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News@Law, 12/14/2015

News@Law is a selection of the day's news clips regarding Harvard Law School.
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The New Yorker
Shutting Down Conversations About Rape at Harvard Law
An op-ed by Jeannie Suk. This is a piece on a subject about which I may soon be prevented from publishing, depending on how events unfold. Last month, near the time that CNN broadcast the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” which focuses on four women who say their schools neglected their claims of sexual assault, I joined eighteen other Harvard Law School professors in signing a statement that criticized the film’s “unfair and misleading” portrayal of one case from several years ago...But last week the filmmakers did more than understandably disagree with criticism of the film, which has been short-listed for the Academy Award for best documentary. They wrote, in a statement to the Harvard Crimson, that “the very public bias these professors have shown in favor of an assailant contributes to a hostile climate at Harvard Law.” The words “hostile climate” contain a serious claim.
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The Harvard Crimson
Respect the Past: Remove the Royall Seal
An op-ed by Jonathan Hiles `16. If you didn’t known that HLS had a seal, much less one honoring a vicious slaveholder, and reacted by thinking, “That’s messed up, why don’t we change that?” (or words to that effect), then we come from common ground. It has taken me some reflection, aided by the fiery reasoning of Royall Must Fall, to realize this issue’s importance. The omnipresence of racial hierarchy is such that its signs are rarely noticed or rebuked. This has long been the case with the HLS seal. While such neglect is troublesome, it has also meant that the racial subtext of the Royall seal is not an accurate reflection of HLS. However, it would become much more of one if, in spite of the pain and protests it causes, HLS still clung to this valueless symbol.
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New Boston Post
Amid activism, some Harvard Law students feel silenced
Bill Barlow, a third year student at Harvard Law School, won’t shy away from challenging student activists who are demanding the school erase any references to its slaveholding founder and insisting that students be forced to take classes taught from the Critical Race perspective. Yet Barlow, who is white and grew up north of Los Angeles, is unique in the sense that he’s the only student to publicly question recent demands by student activists. “A lot of students don’t agree with the protesters,” Barlow said during a recent interview. “But they feel like they can’t speak their minds, and that’s becoming a problem here.”...Barlow’s roommate, fellow third year student Michael Shammas, recently helped launch a new Law Record op-ed series named #HLSUntaped, referring to a Nov. 19 incident in which portraits of black professors in Wasserstein Hall were found taped over with black tape. Campus police are treating the incident as a hate crime. Shammas, who said Wednesday he thinks the movement has sparked a valuable discussion about race and added that he believes there are “entrenched racial problems” on campus, wrote a column defending his decision to publish Barlow’s op-eds.
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Institutional Investor
DoL Fiduciary Rule: ‘Disruptive but Manageable’
...The morning brought lectures on fiduciary law given by two prominent law professors from Harvard and Yale...Chatty and colloquial, Harvard professor Robert Sitkoff, touted as the youngest in law school history to win an endowed chair, broke the ice by referring to "fiduciary" as the F-word...The key takeaways from the lectures included Sitkoff's statement that the way to insure that an adviser acts in a client's best interest is via fiduciary law.
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How New York City replaced one form of campaign corruption with another
An op-ed by Amy Woolfson LL.M. `16. Politics in New York City can be grisly: In 1986 Queens Borough President Donald Manes was accused of receiving a $36,000 bribe from a would-be city contractor. Manes was found dead before he could be prosecuted, having apparently stabbed himself in the heart. This, and a host of other scandals, led to calls for reformed campaign finance laws. So in 1988, New York City passed legislation establishing the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB)...The CFB was founded out of an honorable intention – to tackle corruption in one of the world’s greatest cities. But after 27 years it could be argued that it has simply replaced one form of corruption with others.
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The New York Times
Alan Dershowitz on the Defense (His Own)
Last month, demonstrators at Johns Hopkins University interrupted Alan M. Dershowitz as he was giving a fiery speech defending Israel. The disruption normally would not have fazed Mr. Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law School professor who thrives on controversy and relishes taking on opponents in and out of the courtroom. The protesters, however, were not challenging his Middle East politics. Instead, they held up a sign reading, “You Are Rape Culture.” Mr. Dershowitz knew what it meant. A decade ago, he had defended a friend, a money manager named Jeffrey E. Epstein, after authorities in Palm Beach, Fla., found evidence indicating that he was paying underage girls to give him sexual massages. The lawyer led a scorched-earth attack on the girls and, with a team of high-priced lawyers, cut a plea deal for Mr. Epstein that the local police said was too lenient. Over a five-decade career, Mr. Dershowitz has represented some of America’s most prominent criminal defendants, including O. J. Simpson, Leona Helmsley, Mike Tyson and Claus von Bulow. Now, he finds himself on the other side, in a legal battle to clear his own name. At 77, he is struggling to absorb a bitter lesson — that choosing the wrong client can exact its own cost.
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