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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  July 16, 2006
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Duke Supporters: Suspend Your Duke Support Until Duke's Wrongful Suspensions Are Reversed

Duke University should apologize and reinstate Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann immediately , and Duke University's financial supporters should SUSPEND their financial support until it does!

Duke University should apologize and reinstate Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann immediately , and Duke University's financial supporters should SUSPEND their financial support until it does!

What is Duke University's excuse for not reinstating Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann by now? Pride? Or stupidity? Or a desire to offer them up as sacrificial lambs.

The lacrosse player who wrote that vile email was reinstated. If Duke University monitors all of its students' email and suspends those who write vile ones (including the ones with sophomoric judgment as to what is funny), then the original suspension was fair. After all, there was no doubt about who wrote it. And, the attempted humor explanation notwithstanding, it was vile.

What also was vile, that is, morally despicable or abhorrent, was suspending then sophomores Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann. There was plenty of doubt that they kidnapped, raped or sexually assaulted anyone. And, if attendance at an off-campus parties featuring strippers is grounds for suspension (instead of proof that secular extremism is corrupting the youth of America), all Duke students at the party should have been suspended.

What is Duke's attitude toward the presumption of innocence? In criminal proceedings, it applies both before and after indictment. At Duke, it was presumed that the accuser was telling the truth and whomever she accused was guilty.

The races of the accuser and the accused should be irrelevant, and the Duke Administration should respect that, even when the Durham County District Attorney, for political gain, chooses to be blind to reality instead of colorblind, and wickedly obtains unwarranted indictments.

To be sure, there are some who like what Mr. Nifong did. In the May 1, 2006 issue of Newsweek, it was reported that Collin Hall, a 22-year old attending the same college as the accuser (North Carolina Central State), wanted prosecution "whether it happened or not," as "justice for things that happened in the past."

God help the students at NCCS if they are taught that such a thing is "justice."

While District Attorney Nifong, the Duke administration and Mr. Hall were behaving shamefully, Randall Drain wrote a letter, published in the Duke Chronicle on or about June 16, 2006, rejecting the revolting race-baiting and rightly reviling the Duke Administration:

This is not and will not be the Duke Way. The safety of the middle ground was never appropriate for Duke or its administrators and it grows less and less so each day. Take the opportunity to correct your mistake instead of sweeping it under the rug and waving yet another red flag of bad leadership.

On July 12, 2006, three inspiring and insightful letters were posted at

In one, a long time North Carolina resident and Duke graduate who has served in federal and North Carolina Superior courts as an expert witness succinctly summarized his view of "this entire disgusting mess":

In another, the writer poignantly focused on the suffering of "the falsely accused players and their families":

The third thoughtful letter, by another Friend of Duke, excused the Duke Administration for its "initial reaction to the lacrosse situation" and expressed the hope that the suspended students will be reinstated:

I am among those who blame the Duke Administration for suspending Messrs. Finnerty and Seligmann without just cause. In doing so, the Duke Administration suddenly and severely prejudiced them, by appearing to judge them guilty of the charges against them. As the letter writer acknowledged, the evidence that the charges are false is "overwhelming." Yes, the despicable Durham County District Attorney bears responsibility for obtaining unwarranted indictments, but the Duke Administration is to blame for imposing unwarranted suspensions. The least it can do is finally "do the right thing": acknowledge it acted precipitously and prejudicially and reinstate the students with a refund of whatever they paid to Duke for their horrific second half of their sophomore years at Duke.

To those who financially support Duke University (ordinarily a worthy deed), I say: write to Duke President Richard H. Brodhead, urge him to do exactly what I suggested, and let him know that YOU will be SUSPENDING your financial support of Duke University until that egregious wrong is rectified AT LEAST to the extent I suggested.

Mr. Richard H. Brodhead
Duke University
P.O. Box 90001
Durham, NC 27708

If you want to add that Mr. Brodhead is unfit to be President of Duke University and should resign, that would be appropriate.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to,,, and and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is

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Copyright © 2006 by Michael J. Gaynor
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