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Time, Place, and Manner

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What Ever Happened to Johnathan Perkins?

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Remember Johnathan Perkins, the UVA student who got in trouble for fabricating a story about racial discrimination and police harassment?

Quick back story if you don't. Johnathan Perkins was a UVA student who got in trouble for fabricated a story about racial discrimination and police harassment. He published a letter in the Virginia Law Weekly, detailing how he was harassed by police offices, and claiming "This was not the first time that I have been harassed by police officers and it will not be the last."

Well, technically it wasn't his first time being harassed by the police.

But, in May it came out that the entire story was false, he made the whole thing up. His defense was that racial harassment is so common that attention needs to be drawn to it, thus justifying his fake story, because that story happens for real all the time. The rebuttal is of course, if it happens all the time, why can't you write about a real instance?


With Perkins being a 3L and graduation right around the corner, the fate of his degree was up in the air. Some astute Above the Law tipsters pointed out that his name did not appear on the graduation list, but the list was only of people walking at graduation, not of everyone receiving their degree.

And then, the story sort of disappeared. Well, now it's back.

His website,, lists him as a "Legal Intern" at Geraldo and Robinson, a three-man general practice shop operating out of Harrisburg, PA, and Washington, DC, a position he has held since July 2011. The Geraldo and Robinson site doesn't list him, but also only lists attorneys, and he's an intern.

And that raises an interesting question: Why isn't Perkins listed as an attorney? You can charge clients more for work done by an attorney than an intern, so there's little reason for the firm to not do it. That leaves two likely reasons, that Perkins failed the July bar exam, or his story falsely accusing law enforcement officers of illegal and morally reprehensible behavior kept him from being admitted. Neither his profile on his site nor his emurse resume mention bar passage.

Odds are we'll never really know. We probably could find out, but we'll just never know because gossip becomes less interesting over time and we're just not going to keep up with it long enough to find out.

We did learn one thing though, that scary, zero-tolerance, rake-you-over-the-coals honor code at UVA? It's about as weak as Virginia barbeque.

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