Saturday, August 29, 2009

Is Brandeis (smartly) Preparing for a Legal Battle?

Brandeis University's newspaper, The Brandeis Hoot, wonders if the university has taken a more aggressive approach to defending a lawsuit filed by three Rose Art Museum benefactors against the university.

The university’s approach towards opponents of its reconfiguration of the Rose Art Museum has taken a turn from conciliatory to combative, most recently marked by the hiring of former Massachusetts State Attorney General Tom Reilly to serve as outside legal council in a lawsuit filled by three Rose Art Museum benefactors against the university.

I'm not sure why hiring an attorney with ample litigation exprience is "harsher" or "combative." In fact, one could argue that Brandeis is simply acknowledging their legal and ethical duties to the university, board members, professors, staff, community, and its students. This is echoed by university Provost Marty Krauss:

“That is, that the University has a responsibility to provide the very best education and faculty to fulfill its higher educational agenda. Apparently, these three overseers are oblivious to the Brandeis mission.”

The Hoot does index another viable possibility for hiring this "combative" attorney:

The university’s decision to hire Reilly, therefore, could indicate a fear that the Rose plaintiffs are less likely to settle than Sumner Kalman, who told The Hoot he was not interested in a long legal battle. It could also indicate that the university believes any negotiation with the Rose plaintiffs would be more complicated, and would require a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of Massachusetts State laws, such as a former attorney general.

Very true. And all signs of smart lawyering!

No comments: