Jonathan Ichikawa (UBC) reports that he and his wife, Carrie Jenkins (UBC), have received from a Toronto lawyer a notification that Brian Leiter (Chicago) is prepared to take legal action against them in the Courts of Canada over “various Internet postings which he alleges defame him.”
Leiter claims to have been attacked or defamed by:
- Carrie’s pledge on her tumblr blog to behave with civility towards other philosophers and colleagues;
- Carrie’s post to Facebook of the complete text of Professor Leiter’s email of July 2, 2014 regarding that pledge;
- the so-called “September Statement”; and
- the post on the Feminist Philosophers blog entitled “Sometimes An Apology Doesn’t Help.”
Leiter has demanded that the couple:
publish on the Internet, for a continuous period of at least six months, a lengthy apology and retraction (which his lawyer drafted). If we do not, we are warned, Professor Leiter ‘will pursue his legal remedies.’
The message from the lawyer mentions that other signatories to the original September Statement may also be the targets of legal action, and that Leiter’s lawsuit against the couple will involve “a full airing of the issues and the cause or causes of [Carrie’s] medical condition.”
Merry Christmas, philosophy profession.
UPDATE: Brian Leiter has posted about this litigation at Leiter Reports. A copy of the letter his lawyer sent is here. The reply by the lawyer for Ichikawa and Jenkins is here. Leiter’s central claim is that Jenkins exaggerated the harmful health effects she experienced as a result of his hostile communications with her.