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Latest in the "Most Gullible Man In Cambridge?" saga

Harvard lawprof Bruce Hay (seen at UHub in Is a Harvard Law professor the most gullible man in Cambridge? ) has filed a breach of contract and defamation suit against New York Magazine for allegedly misrepresenting the Shumans as predators and himself as a clueless victim.

The lawsuit has been filed pro se and is...something to read. It is left as an exercise to UHub readers as to whether Hay makes himself look better or worse in his federal lawsuit.

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I made it to page 17 and my brain just can't take any more of it.

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Voting closed 36

Then you missed the best parts. Scroll down to page 24, section 81, and read from there. He's suing the paper because he himself admits to having misled them about the Shumans being predators, and now he's upset at the paper for having believed him. All manner of mental cases in this story...

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Hay thought that he was going to be the fact checker and legal consultant for a story about himself. Wow.

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I went down that rabbit hole the first time, not doing it again. While I can’t remember all the sordid details, I do remember that I came away thinking that they are all bunch of horribly flawed people and I hope I never have the displeasure of crossing paths with likes of them EVER.

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Voting closed 36

His (ex?-)wife.

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IIRC when her home was packed up by the interlopers her ring that had belonged to her grandmother disappeared. That infuriated me.

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Voting closed 27

It really sounds like they still got some good dirt on him. Also, he seems like a complete fucking idiot, so that's really not very surprising. I feel bad for the journalists who now have to defend against this ridiculous suit.

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Voting closed 35

I feel bad for the journalists who now have to defend against this ridiculous suit.

Nobody forced them to report this story.

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They wouldn't have even known about it if he didn't bring it to them. What did he think was gonna happen?

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Voting closed 32

I don't think that reporters and editors are actually required to report or publish every story that is brought to them. Basically, a sick, damaged person came to them for help, they thought he was a loser, and they took him into their confidence so they could hold him up to public ridicule on the internet. To coin a phrase, what did they think was going to happen?

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Voting closed 23

I don’t think they are required to publish a story from the viewpoint of the professor either. They can investigate and publish their own. Surely he’s not naive enough to think they’ll rake his word as the gospel.

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Part of the lawsuit claims he was used as the article's own fact-checker, so yes, I think he did believe exactly that.

(No offense to Adam) The media uses sources to write a story. And they don't just use one source, e.g., Hay in this case. They interview a lot of people and piece together the story from the whole.

"Use" doesn't mean that the media exploits sources necessarily, to write a false but profitable story—but it also doesn't mean that the media slavishly presents the facts brought forth according to one single sources' perspective on them.

Hay alleges some vast bigoted conspiracy to bring down the Shumans and use him as a sort of wedge. He even alleges that the reporter in this case was "in on it," goading characters in this drama to work against the Shumans, up to and including an accusation that one of them was one of the Marathon bombers' handlers(!). The reporter for the magazine didn't buy any of this conspiratorial nonsense, and instead saw him as a socially inept patsy being used by a gang of criminals who at one point literally stole a house. Whatever collection of facts the reporter gathered (not just from him, but other sources) led her in that direction.

I do wonder if he was making accusations against the reporter while, or only after, working with her. If he started in with this nonsense while still being interviewed, I'm sure that didn't help make her sympathetic to his angle on the whole ordeal.

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Voting closed 8

Thankfully, it's not going to be litigated in the uhub comments.

Still, you really think the journos had a responsibility to call the doctor for this guy? Instead of writing up his sensational, unbelievable story? That would have been REALLY bonkers. It's a feature writer's dream.

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Voting closed 23

My opinion hasn't really changed since I read the original article. In spite of the glib, "look at this loser" tone of the article (which sort of obscures the way it raises a lot of questions it doesn't attempt to answer), the facts as presented seem to indicate that he suffers from much greater problems than gullibility, and that his overall story arc is more tragic than comic.

It doesn't seem like a big stretch to say that NY Mag and its reporters took advantage of a damaged person's confidence to write a smear job on them. I'm not in a position to say whether that's legally actionable or not, but it's certainly sleazy, especially since Hay wasn't even a public figure before this story came out. Seems like they went to a lot of trouble just to point and laugh at some poor, sad schmuck who fucked up his life.

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I read the full complaint. I tried to take it in sincerity, but it reads like someone who has backslid into being a mark again. He said that all the things in the article were lies but he agreed with them because the *journalist* was the manipulator who wanted an amazing article and not the duo with a track record of other victims already suing them. Those guys are all just sore losers according to him (because he believes the duo when they say that they never did anything wrong). Then he claims he invited them to live in his house...but described it as them attempting to steal his house prior...because? He claims he suddenly remembers approving the duo withdrawing money from his accounts when he told the DA and the journalist that he never approved them...because manipulating outsiders convinced him that he must not have given them permission because those outsiders wanted him to think the duo were evil.

