pageok
pageok
pageok
NYT on Nesson:
In today's New York Times, John Schwartz has an interesting article on Charlie Nesson's performance in the Tenenbaum trial.

  Reading over the trial reports, I'm struck by how similar Nesson's approach was to how he taught "Introduction to Lawyering" (ITL) in the fall of 1994, in my 1L year at Harvard. The ITL class was supposed to be about introductory legal writing and research. Nesson instead focused on how he thought the Internet would change everything; whether cameras should be allowed in courtrooms for high-profile cases; and his fascination with the neckercube. I very much liked Nesson as a person. He was passionate and unfailingly kind, something that couldn't be said for many other Harvard professors. But most of the students became pretty frustrated, as Nesson's lectures didn't have much to do with legal research and writing.

  Fifteen years later, Nesson was on the same three themes in the Tenenbaum trial — the Internet changes everything, cameras should be in the courtroom, and the lessons of the neckercube. But this time it was a real case, and it was Judge Gertner who was frustrated with Nesson's following his own path.
John (mail):
Some professors are better trial lawyers than others, to be sure. One of my most enjoyable wins in court was in a case where the other side had a fairly well known professor, of counsel. You could see where their arguments were going, with a lot of effort, but they just weren't able to make connections between theory and fact in a way that was readily understandable, much less convincing.

The Times noted that people said Nesson's manner was better designed for the classroom than the courtroom, and I can understand that well.
8.11.2009 11:09am
John Jenkins (mail):
It was clear from the beginning that the case was more about Nesson showing off than about trying to defend his client (see, e.g., the brief that cited no authority). If any other lawyer behaved this way, he'd be defending himself before the bar disciplinary committee pretty quickly. I hope they have the temerity to do the same to Prof. Nesson.
8.11.2009 11:35am
Bruce:
A little more traditionalness would have gone a long way here, I think.

I'm also curious what the class thought of Nesson's 2009 evidence exam top answers.
8.11.2009 11:41am
DDG:
Nesson sounds like a fool and an astonishingly poor lawyer. With few exceptions, academics should not be allowed to litigate.
8.11.2009 11:42am
PeteP:
Sounds like he was a nutter in 1994, and still is one today.

Perhaps a nice guy, but should he be representing clients ? Or teaching ?

Maybe Harvard needs to congratulate him on his retirement...
8.11.2009 11:43am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Nesson seems like a very smart guy, and a very very very bad litigator. Admittedly his client's case was pretty close to meritless -- and admittedly I have a lot of trouble doing good work in those types of situations as well -- but Nesson's briefs on the fair use issue were quite poor, and his general approach to the case seemed to be to focus on what he wished the law was rather than anything to do with the actual case.
8.11.2009 11:45am
Steve:
While it may have been a heck of a blunder to encourage his client to admit to downloading the songs, if the only way for the defendant to avoid a directed verdict was to perjure himself then it sounds like a dog of a case regardless.
8.11.2009 11:48am
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Tenenbaum was ill-served by a lawyer who views law as a vehicle for self-expression, like performance art.
8.11.2009 11:52am
HSAHM:
I think it's possible that Nesson's main focus all along has been to challenge the constitutionality of the award for damages. Granted, this is a dangerous strategy for his client, but Tenenbaum had little hope of avoiding liability given the factual circumstances. Viewed in this light, it may be that this stage of the trial was little more than a song and dance.
8.11.2009 11:59am
A Law Dawg:
The fact that such an exam isn't grounds for termination discredits the entire law school.
8.11.2009 11:59am
DDG:
I took a look at those exam answers. If I were one of his students I would be very angry. I can't imagine how hideous -- and worthless -- that class was. Could any of them could authenticate a document and walk through a hearsay exception at deposition, I wonder?
8.11.2009 12:07pm
Michael L Slonecker (mail):
The Guardian UK has piled on to Mr. Nesson.
The NYT has piled on to Mr. Nesson.
Other "media" have done likewise.

