I don’t think we’ll be seeing Case Western Reserve School of Law Dean Lawrence Mitchell writing a New York Times op-ed about the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him. So I think the email he just sent to Case Western Law students will have to suffice as his official response — at least until he can figure out how to wrap “defending the dean from faculty allegations” into Case Western’s revamped curriculum.
I’m not surprised he said something about it. One thing that we’ve clearly seen from Mitchell’s time at Case Western is that he’s a media hound, so long as he doesn’t actually have to answer any questions from the media. He seems to be far more concerned with how he (and the school) is perceived than anything else. Oh, he was going to say something.
But since he can’t really talk about the case against him directly, his email was just reduced to (you guessed it) telling students how lucky they were to be going to Case Western! Of course they are, don’t you wish you could be going to a school where your dean is slowly becoming a national punchline?
Case Western is a prominent and well-ranked law school, #68 in the latest U.S. News rankings. It didn’t make the ATL Law School rankings, which stop at the top 50, but Case Western alumni give their alma mater a solid B-plus, as you can see from the school’s ATL Career Center profile.
But Mitchell’s fame comes less from Case Western and more from his national profile as a defender of legal education. Last year, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times, Law School Is Worth the Money, that went viral.
Critics of Mitchell’s piece, including my colleague Elie Mystal, accused the dean of screwing over his students. Case Western charges tuition of almost $50,000, but less than 50 percent of its graduates secure full-time, long-term employment as lawyers, according to Law School Transparency.
Today Dean Mitchell is back in the news. A lawsuit filed this morning alleges that he screws his students more literally….
(See the UPDATE added below for the university’s response to the complaint.)
I think we all saw this day coming. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito certainly did. Last term, Alito’s holding in Vance v. Ball State essentially announced that it was open season on women you work with as long as you are not their direct superior. Thanks to “Alito time,” you can now sexually harass pretty much any woman at the office so long as she doesn’t directly report to you, without getting your employer in trouble.
And sure, while it might be fun to sexually harass your boss’s secretary, asking female colleagues to “touch it” is not without its dangers. In this crazy world, the female object of your desire might one day become your boss, or something similarly ridiculous. And who really wants to feel up a career-oriented co-worker anyway? Even if she can’t sue the company, she’s probably just going to be bitch about it in some uncool fashion anyway.
No, the gold standard for harassing people at work are the young, nubile, and generally helpless interns. They’re the ones who can’t really even complain about it. They’re the ones who might take your creepy advances as a career opportunity. And now, according to a New York judge, you can do pretty much anything you want to them, so long as they are so desperate as to be working for your company for free….
Remember a couple of months ago when a local radio host accused a cab driver of taking lewd video of her? Remember how I reflexively took the side of the local celeb, a woman accusing a big bad man of inappropriate sexual conduct?
I might have gotten that a bit wrong. Authorities have now dropped the charges against the cab driver and accused the woman of making the whole thing up.
In our last story about Alexandra Marchuk’s lawsuit against Faruqi & Faruqi and one of its top partners, Juan Monteverde, we noted the acrimonious nature of the dispute: “The case just seems so heated and so personal, and both parties are litigating it in a no-holds-barred style.”
When we last checked in on the case, Marchuk’s lawyers announced their intent to seek sanctions against the defendants. The basis for that move: the defendants’ counterclaims against Marchuk, alleging that she defamed the defendants by creating or helping to create an anonymous Gmail account that was used to disseminate her lawsuit over email. Marchuk’s lawyers denied that their client emailed her complaint around and said that they would seek sanctions from the defendants for the “frivolous and abusive” counterclaims — which sought a whopping $15 million from Marchuk.
Until now, the stakes have only gotten higher and higher. But today brings word of a possible de-escalation in this hard-fought battle….
