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View Diary: What the hell is THIS?! [Updated] (226 comments)

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  •  This is not a new defense (11+ / 0-)

    Despicable as the argument is, this district is just borrowing it from other schools that have successfully (in the short term, at least) used it against minors who have been sexually victimized by teachers, headmasters, and staff.

    Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:38:53 AM PST

    •  A sad comment on our society (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm, Shotput8, Alden

      that this argument could have ever been used successfully in cases involving minors

      Helping a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation,Okiciyap." ><"

      by betson08 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:45:39 AM PST

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    •  Folks Are Overreacting to Boilerplate (6+ / 0-)

      It's boilerplate.  Used a billion times a day in defense of any lawsuit in which someone is alleged to be responsible for injuries.

      A lot of pleading is boilerplate.  The defense as articulated above is the standard boilerplate language that bad lawyers include in raising affirmative defenses all the time. The reason is that if you don't raise every affirmative defense initially, you've arguably waived it for trial.  There are about 25 possible affirmative defenses, and lazy/bad lawyers usually include all of them in an answer without remembering that you're not supposed to raise an affirmative defense unless you actually have investigated whether there are facts to support it.

      Which is why as soon as the district got wind of it, it backpedaled. Because they know the facts and know that they don't support it in this context.

      So bad lawyers, not a bad school district, are almost certainly to blame here.  

      Folks running around here, including the diarist, acting as if the school district purposefully said "she's at fault", are barking up the wrong tree.  Just chalk this one up to what I am willing to bet cash it is: the district's lawyers churning out as broad an answer as humanly possible without regard to the optics of raising the defense in this particular context.

      •  No, the district only bothered with their fake (4+ / 0-)

        "apology" because of the risk of public outrage.  Do you really think they would have done anything had this not gone public?

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 09:01:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Keninoakland, Ice Blue, 1180, Alden, stellaluna

          They would have done something -- dropped the defense at trial.  Any lawyer can confirm that.  You can't try a defense if you don't have evidence to support it, but you can't discovery on a possible defense if you don't plead it.  It's a catch-22.

          Frankly, the district did not need to apologize - merely simply point out just what I (and at least 2 other lawyers responding to this diary) have pointed out, about it being boilerplate lawyering that they have asked their lawyer to undo.  Instead, we've got all this "outrage" for all the wrong reasons - that's the point of my comment.  This type of pleading happens every single time an answer is filed to a personal injury lawsuit by someone other than a particularly judicious lawyer, without regard to the actual facts.  The client (in this case the district) has every right to rely upon what their lawyers do without questioning it, unless and until something comes to the client's attention as it did just now.

    •  I'm surprised their attorneys allowed them (6+ / 0-)

      .... to post that apology. It is just about as clear an admission of guilt and culpability as one could offer:

      First, we want to say that our district and our board are deeply sorry for what happened to the students in our care over a decade ago. These children were entrusted to us and were sexually abused by our employees. [snip]

      We want to offer our sincere apology on behalf of the district to the children - now adults --who suffered abuse, to their families and to all of the families in our district.

      Every one of us wishes this abuse had been prevented. We cannot, of course, undo what has happened. But we are committed to making sure it does not and cannot happen again. That is why we continue to examine the past actions of our district and try to learn all we can from this painful process. We want to understand what went wrong, and how we can fix whatever was broken in our policies or our practices. [snip]

      We have never believed that the victims in these cases bear any responsibility for the abuse they suffered. No child is to blame for his or her own abuse. Sexual abuse is not the fault of any victim and certainly not the fault of a child victim. We are truly sorry that our filing obscured this important truth and we are deeply sorry for the pain it caused victims of sexual abuse.

      Open.  Shut.

      ... and we have seen the black suns | pouring forth the night. -- Clark Ashton Smith

      by bustacap on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:52:06 AM PST

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    •  OTOH, this outrageous excuse (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alden, Jojos Mojo, Calamity Jean

      is what brought the case nationwide attention.  The school's admin could have told the lawyer not to go there.  Instead they've shown they're evil bastards.

      Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

      by Ice Blue on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:57:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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