In a way this is quite sad. Mr. Nesson entered the suit at a very late stage at the request of the presiding judge, Judge Gertner, and was presented with a set of facts from which it was almost impossible to "turn lemons into lemonade". If fact, I daresay the "lemons" he was given were largely little more than "decayed fruit covered with an incredibly thick layer of mold". In this instance it is understandable why one might perhaps choose to try and turn what he was presented not into "lemonade" but into "penicillin". To some degree this has been pursued by the pending motion for the court to address whether or not in lieu/statutory damages should be governed by the same "rule" applied to punitive damages?

How this case, as well as that of Jamie Thomas, will eventually play out is not at all clear given my nagging concern the "due process" may present a path forward for these defendants that may gain some measure of traction on appeal (assuming of course that each trial judge does not significantly reduce the awards by the respective juries).
8.11.2009 12:11pm
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Wow, I don't mean to pile on either, but if his selected exam answers are anything to go by, this guy is a trip. The responses read like a caricature of the consequences of bad teaching at elite law schools.

Evidence is anything which might tend to prove the truth, or at least one version of the truth, one perspective of the Necker Cube. So “of what” is the truth which may be proven?

Evidence of our need (or perceived need) for gold stars – for the comfort that comes from repeatedly being told that you are the best, or at least good enough. The desire for approval from authorities: judges, professors, teachers, parents. Do I play the game for approval? This gold star mentality is destructive of self. The need for approval is based in anxiety, and anxiety is based in fear. And fear is the mind killer.

Should I define the game differently, so as to find myself in it, not just as a repository of the arguments and values of others, but as a part of my own journey? How is this game different from other games? I spent much of this month playing poker. Lost my online p0ker virginity (and $100). Why did I play? Did I play for the gold stars (dollar bills)? Did I play for the competition (camaraderie)? Did I play for the rush that comes from making a good play, from getting inside the mind of your opponent, fully empathizing with their position and their desires, until you know that they will fold to your raise?...

He might be one of those guys whose ability to think is much faster than their ability to communicate. I've known a couple of people personally who are that way.
8.11.2009 12:25pm
Adam J:
David - How close to meritless was his case? Are there statutory damages? Because otherwise, I would think damages is rather hard to prove, whether Tenenbaum seeds the songs or not, the damage would still be done, people will just find somewhere else to steal the music.
8.11.2009 12:33pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Adam -- I'm being charitable when I say "close to." On the factual side, he originally floated the theory that maybe someone else with access to his computer did it; he later admitted that this was false. He also floated the theory that maybe the MP3s on his computer weren't actually the songs they purported to be; he later conceded that this was false too.

On the legal side, he tried to hang his defense on fair use; if someone had turned in those briefs for a copyright class paper, they'd deserve a D- (and that's only because I think it's hard to fail at HLS if you actually complete the work, regardless of quality). All of Nesson's experts he consulted with told him that fair use didn't apply here.

As for damages, yes, statutory damages are available, but in any case, he didn't produce experts to challenge any of plaintiffs' claims.

The only legal argument that might have any merit is the argument that this level of statutory damages is unconstitutional under the court's punitive damages/due process line of cases.
8.11.2009 1:14pm
Hungry Hippo:
The amazing thing about the "model" answers is that there literally zero percent change that the students who authored them believed them. They are not caricatures of misguided law students; they are burlesques of *Nesson's* lectures. In other words, they are students parroting his words back to him, in an exaggerated way.

*Anyone* with the least bit of self-awareness or judgment would be able to see that these exam answers are nothing more than transparent flattery that reflects neither significant learning (except learning enough to mimic the professor) or intelligence. Yet Nesson not only failed to recognize them as the fawning frauds they were, he identified them as the best exams he got.

Put otherwise, he is maybe the biggest sucker of a professor one could imagine, and the biggest egotist, so convinced of his own cockamamie style that he is willing to give top grades to anyone who appropriate it.
8.11.2009 1:20pm
zippypinhead:
The NYT article about Professor Nesson's Tenenbaum trial antics was bad enough, but I have to confess that, after reading Bruce's link to Professor Nesson's top "evidence" exam answers, I'm really appalled. His students ought to ask for a refund; or perhaps they should enquire at a Yale Law School clinic about becoming clients in a ground-breaking educational malpractice and fraud case against HLS?

