Harvard Law School
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The working group that crafted Harvard’s newly centralized sexual harassment policy and accompanying procedures did not anticipate that individual schools would deviate from those procedures to the extent Harvard Law School may, according to University Title IX Officer Mia Karvonides.
In the letter, the professors argue that Dershowitz was unable to directly respond to the recent allegations in a legal setting, citing the fact that he does not have standing in the civil case in which the allegations of sexual misconduct were first filed and that Dershowitz denies.
The woman, identified in court documents as “Jane Doe No. 3,” claims in the affidavit that she “had sexual intercourse with Dershowitz at least six times.”
Law School professors say that the Supreme Court is likely, but not certain, to rule in favor of plaintiffs challenging recent Sixth Circuit Court decisions that upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states.
Now that the government’s investigation into Harvard Law School’s compliance with Title IX has concluded, its ongoing probe at the College may focus more specifically on the undergraduate school’s own handling of sexual harassment.
Former Law School student Megon Walker had sued Harvard in response to disciplinary actions levied against her after the school’s Administrative Board concluded that she had committed plagiarism in 2009.
The lawyers—whom Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz claims fabricated sexual misconduct allegations against him—accused Dershowitz of “initiat[ing] a massive public media assault on [their] reputation and character.”
The accusations came in a Dec. 30, 2014, civil court filing in federal court in Florida, alleging that Dershowitz had sexual relations with a then-underaged woman that the court documents identify as “Jane Doe No. 3.” Dershowitz denies the claims and says he will take legal action to disprove them.
Student activists and the lawyer behind the original Law School complaint have praised the findings and expressed cautious hope for the future. Law School professors who previously denounced Harvard’s sexual harassment policy, meanwhile, criticized the decision.
If the Law School’s new procedures are implemented, the University’s approach to investigating sexual harassment complaints against students will no longer be consistent across all of its schools.
In its investigation into the Law School’s Title IX compliance, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights found that the Law School “failed to comply with Title IX's requirements for prompt and equitable response” to complaints of alleged sexual harassment and sexual assault.
In addition to considering the trauma of students, the letter called for the Law School itself to support the student protests
The student, Matthew J. Diaz, was arrested on charges of assaulting a Harvard University Police officer in North Hall on Dec. 2.