Columbia Law School Professor Banned From Depositions Over Allegations Of Abusive Behavior

Above The Law

Eben Moglen is a law professor at Columbia Law School and the founder of Software Freedom Law Center, which handles pro bono work for open-source software-rights enforcement groups. Moglen is opposing the application for the trademark and logo of the Software Freedom Conservancy. That name isn’t a weird coincidence, the Conservancy was once a wing of the Law Center, before programmer Bradley Kuhn was fired by Moglen.

While that story in and of itself might be medium levels of interesting, what really grabs your attention is the recent order of Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Judge Jennifer L. Elgin. She ruled that Moglen cannot attend the depositions of Kuhn and Karen Sandler, a Conservancy lawyer who is also a former law student of Moglen’s.

The Conservency filed a motion to bar Moglen from attending those depositions, and Judge Elgin found “Respondent has shown good cause for the sought-after protective order,” and “the potential psychological harm to respondent’s witnesses cannot be ameliorated by any [other] board order.” Indeed, Kuhn said his PTSD is in part because of Moglen’s “continued verbal abuse and occasional physical intimidation.”

So what happened between these parties? As reported by the ABA Journal:

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