TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Open Letter to Law Faculty: Maryland Legislature Seeks to Stop Environmental Case in UMD Clinic

Mike Rustad asked that we post the following:

Dear Law Faculty,

As you may have heard, the University of Maryland School of Law is under attack by a group of legislators unhappy with the work of the Environmental Law Clinic.   Specifically, the legislators seek to stop the clinical faculty and students from working on a case that alleges pollution by a poultry corporation by denying funding to the law school until and unless the law school turns over information about the clinic operation, including confidential client information.  The Baltimore Sun reported on the problem...   [Ed. note:  ABA Journal also reports on this story]

This is a clear attack on both the professional responsibility and academic freedom of the clinical faculty and their students.  Rather than have the legal issue of the poultry company resolved in the courts pursuant to the rule of law, a group of the legislators are doing the bidding of the business and they seek to use the denial of state funding to intimidate the law school dean and faculty.  If the Maryland Legislature succeeds in this effort, it will set a dangerous precedent that could spread to other states.  If you agree that law faculty and deans should stand up and help the University of Maryland School of Law, please reply privately to Peter Joy at to have your name added to the following [attached] letter:   Download Peter Joy Letter  When you reply, please list your name and title as you would like it to appear at the end of the following letter.  If you disagree with any portion of the letter, and would prefer to send your own personal e-mail, the list of state legislators e-mail addresses are [attached]:  Download Maryland_Legislators

Please act now. This matter will be considered by the Maryland State Legislature this week.

Thank you very much.


Peter A. Joy
Washington University in St. Louis
One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 935-6445 phone
(314) 935-4029 fax

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