Well, Harvard Law School has certainly fallen quite some ways.
A recent article purportedly authored by one Ronald Sullivan, Professor at Harvard Law School (see featured image) sets forth to provide a legal analysis claiming that both the Kyle Rittenhouse and George Zimmerman cases ought to be deemed outside the boundaries of lawful self-defense. If you’ve got the stomach for it, you can find at least one version of Professor Sullivan’s article here: “Rittenhouse Verdict Flies in the Face of Legal Standards for Self-Defense”
I left a comment at that site, but comments require approval, and I rather expect that mine will not be approved. For the record then, here is the comment I left for Professor Sullivan’s attention:
That’s a Harvard Law School Professor in 2021 for you, I guess.
First, Professor Ronald Sullivan lifts this “5 Elements of Self-Defense Law” legal analysis framework wholesale from my own work, without any attribution whatever–honest people call that intellectual theft, Professor Sullivan. Shame on you, sir. I make no effort to limit the use of my intellectual work by others, but a simple note of acknowledgment keeps such use from being outright thievery. Is this the state of Harvard Law School academia in 2021? Harvard University has always been liberal in my lifetime, but when I attended at least it didn’t advocate the wholesale theft of the intellectual work of others.
And no, merely re-ordering the sequence of the elements does not mitigate the intellectual theft. How childish.
Second, Professor Sullivan is then unable to properly and competently apply the “5 Elements of Self Defense Law” analysis he so dishonestly stole from me. The element of Innocence, the doctrine of being the non-aggressor, refers to not being the first person who uses or threatens to use physical force. It does not mean a person who merely follows another without threatening or using physical force. It does not mean a person who is lawfully armed without threatening or using physical force.
Third, Professor Sullivan then compounds his mistaken understanding of simple, if stolen, legal concepts by plugging falsehoods into his “analysis.” Professor Sullivan wrote the following in his “analysis”:
“Despite being told by the 911 operator to remain in his car until officers arrived, Zimmerman instead confronted Martin.”
That never happened. Ever. Not once. It’s an outright and demonstrable falsehood. Anyone who bothers to listen to the few minutes of 911 recording that is the ONLY conversation between the 911 operator and Zimmerman will be unable to identify any moment in that recording when the dispatcher told Zimmerman to remain in his car. Anyone using such a demonstrable falsehood to conduct a legal analysis of events of national interest is simply incompetent to the task.
I’m happy to wager $1,000 on the issue, payable to a worthy cause of the winner’s choice–my choice, by the way, will be to divide the sum between Kyle and George. With something other than simple professional honor and reputation at stake, however, I expect the good Professor will prudently decline the wager.
Fair warning, Professor: same, though lesser, wager put television personality Sunny Hostin, herself a purported lawyer, $100 in my debt–my wagers were smaller a decade age. And no, she’s never made good on her debt.
In total, this article is a contemptible piece of work on every level and would be so from anyone claiming expertise on the concepts, the events, or the facts themselves. To have such garbage spewed by a purported Professor from Harvard Law School simply compounds the stench.
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
And I guess that’s all I have to say about that, except, in the interests of avoiding misunderstanding–I attended Harvard University for my graduate studies in life sciences–molecular biology, virology, immunology, epidemiology, and so forth–and not for law. I received my Juris Doctor degree from Hofstra University School of Law.
Until next time:
You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.
Know the law so you’re hard to convict.
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
IMPORTANT: We encourage civil and reasoned debate among Members in the comments. That said, comments reflect the opinion (legal or otherwise) of those who authored them only, and no comment should be assumed to reflect the opinion of, or be assumed to be shared by, Attorney Andrew F. Branca, except those authored by Attorney Branca. Law of Self Defense LLC does not systemically moderate comments for legal correctness, and we suggest that all comments be viewed with an appropriately critical eye and a grain of salt.
Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. Nothing in this content establishes an attorney-client relationship, nor confidentiality. If you are in immediate need of legal advice, retain a licensed, competent attorney in the relevant jurisdiction.
Law of Self Defense © 2021
All rights reserved.