If Nesson's classroom performance is anything like his exam, it might remind me not so much of my own long-ago evidence course at a different [top-10] law school, but of a senior-level undergraduate philosophy seminar I once made the mistake of taking that basically required one to regularly show up stoned (or at least terribly cynical) in order to appreciate the professor's narcissistic Weltanschauung. Then again, given that another recent high-profile Nesson client was the publisher of High Times Magazine, maybe there's a reason for the similarity...

At bottom: HLS should be embarrassed. Nesson today is apparently but a faint caricature of the guy who courageously defended Daniel Ellsberg nearly 40 years ago.
8.11.2009 1:28pm
John R. Mayne (mail):
I'm with Hungry Hippo. This isn't a sign of intelligence; this sort of oblique, incomprehensible claptrap isn't a sign of too much intelligence; it's a sign of too little.

Failing to capitalize any letters in the second half of one brief shows contempt for Nesson's perceived lessers, who I think are everyone.

I'm sympathetic to the argument that the award was excessive, but I'm not sympathetic to Nesson or his tactics. They weren't lawyerly, or good.

--JRM
8.11.2009 1:38pm
JPG:
Interesting read. A movie script should be made out of this extraordinary litigation. Being in Tenenbaum's feet must have been a compelling experience.
8.11.2009 1:43pm
JPG:
Shoes that is, sorry.
8.11.2009 1:44pm
OrinKerr:
Re the "top answers," I agree that (if they are genuine) they are just efforts to parrot back Nesson -- a sort of joke on him. But it's also worth noting that Nesson is famous for giving out all straight A grades in Evidence, so I don't think students minded a bit: They likely received the same A grades everyone else received.
8.11.2009 1:44pm
Mike& (mail):
Wow, I don't mean to pile on either, but if his selected exam answers are anything to go by, this guy is a trip. The responses read like a caricature of the consequences of bad teaching at elite law schools

That is a great answer. My first year law school exams were written like that. I finished in the bottom 25% of my 1L class. Then I learned how to wrote a "proper" exam and started winning awards for getting the highest class grade.

I lost my soul in the process.

Of course, it's necessary to lose one's soul to practice law. The lawyer's soul comes secondary to the client's interests.

Nesson want to be a ronin. But a lawyer who represents clients always has a shogun.

Nesson's failure to understand his proper role is disgraceful.
8.11.2009 1:51pm
DensityDuck (mail):
I can't help but wonder if this is just a fifteen-year-long episode of "Punk'd".

I mean, the guy is using Timecube as a legal argument and claiming that it's entirely serious...
8.11.2009 1:56pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Then I learned how to wrote a "proper" exam and started winning awards for getting the highest class grade.
But presumably not awards for grammar.
8.11.2009 2:00pm
HLS Student:
i find these rants on nesson unfair. have you ever asked one of the students who works with him? maybe they can give you inside perspective that your collective outside perspective rally lacks.
8.11.2009 2:03pm
Oren:
How do you all rate the probability of success on the proportionality between statutory and actual damages?
8.11.2009 2:07pm
Mike& (mail):
But presumably not awards for grammar.

I could should start proofreading comments I leave on blogs. Of course, that would evidence a failure in Time Management.

Also, a typo is not a grammatical error.

Thanks for playing.
8.11.2009 2:12pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
i find these rants on nesson unfair. have you ever asked one of the students who works with him? maybe they can give you inside perspective that your collective outside perspective rally lacks.
For the same reason I don't ask his teammates whether Mariano Rivera is any good: people are judged based on output, not input. We don't need "inside perspective" to know what Nesson did; we can look at the record. And it's what Nesson did, not what law students thought about him, that counts.
8.11.2009 2:12pm
HSAHM:
Re the "top answers," I agree that (if they are genuine) they are just efforts to parrot back Nesson -- a sort of joke on him. But it's also worth noting that Nesson is famous for giving out all straight A grades in Evidence, so I don't think students minded a bit: They likely received the same A grades everyone else received.

