William Lerach was once the scourge of corporate America as a leading plaintiff's securities lawyer. We now know, of course, that he was making illegal and unethical payments to the people who served as his stooge plaintiffs. He plead guilty to one felony count and has been disbarred by the California Bar. Yet, the new law school at UC Irvine has seen fit to hire him to teach a course on Regulation of Free Market Capitalism — Why Have We Failed?
I understand that Lerach is a big time Democrat who plans to be active in "progressive" politics now that he can't practice law anymore, but I'm still stunned that even as left-liberal a law school as UCI would hire this felon reprobate. As Larry Ribstein observes:
Law school is supposed to teach, among other things, what it means to play by the rules. Yet while Lerach says "we were wrong to think the ends justified the means," the statements discussed above raise questions about whether he really means this. What message about the rule of law will Lerach convey to his law students?
Law school's also supposed to teach lawyers to make coherent arguments, but what are we to make of this quote from Lerach?
While it may bother some people for me to say it, I would not have done anything differently. ... But we were wrong to think the ends justified the means.
If he now realizes that the ends didn't justify the means, shouldn't he be willing to do things differently this time around? In context, it sounds like he is unapologetic for his conduct, just sorry he got caught.
Lerach should still be rotting in jail, not getting California tax payer dollars to set a lousy example for law students. Shame on Erwin Chemerinksy and the rest of the UCI crowd.