Faculty in the News

Christopher M. Fairman Media Hits

The following is a list of selected media coverage for Christopher M. Fairman. The links below will direct you to sites that are not affiliated with the Moritz College of Law. They are subject to change, and some may expire or require registration as time passes.


WASTE WATCH: Costly Court Cases in Conflict

May 7, 2014

Ohio State Associate Dean Christopher Fairman spoke with a Columbus, Ohio television news station on the topic of judges and the disclosure of financial conflicts. All judges are required to report certain financial information, but many times, details about gifts, income and investments are blacked out. That means if the conflict is caught months or in some cases, years later, it becomes costly.

"Few of us know who these judges are or know about the things that economically influence their interest," he said.

Summary Judgments for May 1

May 1, 2012

Professor Christopher Fairman was referenced in a Thomson Reuters post regarding a curse word which has appeared in Supreme Court decisions. Fairman was noted as being a scholar in “taboo language” and author of a 2007 law review article on the subject titled, "Fuck."

A Word Heard Often, Except at the Supreme Court

April 30, 2012

Professor Christopher Fairman was referred to in an article in The New York Times for his 2007 article "Fuck," which was published in The Cardozo Law Review.

UBB civil suit 'unusual,' Ohio State law professor says

April 11, 2012

Professor Chris Fairman was quoted in the West Virginia newspaper The State Journal in an article pertaining to the civil suit brought against Massey Energy officials for a miner's death in the Upper Big Branch explosion. The lawsuit hinges on allegations of emotional damage and not wrongful death.

"This is an unusual lawsuit in several ways," said Fairman. "After a devastating mine disaster, you would expect wrongful death lawsuits to be filed against the company for negligent acts. In the most egregious cases of corporate negligence, an individual officer of the corporation might be sued personally if the officer participated in the tortious acts."

Collaborative law nears maturity

April 6, 2012

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in The Lawyers Weekly in an article on collaboritave law practice in alternative dispute resolution.

“Collaborative law is without question the fastest-growing form of alternative dispute resolution in North America,” he said. “It didn’t exist as a distinct practice until the early 1990s. In twenty years, it has spread literally throughout the world.”

Ending the R-word: Ban it or understand it?

March 7, 2012

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a CNN article which shed light on the demean of the word “retard.”

"By focusing on the word itself, you reinforce the negative connotation and actually strengthen the taboo," Fairman said. "The focus should be on the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. This breaks down the cultural taboo that creates word taboo in the first place."

The article was also published on Local 10 News.

Lawyers Look to US for Phone Hacking Justice

September 23, 2011

Professor Chris Fairman was quoted by the Bismarck Tribune in an article discussing the fallout from citizens in Britain's phones being hacked.

The F-word: Why can’t we just effing say it whenever we effing want?

July 29, 2011

Professor Christopher M. Fairman's paper "Fuck" was cited in a Seattle Post-Intelligencer piece on the F-word and the taboo surrounding its use. Fairman's 2006 paper questions why, despite the First Amendment, you can still get fined or even thrown in jail for using the expletive in certain circumstances.

Campaigns Aim to Eradicate ‘R-word’

June 1, 2011

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in the Epoch Times about a recent movement to ban the word retard.  Free speech advocate Christopher Fairman, a law professor at Ohio State University, believes the fuss over the word has been blown out of proportion. “When people say ‘retarded,’ they normally just mean ‘stupid,’” he told the National Post.

“I can’t imagine a situation where someone would look at someone with Down syndrome and call them a retard. That kind of callousness and cruelty does exist, but it’s never going to be controlled by the sort of campaigns that we’re talking about.”

Even if the word gets buried for good, the few who would denigrate the intellectually disabled “are going to find another insult to use,” he said.

