Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Attorneys at Law

Boston College appellate brief, May 3, pg. 12:

"The assurances of confidentiality were documented when the interviews were concluded. Each interviewee was given a form to donate his or her interview materials to the Burns Library at Boston College on the express condition that the materials would not be disclosed, absent the interviewee’s permission, until after his or her death."

Very same brief, pg. 7:

"Boston College was aware that Dolours Price herself had already disclosed her involvement in the Belfast Project and provided much of the information about her role in the IRA and the disappearances of individuals, including Jean McConville, in public interviews, which indicated that she was not seeking to protect the confidentiality of her Belfast Project interviews."

The "express condition" requiring direct permission for disclosure on one page becomes an implied waiver, inferred through vaguely sourced newspaper stories, on another. All interviewees were assured their interviews would be protected until and unless they contacted us and said not to protect them anymore, but then we read some stuff in a newspaper and so we guess this one interviewee gives up the confidentiality of her interviews.

If you enter into a contract with Boston College, they'll honor it. Until they feel some vague emanations from the ether, at which point they will perceive the institution to be released from its contractual obligations. We, like, saw this one news brief in the Sioux Falls Weekly Shopper that made us feel like we should tear up our agreement with you and do whatever was easiest for us. 

The institution should be obligated to wear these choices like a scarlet letter. They have no honor, and they make no sense.


  1. Great stuff Chris. They are a disgrace, a complete disgrace!

  2. Chris

    Maybe I have missed something but have BC submitted supporting evidence to back up its claim. as follows, 'Boston College was aware that Dolours Price herself had already disclosed her involvement in ... "the disappearances of individuals, including Jean McConville, in public interviews"'

    Or are BC relying on the falacy propogated by Morris and Barnes? Will Morris and Barnes appear as BC's witnesses in any breach of contract hearing?

    1. Tiarna,

      The answer is in the phrasing: "was aware that." The use of passive voice elides the need to identity a moment or site of discovery.

      The simpler way to say that is that they're totally full of shit.

  3. Chris

    The sad reality is that cases full of shit can, and do, succeed unless diligent lawyers remember to continue to wipe as they go to avoid any excessive build up which can be harder to remove in the end.