I know students who were in this section of evidence with Nesson. One of them mentioned that he attempted to answer the questions in a more traditional manner and ended up getting a B.
8.11.2009 2:16pm
HoyaBlue:
The case is not inherently meritless; it is meritless under the bizarre constraints put in place by the judge.

The judge has essentially barred the defense from arguing.
8.11.2009 2:20pm
OrinKerr:
HoyaBlue,

Why were the constraints bizarre?

HSAHM,

Dude, that's cold.
8.11.2009 2:23pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
HoyaBlue,

Rightly or wrongly, straight out nullification arguments are not welcome in federal courts. And such an argument was really their only shot at trial. When the standard is more probable than not and your client admits to doing the action you are left arguing that the law shouldn't apply to your client. Yet there is nothing in existing copyright law that provides any possible legal hook for JT's actions.

Given the reality that nullification is not welcome, what defense argument should have been allowed that wasn't?
8.11.2009 2:26pm
HoyaBlue:
Also, I think it's rather unfair to fault Nesson for not following the guidelines of how-to-win-a-case when he was essentially fighting with a hand tied behind his back.
8.11.2009 2:27pm
HoyaBlue:
Soronel Haetir,

I was not referring to the nullification tactic advised by Lessig, or the 'you don't have to check the boxes' tactic Nesson took late in the game.

I was instead referring to Gertner's early decision to ban the fair use argument.

While I don't actually believe that the fair use argument was correct or likely to succeed, I fail to see why it is to be banned from the courtroom. It was not an inherently disingenuous argument.

The judge's decision, in my opinion, wades uncomfortably into the role of the jury in our legal system. Whether it was a legal decision remains to be seen in the appellate court, but from a philosophical perspective, I find it very troubling.

In addition, the timing of the judge's decision (between 1 and 2 AM the morning before the trial began) was absolutely crippling. She gutted the defenses arguments mere hours before the trial was to begin.
8.11.2009 2:40pm
OrinKerr:
HoyaBlue,

No one is criticizing Nesson for losing. They are criticizing him for making the worst of the hard case he had.
8.11.2009 2:42pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
The case is not inherently meritless; it is meritless under the bizarre constraints put in place by the judge.

The judge has essentially barred the defense from arguing.
The "bizarre constraints" being that Nesson was required to argue the facts and the law and not random policy arguments untethered to either? The judge "barred the defense from arguing" for jury nullification; all judges will do that.

It did not bar the defense from arguing any (relevant) point. I see, reading further down the page, that your comment is a reference to the fair use issue. In that case, you're mistaken; Nesson was not barred from arguing that. Rather, he did argue it, and lost on summary judgment.

Now, there's a small (dare I say fringe?) group of people out there who think summary judgment itself is unconstitutional. But unless that's the position you're taking, your argument makes no sense. If it is the position you're taking, well, your argument still makes no sense, but it also is wrong to call the judge's decision "bizarre," as there's nothing bizarre about summary judgment.
8.11.2009 2:52pm
Dunstan:
Then again, given that another recent high-profile Nesson client was the publisher of High Times Magazine, maybe there's a reason for the similarity...


Be careful. When I was at HLS, the school paper's pseudonymous parody column "Fenno" once made a reference to Nesson smoking pot. Nesson wrote an indignant letter to the editor insisting that he "hadn't smoked a J" in years, and demanded that the paper reveal the author's name so that the Administrative Board could take disciplinary action against him. He wasn't such a crusader for freedom of expression when it involved him.

His Evidence exam the year I had him consisted of questions lifted directly from past multistate bar exams (incidentally, I wonder if that's copyright infringement?) and an essay question "tell me a story about something you learned in this class."

