Sunday, November 06, 2005


I came across a blog written by a university instructor in Japan. He presents a story he heard from his friend who also teaches in a Japanese university. I will call the friend of the instructor “Dr. A” below. To be sure, the blog does not include any individuals’ names.

So, here is the story.

Dr. A found one of his students writing an e-mail using a cell phone during his class time. He told the student to stop it. A few days later, Dr. A received a letter from a lawyer hired by the family of the student. The letter stated that they are going to sue him for defamation. I am sure Dr. A was surprised, but he did not seem to get scared. He wrote a letter to the lawyer and said “I’ll also sue the family and student.” Dr. A learned later that they decided not to sue him, after all.

This case tells me that a tedious thing and/or lack of common sense can sometimes trigger people to sue each other. I also wonder how the lawyer felt about this case when he was hired. In addition, it is almost unbelievable that the student seems to have taken the Dr. A’s instruction offensive. How could it be “defamation”?

If you are interested in reading the blog, here is the URL
This blog site is written in Japanese though.

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