Sunday, September 02, 2007

For goodness sakes, give Anthony Ciolli a break--and a job!

I know that some folks have decided that Anthony is some sort of evil person, thanks to what happened at AutoAdmit when he was still associated with it, but I just don't get it: he was on the board, not the person (people?) who posted the nasty comments. The theory behind the latest attack on Anthony is, I guess, that he should've removed the comments as soon as he was notified that the plaintiffs found them offensive. According to the WSJ blog,

“It’s bringing the right to protect yourself against offensive words and images into the 21st century,” said David N. Rosen, a New Haven, Conn.-based attorney for the students and a senior research scholar in law at Yale Law to the Law Blog in an interview.

What the ... ??? WHAT "right to protect yourself against offensive words"? If the plaintiffs mean that Anthony himself libeled them, then I suppose they might have a claim, although I've managed to suppress libel law from my brain, pending the results of the Nevada Bar. But he didn't do that. He operated a website that allowed people to post stupid things. I don't think that AutoAdmit was a moderated forum, so why should Anthony bear the responsibility for someone else's offensive comments? Moreover, suppose that he had removed the postings right away: would the people who posted the comments have claimed that they were offended that someone had taken offense?

I wish that folks would think before they post, but they don't. The proper remedy for nastygrams posted on the web isn't a lawsuit against the website adminstrators. The proper remedy might not even be a lawsuit against the people who posted the nastygrams in the first place. The proper remedy is for other posters to post in return, in an attempt to provide the "over-the-line" posters with a sense of what is appropriate in a community and what isn't.

I've had the unpleasant experience of reading all sorts of lies and attacks about me, too. (See, for example, here and here.) Sure, it hurt my feelings. But I thought then, and I think now, that the comments said more about the people posting them than they did about me. And I wouldn't have dreamed about contacting either website to demand that the postings themselves be removed.

Personally, I've found Anthony to be bright, self-effacing, and honest. If you agree, and you happen to be in a position to consider him for a job, then please contact him. He's been punished far too much. I'll vouch for him. Just give him a break.


Richard Peck said...

"There ought to be a law . . ."

Assuming for the moment that the Does' claim it's AutoAdmit's fault they can't get good jobs is valid, why would either of them (or anyone else, for that matter) want to work for any law firm that even considered such tripe as part of their hiring process, no matter how "highly ranked" that law firm might be? Is a top tier grad's perceived need for a "prestige" job so strong as to overwhelm his or her own dignity? Say it isn't so . . .

Unknown said...

Thanks, Richard! I thought I was going insane, 'cause I haven't seen anyone point out what you've just said.... Thank goodness you have common sense (as you always have had)!

Anonymous said...

Nancy, your post is so completely credited. Thank you for being the rare legal academic with a fair and sensible take on this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

"Personally, I've found Anthony to be bright, self-effacing, and honest. If you agree, and you happen to be in a position to consider him for a job, then please contact him."

Anthony Ciolli is bright, self-effacing, and honest???? Gimme a break. Anthony Ciolli is an unethical piece of scumbag trash. He KNEW that these defamatory comments were being posted about those law students. He KNEW what was going on with that cesspool known as Autoadmit.

Anthony Ciolli is a rotten lowlife who does NOT deserve to be admitted to the bar in ANY state after putting those female law students through all that humiliation. If Anthony Ciolli had ANY decency or sense of ethics, he would've SHUT that disgusting website down. Autoadmit attracts the worst kind of scum and it's one of the main reasons why the legal field has a tainted reputation.

There are so many other bright, hard-working and DECENT law school graduates who DESERVE a job before this lowlife Anthony Ciolli. He got what he deserved and hope he doesn't find another decent legal job again.

Unknown said...

I'd say that the last comment says more about the poster and his or her intelligence than it does about Anthony.

Anonymous said...

Nancy, with all due respect, the fact that people like Anthony Ciolli STILL get respect goes to show that the legal community only cares about "prestige and credentials" and doesn't seem to give a damn about character, morals, or having human decency.

We don't need jerks like Anthony Ciolli to continue tainting the legal profession. We already have people like Scooter Libby and Alberto Gonzales doing a great job on behalf of lawyers.

Sorry, but I think that your endorsement of Anthony Ciolli is in misguided.

Unknown said...

I've known Anthony for over two years now, and I'm comfortable with my take on him. Thanks for your comments, but I wonder how many folks are targeting him for what they've heard about him, rather than from first-hand experience. See my post today on Larry Summers being disinvited from a dinner speech for the UC Regents. My guess is that the folks targeting him (as well as the ones targeting folks like Sarah Weddington) are reacting to second-, third-, fourth-hand info rather than direct interactions.

Anonymous said...

So why don't you give him a job?

Anonymous said...

Nancy, are you aware of Do you know the kind of content that's posted on this site?

Regardless of Anthony Ciolli and his job loss (and frankly, I have no sympathy for him), I'm shocked that you still stand by him despite the fact that he was responsible for allowing all these defamatory and offensive postings to run rampant on a site that Anthony Ciolli MAINTAINED.

Nancy, how would you feel if your co-worker or say a loved one (like your husband) was responsible for running an unmoderrated message board that allows defamatory and offensive material to run rampant?

Your support for people like Anthony Ciolli only reinforces the negative perception that lawyers only give a damn about prestige and not only morals or human decency. People like Anthony Ciolli are the reason why the legal profession gets worse. It seems you condone the concept that the more intelligent and prestigious you are, the more you can get away with anything you want.

Anonymous said...

yo, anthony wasn't the owner of the site you buffoons. he couldn't get it taken down if he tried.

also, he was going to law school. he didn't have time to pull 100's of offensive messages every day.