Cellphones in Class, Part II

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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6 Responses

  1. Frank says:

    The scenario dramatically illustrates the shortcomings of unmediated self-help. Consider the following situations:

    1) an angry urbanite throws bricks through the windows of cars with very senstive alarm systems that go on at night due to the wind.

    2) a big company mixes “spoofed” song copies or “rootkits” that take over a user’s computer when they try to download a song and track all keystrokes.

    3) a condo dweller enraged by his neighbor’s late night rock music blasts Richard Simmons “Rockin’ to the Oldies” at 5AM each morning.

    In each case, there are probably going to be unintended victims of the vigilantism, and who knows if the punishment matches the crime.

    The genius of Lior Strahilevitz’s article How’s My Driving is to interpose a third party to collect a record of provocative misbehavior and assure that some impartial forum can mete out punishment eventually. If we’re moving asymptotically toward a world of zero-privacy, such a Karmic Council would be a nice side-benefit.

  2. KipEsquire says:

    Whatever happened to plain old conversion and trespass to chattels? A battery claim might survive an MSJ too.

  3. RCinProv says:

    Of course it’s staged! There was no reaction from anyone in the class? My guess is they brought in the stunt baby, so to speak, for the actual smash scene. Obviously, absolutely, totally staged. Like someone would do that with a tape rolling! Anyway, it’s a professor’s dream. But I guess we could go over to LawCulture and talk about why/whether it matters that it’s fake.

  4. Orin Kerr says:

    Sure seems staged to me.

  5. Frank says:

    Well, given the lonelygirl imbroglio, i suppose you can’t trust anything on youtube!

    but i’ with RCinProv-I don’t exactly get why there’s so much concern over the authenticity of the tape.

  6. Howard Erichson says:

    Fake. But in the world beyond YouTube, has any of you actually known a student to carry on a cell phone conversation in class? I’ve had embarrassed students scamper out of class or scramble to silence a ringing phone, but never sit there and converse. I’m sure Frank’s right about unmediated self-help, but it would be tempting.