I’m not a lawyer, but I do know that Harvard is not liable in any way for anything Prof. Alan Dershowitz says about another public figure. He has freedom of speech plus academic freedom plus he’s more than a bit of a media whore, and expecting him not to opine on a major case like the Zimmerman/Martin shooting is tantamount to expecting the sun not to rise in the east. Dershowitz will opine, and he will be brutal. It’s what he does. In this case, he has savaged the prosecution’s case, calling it unethical among other things. Right or not, he has every right to say these things.
I bring up the fact that I’m not a lawyer but I do grok Dershowitz’s freedom to opine mainly to point out that non-lawyers easily grasp major concepts of free speech and realize at a glance just how difficult it is for public figures to claim they have been libeled or slandered. The bar in such accusations is quite high. Almost impossible. And his employer isn’t liable even if Dershowitz is guilty of something or lies through his teeth, which he isn’t and hasn’t done. Florida state’s attorney Angela Corey, the lawyer tasked with prosecuting George Zimmerman, she does not get this despite the fact that she is a lawyer. So she reportedly called up Harvard University to threaten it into muzzling Dershowitz.
State Attorney Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the George Zimmerman case, recently called the Dean of Harvard Law School to complain about my criticism of some of her actions.
She was transferred to the Office of Communications and proceeded to engage in a 40-minute rant, during which she threatened to sue Harvard Law School, to try to get me disciplined by the Bar Association and to file charges against me for libel and slander.
She said that because I work for Harvard and am identified as a professor she had the right to sue Harvard.When the communications official explained to her that I have a right to express my opinion as “a matter of academic freedom,” and that Harvard has no control over what I say, she did not seem to understand.
That’s because, based on the evidence of her affidavit against George Zimmerman and now this call to Harvard, Angela Corey is not very smart. She doesn’t know the law and is overmatched in dealing with Alan Dershowitz. These are not opinions, they are facts.
I’ll be waiting for Corey to ring up PJM HQ threatening to sue because of this post. Bring it. Hopefully we’ll record the conversation.
Update: William Jacobson — If Corey did this, she should step down from the Zimmerman case.