Other highlights of the class included: an entire day devoted to the Necker cube and "thinking outside the box"; the day he walked into the classroom, pressed "play" on his dictaphone and left us to listen to some stream-of-consciousness monologue he had recorded while walking around campus; and of course, reacting with indignant anger to any student who disagreed with him. (No, not me; I figured out quickly that blending into the scenery was the best tactic.) The days when he simply played the movie "My Cousin Vinny" were a welcome relief.
8.11.2009 2:54pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
As for the timing of the judge's decision, it's not ideal, but (a) it's not as if it should have been unexpected to Nesson, since multiple experts told him it was untenable as a legal argument, (b) even if he thought he could win on the issue, a competent lawyer anticipates the possibility of an adverse ruling (*), and (c) it's not as if an earlier adverse ruling on the issue by the judge would have changed anything.


(*) It's pretty much my standard spiel to a client, "In my opinion, the law is firmly on our side, but going to court is always a roll of the dice."
8.11.2009 2:58pm
OrinKerr:
Dunstan,

I assume Nesson's anger about the pot accusations preceded this 2002 Washington Post story?
8.11.2009 3:18pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Re the "top answers," I agree that (if they are genuine) they are just efforts to parrot back Nesson -- a sort of joke on him. But it's also worth noting that Nesson is famous for giving out all straight A grades in Evidence, so I don't think students minded a bit: They likely received the same A grades everyone else received.



He gave me a B- when I took it a couple of years before you arrived, Orin. And I'm actually pretty good with evidence. [I have no idea whether classroom participation played a part in the grade; he did throw a piece of chalk at me once. Nesson: "That wasn't a very profound answer." Ex-Fed: "It wasn't a very profound question."

On the other hand, I got an A+ in tax, which mystifies me. So it's hard to take any of it too seriously.
8.11.2009 3:21pm
Ben Sheffner (www):
Two points:

1) As David Nieporent points out above, Judge Gertner considered Nesson's fair use argument, but rejected it on summary judgment. Under existing fair use precedent, this was the only possible conclusion. And the problems with his summary judgment opposition were procedural as well as substantive; his papers contained no actual evidence. As Judge Gertner said in her order:


Tenenbaum has put no facts into evidence on which the Court could rely; his opposition briefs are not accompanied by any affidavit, expert report, deposition testimony,or other evidence of the kind described by Rule 56(e).


I actually suspect Judge Gertner may have allowed the fair use argument to go to the jury if Nesson's brief had included evidence (and not merely assertions) disputing the plaintiffs' evidence of economic harm.

2) Re Nesson's pot use: I have no idea when he last smoked. But he is not exactly shy about the subject. As I reported about the voir dire process:


Nesson also questioned potential jurors about their views on marijuana decriminalization, even asking one woman how she would feel if she heard during the trial about Nesson's own (admitted) pot-smoking. She said she didn’t mind, though Judge Gertner quickly made clear that the trial would not delve into that subject.
8.11.2009 4:29pm
Dunstan:
"I assume Nesson's anger about the pot accusations preceded this 2002 Washington Post story?"

Yeah, this would have been around 1997 or 98. And Nesson's indignant letter was phrased with Clintonian care: "I haven't smoked a J" in X years, not "I haven't used marijuana" in X years. The whole thing was rather bizarre, as it seemed implausible that Nesson would really be that offended by a parodical insinuation of marijuana use.

I tried to find a link, but it looks like the HLS Record archives are only online from 2001+
8.11.2009 4:34pm
DiverDan (mail):
After reviewing his Evidence Exam and the answers provided, it's apparent that the only students who learned any actual law during this class were autodidacts. And yet Harvard retains its rating as a top 5 Law School. Well, I guess with really wealthy Alumni, Harvard really can buy anything.
8.11.2009 4:36pm
ArthurKirkland:
I see no principled congruence between enabling a music licensee to recover a half-million dollars for a student's sharing of a handful of songs and protecting an oil company from a $2.5 billion judgment for sending a drunken captain to the helm of an 11 million gallon tanker and fouls fisheries, kills wildlife and contaminates 1,200 miles of coastline.
8.11.2009 4:38pm
HoyaBlue:
Perhaps 'bizarre' was the wrong choice of words.

David, I understand that one cannot argue jury nullification (although I personally disagree with that). Not the point I was raising.