I mean come on. That doesn't pass any smell test. There's no obvious motivation (or names) for these outside manipulators and evidently the duo had some too who wanted them to think he was a sexual predator of sorts! I'm betting they even told him that's what happened to them when they started getting angry at him when he started to remove them from his life (but they weren't done sucking him dry).

This guy lost his wife, got suckered into loving the duo, lost them too, got laughed at by anonymous millions because HE sought out a journalist who would publish his story to hopefully take the duo down but ended up thrown under the bus by the writer and editor because it made for a better story...and now, after all that loss and grief, the duo returns to him because they KNOW he's an easy mark and cajole him into thinking that he should sue the magazine (for more money that they'll just rip out of his willing hands) because if the journalist hadn't written this article, then everything would have been fine between him and the duo?

Geezus fuck. I don't know if he's the most gullible, but he's definitely the most willing mark because he can't see past all his emotional baggage. It's a shame he's basically ended up completely alienated. There's nobody to save him (his ex-wife sure tried). He's theirs to do with as they please at this point. They have really fucked up his head. What a shame.

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"... more tragic than comic."

Stories like this are the word tragicomic exists.

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The most amusing part is that Bruce Hay wrote this "lawsuit" thinking it should make him look like less of a gullible sap.

His central complaint seems to be that the reporter believed what he said to her.

I can't imagine anybody making that mistake again.

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Voting closed 33

That's an interesting twist.

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Just wow.

I also gave up after 17 pages. There certainly is a lot of what I would refer to as “family secrets” spilled out in what I read. I don’t quite see the point. Is he really planning on going to court so the various parties can testify about who did what to whom and about the relationship between A, B, C, D, and of course E.

My last thing- how is a suit filed by a lawyer on his own behalf “pro se”? I always thought the implication of pro se is the lack of credentials. I mean, unless he doesn’t have a license yet is teaching at Harvard Law.

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Voting closed 24

Pro se just literally means "for oneself". It means you are representing yourself. If you are a lawyer, then yourself just means you're qualified to do so as well.

They still say a lawyer representing themselves has a fool for a client. Not only is there a lot that goes into preparing the legal arguments as well as the witness/testimonial that would be better off if you have separate parties doing it. But there's the emotions, etc. that can cloud good judgement during the proceedings and things. Basically if you're the plaintiff or defendant, you should have a lawyer to do the lawyering things and you to do the testifying/witness/remembering things.

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...at least a proofreader? I only got about a 3rd of the way through and found multiple spelling & grammar errors, which you would think a Harvard Law professor would be more careful about in an official Federal complaint doc

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And this case is such a perfect example of that adage. This guy is obviously so enamored with these people who took advantage of them he can't think straight or see past that. No lawyer would listen to this guy's case and take it, from the angle he's presenting it. In this filing he's even gone after one of his former lawyers already, who tried to help disentangle him from the Shumans' hold on him.

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The assertion that someone impersonated one of the women and sent disparaging texts to fracture the relationship is what finally did me in. And my jaw certainly dropped at the mention of the Tsarnaev brothers.

It's been awhile since I read the article, but the lawsuit details the involvement of many, many other people who I don't remember from the article, so would not seem to be relevant to the lawsuit?

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"I always thought the implication of pro se is the lack of credentials. I mean, unless he doesn’t have a license yet is teaching at Harvard Law."

That actually isn't impossible. Many (most) law professors have zero interest in practicing law, and for lengthy historical reasons law schools have almost no interest in hiring law professors who practiced law for more than a few years. More than a few new law profs were/are hired before they graduate from law school at HYSC* and figure "Why even bother spending the time and money on a bar exam?"

Other law professors have taken a bar exam at some point but keep their license on inactive status, which at least in Massachusetts halves the annual fees for the privilege of being a lawyer.

Other law professors just have PhDs in economics or sociology or what have you and never even went to law school, much less took a bar exam. Yes, really. The Milton scholar and erstwhile NYT columnist Stanley Fish is the most famous example, and even taught at Yale Law despite possessing 0.00 days' worth of legal education, but he's hardly the only example.

*Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia.

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Abraham Lincoln, once said: “He who serves as his own counsel has a fool for a lawyer and a jackass for a client”

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I got to page 25 before being convinced that Hay didn’t even write it; he allowed the devilish duo to create this soap opera waste of good brain cells and present it with his name. What a very tragic shell of a man.

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One annoying thing about the complaint is the notion that this guy gets paid tons of money to teach civil procedure at HLS.

As others have pointed out, going pro se was not a good idea here. If you tried to turn in this work product to a partner at a big firm you would probably get it back with large red letters on the front: “COME SEE ME”

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he's currently being paid a lot of money not to teach civil procedure, as he's been relieved of teaching duties indefinitely by reason of other title IX complaints against him

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