* Update: Yesterday we reported about the California courts denying class certification in the Thomas Jefferson School of Law case. Apparently that was a tentative ruling and the parties have since had a lengthy argument in front of the judge. So there’s still hope! [San Diego Courts]
* A Houston-area law grad is hoping to crowdfund her law school debt repayment. While that sounds annoying, instead of blaming her, let’s blame Zach Braff for giving her the idea. Always blame Zach Braff. [Go Fund Me]
* Law school as explained by a bunch of GIFs from Titanic. They missed the one about the Captain looking hopelessly at the iceberg as metaphor for deans staring at employment statistics. [Buzzfeed]
* Could you charge Marty McFly in 1985 for things he did in 1885 since he knew they were going to be illegal 100 years later? [The Legal Geeks]
* More on the legal storm surrounding the Danzinger Bridge killings: veteran prosecutor Karla Dobinski self-reported her involvement in making online comments and is being investigated. Dobinski posted under the alias “Dispos,” which means alcoholics. So someone might want to keep an eye on her drinking after she loses her job. [The Times-Picayune]
* M.I.A. has been largely MIA since the Super Bowl when she flipped off the masses. The NFL is suing her for $1.5 million for breach of contract and she refuses to pay, noting that the shameful display of the cheerleaders was far more offensive. [TMZ]
* An essayist wants to stop being judged because she doesn’t have student loans. “I am responsible and fortunate for the resources I have.” Totally. Except when you read the whole article you have to replace “I am” with “my parents.” [Thought Catalog]
He may not look like much, but this little guy’s name is ‘John Holmes’ for a reason.
* A woman and her husband are charged with making dog porn, which is… well, it’s filming dogs having their way with the woman. So if you’re in North Carolina and get called for jury duty, that might be in your future. [Huffington Post Weird]
* Instead of a gun fight over getting cut off in traffic or someone dissing a sports team, this Russian guy opened fire with rubber bullets over an argument about Immanuel Kant. Much more cultured over there. [Critical-Theory]
* Gypsy family tries to pay bail with gold and the state judge cried foul, probably because he feared he was being… ugh. What followed was a thorough investigation of Romany culture. [New York Times]
* Judges in Chicago have to comply with a small sampling of the demeaning security procedures everyone else has had to deal with for the last 12 years and they deal with it graciously throw an absolute bitchfit. I mean, their complaints are sound, but still… [Chicago Sun-Times]
* Man held by authorities for peacefully protesting a photo enforced traffic light. Some things, like a guaranteed stream of city income, are too important to let free speech get in the way. [Autoblog]
* A judge has ordered a new trial for the cops convicted of the Danziger Bridge slayings in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Among the reasons, the prosecutors were writing disparaging comments about the defendants on online comments sections. As if anyone takes internet commenters seriously. [The Times-Picayune]
* Only a few more hours to register for this event featuring Kathy Ruemmler, counsel to President Obama, talking about women in law, leadership, and government. [Ms. JD]
Many discrimination cases brought against law firms end in quiet settlements. But I suspect that Alexandra Marchuk’s lawsuit against Faruqi & Faruqi and one of its top partners, Juan Monteverde, could go the distance and make it to trial.
Why? The case just seems so heated and so personal, and both parties are litigating it in a no-holds-barred style.
Consider the latest move in the case, a declaration of intent to seek sanctions….
Last month, we brought you the titillating tale of Polina Polonsky, a “gorgeous brunette lawyer” who allegedly had an affair with Khloe Kardashian’s husband, NBA player Lamar Odom. Although it sounds like a Hollywood divorce train wreck in the making, sources claim Khloe and Lamar are going to stay together, even though the 6’10″ free agent is reportedly battling an addiction to crack cocaine, an odd drug of choice for a man of his wealth.
We know what you must be thinking: “Again with the Kardashian crap? Who cares if Lamar cheated on a Wookiee?” But today we think you’re going to care about the Kardashians if only because the lawyer involved in this torrid affair may have committed a serious breach of her ethical duties to clients at her firm.
What did this comely criminal defense attorney do that could have been so bad? Well, if your case didn’t go as planned, it may be because a washed-up basketball player like Lamar Odom was doing your legal work….
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!