The judiciary must deal with #MeToo—and with what I know

From ABA Journal authored by Nicole VanderDoes:

“Time magazine recently named “The Silence Breakers” as its 2017 Person of the Year in recognition of the #MeToo movement and the people who have spoken out about sexual assault. Some of the Silence Breakers led to national storylines chronicling the downfall of powerful men who used their positions to commit sexual assaults and get away with it—until now. And some of the Silence Breakers simply tweeted or posted #metoo, often sharing for the first time, with that simple hashtag, a hint at what they’d suffered.

From Hollywood to news organizations to elected politicians on both sides of the aisle, and now to the judiciary, the list of the accused keeps growing. The stories being reported and (mostly) believed are ones with significant corroboration. But many men will never be accused or held accountable. Because most sexual assaults occur without the corroboration many people require to move beyond their reaction of “Not him?!” when the perpetrator is well-liked professionally and socially, and someone with whom his victim has continued to interact.

This I know from personal experience. And I’ll explain that later in this article.

With the resignation of Judge Alex Kozinski from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, these charges have reached the judiciary on a national level. And lawyers and judges need to be prepared for how to respond and maintain the integrity and independence of the judiciary. Because if it looks like the legal system is protecting its own, it will lose all credibility. How can you trust a judicial system that doesn’t hold officers of the court accountable?”

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