FIRST AMENDMENT QUOTE of the DAY: Christopher Fairman

February 17, 2011

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted as the Mansfield News Journal’s “First Amendment Quote of the Day.” The story states: “‘Freedom of expression has come at a dear price, and it is not worth abridging, even so we can get along a little better. That's one F-word we really can't do without.’ -- Christopher Fairman, law professor, Ohio State University, 2010”

Term Limits

August 30, 2010

Professor Chris Fairman was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about the use of derogatory terms such as “retard.” Fairman was quoted regarding campaigns and efforts to stop the use of such words: “Some are not so enthusiastic about the campaign. Professor Christopher M. Fairman of the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law said he worries that campaigns to remove the r-word endanger freedom of expression. Government censorship could result from the campaigns, he said, citing a recent proposed broadcast ban in New Zealand as an example. ‘We don't have control over our language the way some advocacy groups think we do," Fairman said. "There will always be words that have resilience.’”

The F-Word: Four words that changed the world

August 27, 2010

Professor Chris Fairman was recently interviewed on Connect with Mark Kelley, a news show on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation News channel. A recent pop song in Canada, containing explicit language in the chorus, has caused a controversy among the public there. Fairman talked about why that word in particular remains taboo while other swear words have become more accepted in public: “It truly is the king of the swear words. The reason the F-word is so taboo is because it embodies all of our subconscious feelings about sex and all of the negative consequences that can come from that. And so we have this visceral reaction to the word instead of being able to accept it as just a word that has four letters.”

"Putting the 'F' in First Amendment"

July 15, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was featured in an article by The Other Paper about word taboo. The article was promoting Fairman’s appearance at an ACLU of Ohio forum on the Federal Communication Committee’s indecency policy. Fairman will be discussing general policy and the principles in a book he authored about the future of the F-word: “Fairman is concerned not only with state-regulated speech, but with moralists who push for self-censorship and government enforcement of their own linguistic taboos.”

FFC Regulations

July 15, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was a guest on WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher July 14. Prof. Fairman discussed this week’s federal appeals court ruling that struck down Federal Communications Commission regulations on broadcasting “fleeting expletives.”

Anonymous online comments are linked to the personal e-mail account of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge

March 26, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a Cleveland Plain-Dealer story about newspaper web comments that were traced to the personal e-mail of a Cuyahoga County judge. The story states: “Christopher Fairman, a legal ethics expert and professor at Ohio State University's Michael E. Moritz College of Law, said the person authoring the comments makes ‘all the difference in the world. If the judge is doing it, it's a matter for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel,’ he said. ‘If it's the daughter, a different type of counselor is in order.’”

Coarse correction

March 11, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a Boston Globe story about the use of the word “retard.” The story states: “Ohio State University law professor Christopher Fairman, whose specialty is taboo language and the law, questions whether demonizing the R-word makes sense, however distasteful the term is when used in debasing fashion. Not long ago, he points out, ‘retarded’ was the more sensitive way to address a group once labeled ‘moron’ or ‘idiot.’”

Should some words be banned?

March 9, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was featured in a Culture Shocks with Barry Lynn program discussing whether some words in our language should be banned.

How bad is the R-word?

March 5, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a Kelowna.com story about the use of the word “retard.” The story states: “Prof. Fairman, who teaches law at Ohio State University, says the fuss over the so-called R-word is overblown, and he fears that 1990s-style linguistic inquisitions could ensue from campaigns to remove it from the English language.”

Gahanna students join campaign to stop use of ‘retard’

March 4, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch story about Gahanna students joining a national campaign to stop the use of the word “retard.” The story states: “Christopher M. Fairman, an Ohio State University law professor who studies language taboos, wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post last month arguing against the Special Olympics' campaign. His e-mail has been full ever since. ‘I am the most vilified person today in terms of this campaign,’ Fairman said. ‘I certainly helped them spread the word.’”

The R-word risk

March 3, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a U Weekly story about the Special Olympics’ campaign to suspend the use of the word “retard.” The story stated: “‘Yet one Ohio State University law professor, Christopher Fairman, said he will not be ‘spreading the word to change the word,’ as the campaign motto urges. … Fairman's decision to not take the pledge revolves around his concern that voluntary self-censorship can lead to government restrictions on speech.”

Words will never hurt you?

February 19, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was mentioned in a response in The Daily Record to his recent editorial in the Washington Post.

The case against banning the word 'retard'

February 14, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman published an opinion editorial in the Washington Post regarding efforts to ban the use of the word “retard.” The op-ed states: “If the history of offensive terms in America shows anything, it is that words themselves are not the culprit; the meaning we attach to them is, and such meanings change dramatically over time and across communities.”

