Weekend reads: Former dean sent herself threatening letters; what it costs to sue for defamation; what a highly cited paper is worth

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Our list of retracted or withdrawn COVID-19 papers is up to 147.

Here’s what was happening elsewhere (some of these items may be paywalled, metered access, or require free registration to read):

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6 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Former dean sent herself threatening letters; what it costs to sue for defamation; what a highly cited paper is worth”

  1. The legal document posted under “ A researcher has spent $748,000 suing unsuccessfully” is a fascinating read. Carlos Croce’s first legal team billed him for 4500 hours of work at an average rate of $375/hr, and now they’ve sued him for nonpayment which will run up more hours. Croce hired a 2nd team who then hired an expert to decompose and rebut the billings of the first team (which is the posted report) who ends by saying he just received the expert report from the first legal team rebutting his rebuttal and that he will respond with a rebuttal of their rebuttal of his rebuttal. Just watch the meters spin.

    A choice quote from the expert report: The first legal team “… failed to apprise Croce of the near certainty that the Statements were not defamatory despite being unwelcome to Croce and he was overwhelmingly likely to lose …” Maybe next time just write a strong letter to the editor.

    1. The economics is fascinating. I would be surprised if he has $748k in assets to pay the lawyers. Now, he is incurring liabilities to another law firm. Who will ultimately get paid, and how much can they realistically expect to receive?

      1. If I am not confusing him with someone else, an article I read a couple of years ago described him as owning a mansion and a collection of old masters painting. If true and if those are not mortgaged, that’s probably significantly more than 748k$ in assets, though probably not enough that the bill would be painless to him.

          1. Oh, interesting. He could have lots of money from his company, then. The value of his paintings is based on his own evaluation, which may be less than entirely accurate.

  2. Corrigendum. That was $356/hr, on average. Don’t want to get accused of exaggeration and defamation.

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