"It did not bar the defense from arguing any (relevant) point. ...Nesson was not barred from arguing that. Rather, he did argue it, and lost on summary judgment."

To-may-to, to-mah-to. He was barred from presenting the argument to the jury.

I don't believe that all summary judgments are incorrect, just this one.

The judge veered from the usual jurisdiction of summary judgments and instead waded into performing the jury's role for it.
8.11.2009 4:38pm
Ben Sheffner (www):
I meant to post Nesson's summary judgment opposition papers. Here's his main brief, and a supplemental one.

Ask yourself what would happen if you were a junior associate at a halfway-decent law firm and you turned in papers like this to a partner -- even as a first draft.

For the sake of completeness, here's the plaintiffs' summary judgment motion on fair use.
8.11.2009 4:44pm
krs:

The judge veered from the usual jurisdiction of summary judgments and instead waded into performing the jury's role for it.

I'm a bit confused about this. The main reason we have the rules of evidence is mistrust of juries. Some evidence, even if true, is so likely to mislead or distract the jury that it's better to have the jury decide the case without that evidence. And the judge has substantial discretion to act as a gatekeeper.

One example of this is that character evidence is often kept from jurors. If someone is on trial for murder, the prosecution generally can't tell the jury that the defendant has murdered people before, and that isn't thought to infringe on the jury's role.

More generally, rule 403 allows a judge to keep evidence from the jury if "its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence."

I understand that evidence isn't the same thing as argument, but in the same spirit as the rules of evidence, if an argument is legally unsound then I don't see how it infringes on the role of the jury for the judge to tell the lawyers that the unsound legal argument isn't going to the jury.
8.11.2009 4:54pm
OrinKerr:
Thanks, Ben. And thanks for your great coverage of the case.
8.11.2009 4:54pm
Bruce:
I think it's worth comparing the Tenenbaum case to Thomas-Rasset, which was also an uphill battle on the facts, and where trial counsel took over just a month before trial IIRC. Both lost, but judging from the trial coverage and from the briefs Camara and Sibley did some pretty good lawyering, at one point nearly excluding the plaintiffs' forensic expert.
8.11.2009 6:16pm
drunkdriver:
Wow. At first he seemed like the living cliché of a professor who had no business in a courtroom (something I have a feeling does not apply to Orin Kerr); but this is just sad:

“Law in the court of public opinion is what shapes law in the courts and in the real world,” Professor Nesson said. “This could be ‘Civil Action II.’ ”

This man seems not to appreciate, or care, what has happened to his client. Or how much of it is his fault. As said above, he made the worst of this case, especially in his publicity-hounding and seeking of martyr status.

I'd bet if we could ask the jurors, they'd say they found him annoying- and I can't help but think that played into their damages decision.

Nesson is more interested in the notoriety he got out of the case than how badly his client got hosed. Whatever the hell he was doing-- getting quoted on blogs, gaining notoriety for an "open process" (why I am I reminded of the NYU protesters?), laying the groundwork for future books or documentaries which will feature him favorably- it sure can't be called practicing law. I can't believe this kind of foolishness is not subject to bar discipline.
8.11.2009 8:02pm
Dunstan:
"I'd bet if we could ask the jurors, they'd say they found him annoying-"

Actually, to be fair, Ben Sheffner's blog (linked in his post above) describes an interview he did with one of the jurors, who had positive things to say about Nesson.

And Tenenbaum seems to be every bit the publicity hound and martyr that Nesson is, continuing to post statements that can't possibly help his chances of getting the verdict reduced.
8.11.2009 9:15pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
HoyaBlue, I guess I'm not getting your point. Fair use is a mixed question of law and fact. But what disputed question of fact relevant to fair use do you think there was for the jury to resolve in this particular case? There was none. So why would the judge have left it to the jury?
8.11.2009 9:51pm
Dunstan Helper:
Dunstan, there's some coverage of the Fenno/Nesson affair in the Harvard Crimson (cool that Dershowitz defended "Fenno" against Nesson; Nesson ended up dropping the charges):

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=122534

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=122639

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=147518
8.13.2009 8:33am

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Account:
Password:
Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.