult clients “boys” in a written argument to a court. In case you were raised by wolves, “boy” has been a deliberately offensive insult to black men for as long as I can remember. Growing up in the south I heard it plenty – and failed to use my Bias Response Mouth more times than I care to admit. Lawyers don’t scare me anymore, but rednecks with guns always will.

So why does this Alex Spiro character repeatedly call his adult clients “boys” in his response to UO’s motion to dismiss his case against UO over the basketball rape allegations. Does he call them this to their faces too, or is this just for the judge?

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He says it over and over. Why?

In contrast to Spiro, Duck basketball Coach Dana Altman has always been careful to call the unpaid players who bring in his fat paycheck “fine young men”, even when he’s bitching them out in the newspapers for doing their Black Lives Matter protest during his national anthem:

Personally I don’t blame Altman’s players. That uncivil language about “… O’er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave” is well known for taking people out of their safe spaces and inciting them into standing up for their rights:

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No matter what the price. Someone should write a UO policy banning this Star-Spangled thing, or at least restricting the time, place, and manner of its singing to situations where it won’t lead to news stories that embarrass Duck coaches. While Dana Altman was able to use the athletic department’s team rules to keep his players from talking to the press, Avery Brundage couldn’t. So there is video of John Carlos and Tommie Smith on national TV explaining why they did it, and just how much it cost them.

But back to Spiro and his problems with the English language and legal arguments. What’s with writing “… but it does make one wonder” in a response to a judge? I’m no law professor, but it does make one wonder what it takes to flunk out of Harvard Law these days. I’m going to have to update my letter of recommendation boilerplate to

“While this student was lucky to get a C- in my intro microeconomic principles class, the preponderance of the evidence is that they can successfully complete your program and eventually find some sort of work.”

I do like Spiro’s attempt to push the employment relationship between Dana Altman’s basketball players and the University though:

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Too bad he doesn’t have the stones or brains to take this line of thought anywhere. Maybe once he’s grown up? Or maybe the law says it’s not an employment relationship if your coach keeps all your money.

More on the proceedings before the Honorable Michael J. McShane here. He should have a ruling in a week or so. Meanwhile there’s an ESPN OTL episode on “Athletes being denied due process in Title IX investigations?” Well worth watching most of it:

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3 Responses to Celebrity lawyer Alex Spiro will refile lawsuit by Altman’s basketball players

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Oh boy. I think maybe I get it now. They are suggesting that those players were treated like “boys” by UO. As in “you boys aren’t gonna get away with fucking that girl like that.” I think they may have a pretty good case.
    It’s quite a dilemma when sexual assault grievance meets racial grievance. It is fascinating, if painful, to see the spectacle play out.
    Back where I’m from, a “boy” is any good guy of any age whatsoever, generally but not necessarily white. If you aren’t a boy you’re an outsider. So it took me a while to hear the present tune.

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  2. Moonman says:

    “Who you calling boy?” comes to mind reading this disturbing report. I suppose he intends to accent his client’s youth and inexperience. But you’d have to be an ignoramus to miss the irony.

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