George Washington Law School was rocked this afternoon by allegations of threats and ethnic profiling after Contracts Law Professor and former acting Dean Gregory Maggs received fish wrapped in a newspaper with a note of cut out newspaper print reading: “Its Curtains For You. Sign a Donor Card.” With the much heralded Torts versus Contracts Paintball competition scheduled for Friday, accusing fingers have been pointed at me based on the most flimsy circumstantial evidence and obvious suspicion raised by my Italian heritage.
Given the likely investigation, I must be circumspect in what I say. However, I find it incredible that the first calls in this matter should be directed to my office simply because my mother is Italian. In an effort to disguise obvious ethnic profiling, some have pointed to coincidental facts that my office smelled like fish, there were newspaper clippings on the floor, and my secretary (who is also of Italian heritage) was seen delivering the package. Such circumstantial evidence is hardly worth refuting. The mere fact that someone may eat fish for lunch or cut out articles is not enough to make out a case of criminal threats. Moreover, eyewitness testimony is proven to be terribly unreliable. It appears that the “usual suspects” have been rounded up after a fish turns up on a law school desk.
I will also note that a package found near the scene showed that they were herring at their expiration date (a warning inside the newspaper warning that the fish were expired and thus suitable only for threats and not consumption). It seems that some attention could be directed at our faculty of Nordic ancestry since Norway and Denmark remain the largest producers (and two of the largest consumers) of herring. These discarded, near rotten fish were selected by someone with a hankering for herring, I’d say.
The fact that the note was pasted on the other side of a picture of Karl Llewellyn strongly also suggests some indigenous or internal contracts rivalry. Look within your own ranks, my contracts friends, instead of looking for the nearest Italians to pin the fish on.
I can only say that this scurrilous rumor will be met with equal resolve and, as my ancestors have said, revenge is a dish best served cold . . . paintball cold.