Lester Brickman

Document Type



This short essay is a partial response to an essay by Professor Charles Silver contesting assertions I set forth in an article titled, "On The Theory Class's Theories of Asbestos Litigation: The Disconnect Between Scholarship and Reality", 31 Pepp. L. Rev. 33 (2003-04), in which I responded to several personal attacks against me by Professor Silver. Since Professor Silver was permitted to substantially add to his essay after I submitted my Rejoinder and I was not provided with these extensive additions, my response is necessarily incomplete. Professor Silver's essay is titled, "A Rejoinder to Lester Brickman", 32 Pepp. L. Rev. 765 (2005). In this exchange on the academic field of battle, bluster meets fact in a head-on-clash. This mictuating match has two redeeming features. One is a discussion of the obligation of an academic, in relation to scholarship, to disclose any personal interest such as a retained advocacy relationship. I favor such disclosure; Professor Silver did not. In addition, there is a brief discussion of the role of the law professor within the legal profession. Professor Silver advances the view that law professors' self-interest should lead them to hold pro-lawyer views and they should therefore not criticize the legal profession because that contributes to the low public esteem in which the bar is held. I demur. In my view, that low esteem is not due to criticisms of various practices of lawyers and the bar but rather to the failure of the bar to curb abuses and to thus enforce its own standard set forth in the Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct that the bar should act "in the public interest and not in furtherance of [its] parochial self-interested concerns. . . ."