Students speak out against Torture: Tam Ma

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Feb 24, 2010 at  SacBee -- Letters to the Editor 

A UC Berkeley law student says professor John Yoo, left, should receive a failing grade for his actions, despite being "cleared" in a government report.

UC should rethink 'cleared' Yoo

Re "Justice ruling clears Bush lawyers" (Page A6, Feb. 20): The headline buries the relevant facts of the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility report. Far from "clearing" John Yoo, the report concludes that he committed "intentional professional misconduct."

As a law student at the University of California, Berkeley, where John Yoo is a tenured professor, I am taught to thoroughly examine all facets of a legal controversy and provide my clients with candid advice about the state of the law. To do otherwise would be an extreme breach of professional responsibility. Yoo's conduct, detailed in the report, goes against everything I am taught.

The report finds that Yoo "knowingly provided incomplete and one-sided advice" and "put his desire to accommodate the client above his obligation to provide thorough, objective and candid legal advice, and that he therefore committed intentional professional misconduct."

I would receive a failing grade if I did the same thing on a law school assignment.

I hope my fellow taxpayers will join me in calling on the University of California to examine the report and evaluate whether a lawyer- professor who seriously breaches standards of professional conduct should be teaching future lawyers.

- Tam Ma, Sacramento

UC Berkeley Law School

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This page contains a single entry published on September 1, 2010 1:16 PM.

The Human Consequences of America's Torture Camps was the previous entry in this blog.

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