But Nesson forged ahead, more boldly still. A week after the First Circuit ruled “no” on the Webcast, there’s talk of an appeal to the Supreme Court on the issue. At the April team meeting I attend, Nesson proposes suing the judges on the panel, counting them as complicit in an abuse of legal process for their erroneous ruling. The office, filled with chairs and laptops, erupts. Four letter words fly. The volume rises. Ray Bilderbeck, the clinical’s notorious dissenter, puts his head back and laughs flat out. “They’re going to say ‘fuck you no were not going to re-hear,’” Meister says. “’Fuck you, fuck you. It’s not going to go well for you, fuck you.’”Suing the judges? Probably not the most effective way of winning them over to your side. (And Judge Selya would have used 14-letter words, not 4-letter ones.)
The notion of the fair use defense, when raised, also meets resistance.
“I don’t even know what you mean when you say ‘fairness,’” Bilderbeck insists, seated in a chair opposite Nesson’s desk and bristling at his professor’s apparent disregard for the four factors of the fair use canon. “I don’t know what ‘fair’ is…It seems like you want me to read your mind, and it’s not happening.”
“I want you to read the jury’s mind,” Nesson replies.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Crimson takes on Tenenbaum case; reveals Nesson's (aborted) plan to sue First Circuit judges for abuse of process
Christian Flow, a Harvard undergrad, has a very well-written and entertaining two-part piece in the Harvard Crimson's magazine about the Joel Tenenbaum saga and Professor Charles Nesson's efforts at "resistance in the face of repression." No major revelations for those of us who've been watching Tenenbaum's legal team at work, but plenty of great quotes and anecdotes about Nesson's antics. Flow even managed to infiltrate one of the team's strategy sessions, shortly after the First Circuit thwarted their effort to webcast district court proceedings to the world: