James Olmsted’s teaching duties have been reassigned following altercation with students

Posted by Eder Campuzano on Friday, Mar. 15 at 3:31 pm.

James Olmsted, the adjunct law instructor who was caught on video taking a student’s phone and putting it in his pocket during an altercation in the EMU amphitheater, has had his teaching duties reassigned as of Friday, according to an official release by the University of Oregon. Adell Amos will take over Olmsted’s courses.

Olmsted taught land trust and conservation easement law courses. His LinkedIn profile, which has since been upgraded to block non-paying users, states that he instructed second- and third-year and masters students in the School of Law’s environmental and natural resources department.

“This is a personnel decision and we are unable to discuss the details of the situation at this time,” the release states.

The altercation occurred during a mock border check-in exercise organized by Students Against Imperialism.

Olmsted describes himself as “nationally recognized conservation easement attorney representing land trusts, landowners and developers” in his LinkedIn profile. He has spent the last 10 years working as a conservation easement, land use and zoning attorney in addition to his duties as a UO instructor and worked as a land use and zoning attorney in Lake Tahoe, Calif., previously.



  • Steven

    Saying that he confiscated the phone implies he had some sort of authority to do so; in fact, he stole phone.

  • Clint Abernathy

    Probably a moot point, but I don’t think his LinkedIn is blocked to non-paying users. I’m certainly not a paying user and I’ve been looking at his page for a while, now. Perhaps you just have to be a registered user?

    • Evan Roche

      I just looked at it as well – top result after googling his name. I’m not a registered user.

    • Eder Campuzano

      Thanks for the comment. When we tried to access his profile on one of our newsroom computers earlier today it said you needed a paid account in order to access his information. I just tried it at home and this doesn’t seem to be the case. The story has been updated to reflect this.

  • webversatile

    2nd sentence in CV: “Extensive land use experience including spearheading permitting and environmental compliance processes for major multi-million dollar luxury golf and ski resort developments in Lake Tahoe region of California.” Perhaps that lends some insight into his beef with the protestors? More likely just a smug, sanctimonious prick– a big fish in a little pond– who thinks he can get away with it in public b/c he always gets away with it in private. Enjoy the Googlebomb for the rest of your career you jackass…

  • Follow the law

    It was a crime for her to record him without notification. He had the right to stop that crime.

    • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

      It is absolutely legal to photograph and video record in a public place, and no consent is necessary.

      The only person that committed a crime was Jame Olmsted when he robbed the student recording him in the process of harassing the protestors. That would be why James Olmsted was the only one arrested.

      See also: http://www.photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/03/15/university-of-oregon-law-professor-snatches-camera-from-student-protester/

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019828978 Jordan Thomas Marx

        The legality of audio recording without consent is complicated and varies from state to state.

        • Russell Myers

          Incorrect. In all 50 states, the first amendment holds. You have no expectation of privacy when you are in public and anything you say out loud can be audio recorded without your consent. If I can see it with my eyes or hear it with my ears in public I don’t need your consent to record still pictures, audio or video. You also don’t need consent to record me in public. Or police officers.

        • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

          As Russell Myers says and I said above. Incorrect. Obvious public recording requires no consent. police in Illinois have tried to hold differently and have been continually rebuffed by the courts.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019828978 Jordan Thomas Marx

        Audio recording without consent is not as clear cut as video or photography and its legality varies from state to state.

        • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

          In Illinois police will try to abuse wiretap laws to prevent you from recording them. They’ve been issued at least one smackdown in this regard.

          Otherwise, clearly and obviously recording in public requires no consent, in any state. If someone can see you recording and stays, they have given implied consent.

          regardless of the fiction that consent is required for public recording in any state (it’s not,) it still doesn’t apply to James Olmsted or excuse the crimes he obviously committed while being recorded.

    • Doremus

      Wrong. He had the right to walk away if he didn’t want to be recorded. He didn’t have the right to commit theft. Nor did he have the right to commit assault, battery and being a colossal dick.

      He should not only lose his teaching job, but go to prison and be disbarred.

  • The cheshire cat

    I asked the red queen her opinion of the affair. Her imperial majesty replied “off with their heads,the whole lot,off with their heads. Tweedledee asked tweetledum why. The mad hatter answered.” because their heads are too full of themselves, would you please pass the crumpets and tea.”