Law school deans from across the country sign letter calling for Professor Erlinder’s release

Published on by KANYARWANDA

On Monday, June 7, 90 law school deans from across the United States signed a letter calling for the release of Professor Peter Erlinder to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda W. Stuart Symington, and Rwandan Ambassador to the United States James Kimonyo.

Deans letter to Sec. Clinton

Deans letter to Ambassador Symington

The letter to Ambassador Kimonyo follows.

June 7, 2010

His Excellency
James Kimonyo
Ambassador of Rwanda

1714 New Hampshire NW
Washington, DC  20009


Dear Ambassador Kimonyo:

We are deans of American law schools. As legal educators, we believe we have an obligation to nurture in our students the core values of the legal profession. These core values are threatened by the arrest in Rwanda of William Mitchell College of Law Professor Peter Erlinder. We are writing to respectfully request your assistance in ensuring his safety and release.

The U.N. Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers state that lawyers “shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions” and that “governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.” These principles also provide that “lawyers like other citizens are entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly.”

As you know, Prof. Erlinder was in Kigali to pursue a legal defense for Madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. We believe that he has been arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned unjustly and for simply doing the work of the lawyer: advocating on behalf of his client.

Ambassador Kimonyo, we respectfully urge the government of Rwanda to abide by these principles, to refrain from harassment of lawyers practicing law consistent with their professional obligations, and to release Prof. Erlinder forthwith.

Very truly yours,

(Affiliations are listed for identification only and do not represent institutional endorsement.)


R. Alexander Acosta, Florida International University

William E. Adams, Jr., Western State University College of Law

John B. Attanasio, Dedman School of Law Southern Methodist University

Martin H. Belsky, University of Akron School of Law

Paul Schiff Berman, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University.

Douglas Blaze, University of Tennessee College of Law

Jeff Brand, University of San Francisco School of Law

David A. Brennen, University of Kentucky College of Law

Shelley Broderick, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law

Doris DelTosto Brogan, Villanova University School of Law

Penelope Bryan, Whittier Law School

Judge John L. Carroll, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University

James Ming Chen, University of Louisville

Annette E. Clark, Seattle University School of Law

Jay Conison, Valparaiso University School of Law

John Corkery, The John Marshall Law School

George Critchlow, Gonzaga University School of Law

Mary A. Crossley, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Marianne B. Culhane, Creighton Univ. School of Law

Kenneth B. Davis, Jr., University of Wisconsin Law School

Samuel M. Davis, University of Mississippi School of Law

Nora V. Demleitner, Hofstra University School of Law

R. Lawrence Dessem, University of Missouri School of Law

Matthew Diller, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

John M. A. DiPippa, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Allen Easley, University of LaVerne College of Law

JoAnne A. Epps, Temple University Beasley School of Law

John J. Farmer, Jr., Rutgers School of Law | Newark

Daisy H. Floyd, Mercer University School of Law

Alfredo Garcia, St. Thomas University School of Law

Bryant G. Garth, Southwestern Law School

Arthur R. Gaudio, Western New England College School of Law

Victor J. Gold, Loyola Law School

Peter Goplerud, Florida Coastal School of Law

Ken Gormley, Duquesne University School of Law

Stephen M. Griffin, Tulane Law School

Claudio Grossman, American University, Washington College of Law

Donald J. Guter, South Texas College of Law

Jack A. Guttenberg, Capital University Law School

Phoebe A. Haddon, University of Maryland School of Law

Lawrence K. Hellman, Oklahoma City University

Dennis R. Honabach, Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University

Scott W. Howe, Chapman University School of Law

Eric S. Janus, William Mitchell College of Law

Robert H. Jerry, II, Levin College of Law, University of Florida

George R. Johnson, Jr., Elon University School of Law

Bernard V. Keenan, Suffolk University Law School

Robert Klonoff, Lewis & Clark Law School

Don LeDuc, Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Donald M. Lewis, Hamline University School of Law

David A. Logan, Roger Williams University School of Law

Richard A. Matasar, New York Law School

Philip J. McConnaughay, Penn State The Dickinson School of Law

Joyce E. McConnell, West Virginia University College of Law

Thomas M. Mengler, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Veryl Miles, Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law

Blake D. Morant, Wake Forest University School of Law

Charles I. Nelson, Faulkner University, Jones School of Law

John O’Brien, New England Law | Boston

Maureen A. O’Rourke, Boston University School of Law

Jeremy Paul, University of Connecticut School of Law

Raymond C. Pierce, North Carolina Central University School of Law

Freddie Pitcher, Jr., Southern University Law Center

Peter Pitegoff, University of Maine School of Law

Lawrence Raful, Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Drucilla S. Ramey, Golden Gate University, School of Law

Robert H. Rawson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Douglas E Ray, University of Toledo College of Law

Richard L. Revesz, New York University School of Law

Jim Rosenblatt, Mississippi College School of Law

Irma Russell, University of Montana School of Law

Lawrence Sager, University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Brad Saxton, Quinnipiac University School of Law

Kurt L. Schmoke, Howard University School of Law

Lloyd Semple, University of Detroit Mercy School of law

Michelle S. Simon, Pace Law School

Steven R. Smith, California Western School of Law | San Diego

Rodney A. Smolla, Washington and Lee University School of Law

Rayman L. Solomon, Rutgers University School of Law – Camden

Mathew D. Staver, Liberty University School of Law
Athornia Steele, Nova Southeastern University

Dennis Stone, Charlotte School of Law

Ellen Y. Suni, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

Kellye Y. Testy, University of Washington School of Law

William M. Treanor, Fordham Law School

Kevin Washburn, University of New Mexico School of Law

John Valery White, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Patricia D. White, University of Miami School of Law

Rebecca H. White, University of Georgia, School of Law

David Yellen, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Category: Peter Erlinder Updates

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