Expert: C-TEC has grounds to sue architect

January 16, 2010

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a Newark Advocate story about possible lawsuits in a construction dispute. The story says: “After reviewing Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Marcelain's Dec. 24 decision that ordered C-TEC to pay $3.8 million to Claggett & Sons, Ohio State University law professor Chris Fairman said C-TEC should have sued Kimball & Associates of Pittsburgh when it countersued Claggett in 2006. ‘When I was in practice, what we would have done, we would have sued everybody and let it get sorted out,’ said Fairman, who specializes in civil procedure and thinks C-TEC should settle its remaining legal issues out of court. ‘This is the sort of thing that would be ripe for a settlement.’”

Critics say US TV obscenity ruling out of touch

April 28, 2009

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a Reuters story about a U.S. Supreme Court decision that upholds a U.S. government policy that can fine network broadcasters if they air expletives before 10 p.m. The story stated: “(Fairman) said the 5-4 decision showed ‘just how out of touch (the court's majority) are with the lives of ordinary Americans.’”

Unpaid bill case ‘archaic’

April 14, 2009

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a Northwest Herald story about a man jailed for being unable to pay fees to his divorce attorney. The story stated: “Ohio State University law professor Christopher Fairman said that while body attachments are still used in Illinois, many other jurisdictions, including federal courts, do not allow them. He called them an ‘archaic procedural device’ that gradually fell out of practice after the Revolutionary War and as modern legal rules were written in the 1930s. ‘They are subject to disproportionately affecting the poor,’ said Fairman, who specializes in civil law procedure.”

Politics aside, elections boost business

November 2, 2008

Professor Christopher Fairman was quoted in a Springfield News-Sun story about the 2008 general election and its effect on business. The story states: "‘Increasingly, there is a blur between politics and pop culture,’ said Christopher M. Fairman, an associate professor of law at the Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University, in a 2005 article on Election Law @ Moritz.”

A Warning to Collaborators - Colorado bar ethics panel takes aim at a growing ADR practice

May 15, 2007

Professor Christoper Fairman discusses the ethics of a controversial alternative dispute resolution tactic called a collaborative agreement in the ABA Journal. “The opinion explicitly states that the collaborative agreement makes the lawyer beholden to a third par­ty, and that limits the lawyer’s ability to represent his client—so they can’t do it,” Fairman said.

MDL suit won't be heard until July, 2007: Ohio will have new governor by then

September 7, 2005

Professor Christopher M. Fairman is quoted in this Toledo Blade article about the state's plan to resolve its lawsuit against MDL Capital Management, the Pittsburgh-based investment firm that lost $215 million in a Bermuda hedge fund, in 2007. He said there is a variety of reasons for the trial to be scheduled in 2007, one of which could involve the gubernatorial election. He said a post-election trial could get the defendants and plaintiffs 'far away from the window of potential political damage' and remove the election's influence from the proceedings."

Noe hired lawyer with ties to agency; Files show fees paid with coin-fund money

July 23, 2005

Professor Christopher M. Fairman was quoted in this Columbus Dispatch story about a lawyer who has represented the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and coin dealer Thomas W. Noe during investment scandals involving both entities over the past several months. "Although there might not technically have been a conflict, it would have been better to avoid the situation. It certainly doesn't pass the smell test we typically use when we look at issues in the abstract," Fairman said.

Federal court to hear Ohio's bid to recoup $215M lost in hedge fund

July 13, 2005

In a Toledo Blade story regarding the shift to federal court of the Ohio lawsuit to recover funds lost in a Bermuda hedge fund, Professor Christopher M. Fairman said that the move will give defendant MDL Capital Management some strategic advantages.

Different style of Divorce Lets Couples Work Things Out

June 13, 2005

In a Columbus Dispatch story about divorcing couples using collaborative law to keep negotiations out of court, Professor Christopher Fairman said that there is almost a cult like fervor among people who have used collaborative law. Professor Sarah Cole said that as long as the rules and process are spelled out for clients, there should be no problems.