In Denver, the verdict in the Ward Churchill trial was just read.
The jury found that University of Colorado terminated him based on his speech, but awarded him $0 for past economic harm and $1 for current damages.
Caplis and Silverman, lawyers who have followed the case closely and host a top talk show on 630KHOW, say it should be seen as victory for CU. Interpretation: Jury found him to be an academic fraud undeserving of restitution.
And from fraud-busting blog Pirate Ballerina, a definitive analysis blasting CU’s botched defense:
Since we’ve made no effort to hide our contempt for CU attorney Patrick O’Rourke’s mishandling of his defense of CU, it should come as no surprise to our readers that we now lay CU’s defeat directly at O’Rourke’s clown shoes. Churchill did not win this case; O’Rourke lost it. And since all problems can be traced back to management, CU is the
CU’s Achilles’ heel has always been its own sloth and incompetence, in the hiring process, the investigatory process, and finally, in the legal defense process. CU administrators were aware that Churchill’s scholarship qualifications consisted of a few mostly co-authored screeds on the usual leftist memes, and a masters degree in a bonehead major from an experimental college, yet they hired him as an Ethnic Studies professor with tenure. And CU administrators were made aware of serious problems with Churchill’s version(s) of history long before the “Little Eichmanns” essay re-emerged from obscurity back in January 2005, yet they did nothing.
It took the public outrage surrounding that essay to finally goad CU into action, putting into motion a process that lasted four years. Churchill had every opportunity to present his case, and in every instance he failed. His termination back in 2007 was the result, as was his inevitable suit against CU, the conclusion of which we have before us today.
Once the initial public outrage faded, unfortunately, CU returned, to its happy place: sloth and incompetence. During the trial, David Lane used CU’s own witnesses to illustrate those qualities, and CU’s attorney, Patrick O’Rourke was unable to counter Lane’s sallies simply because O’Rourke exemplifies CU’s commitment to sloth and incompetence. Perhaps he is a shark feared by medical litigants worldwide, but in a civil rights case with a very obvious villain (and admittedly a less-than-sympathetic good guy), O’Rourke was hopelessly outmatched.
And so, of course, Churchill won. It is a sad commentary that CU was unable to defeat a documented plagiarist and historical fraud, but we consider it the inevitable result of decades of sloth and incompetence. As others have noted with elegant simplicity, CU deserves Churchill. The question Colorado voters (and CU alumni) must now ask themselves is equally simple: Does CU deserve their support?