NYLJ Publishes “How to Win a #MeToo Case” by ECBAWM Partner Ilann Maazel

Informed by decades of experience seeking justice for sexual assault survivors and most recently by a $10 million jury verdict in a high-profile case that was the first ever tried under the New York City Victims of Gender Motivated Violence Protection Act, ECBAWM partner Ilann Maazel’s latest New York Law Journal column aims to help other legal practitioners who take on similar cases.

In “How to Win a #MeToo Case,” Maazel advises colleagues on practical considerations as well as how to prepare their clients for the psychological and emotional factors that will inevitably come into play. “Coming forward to report sexual assault is exceedingly difficult,” Maazel writes in explaining the importance of steeling one’s client for the experience of litigation. “Litigation often involves expansive discovery into every aspect of the client’s life, physical and mental health, and sexual history. It may involve one or more examinations by forensic experts for both sides, a deposition, an appearance in front of a jury, and an unpleasant cross-examination. The client needs to understand the process and be ready for it. On the other hand, coming forward, standing up for oneself, and potentially holding a perpetrator accountable can be empowering and even life-affirming.”

Maazel also recommends plaintiffs’ counsel “expect the unexpected” so they are not intimidated or deterred by outrageous defense tactics and offers tactical advice to avoid ethical issues. Further, notes Maazel, attorneys should ensure they research all potential legal claims and statutes of limitations and retain a rape myths expert to refute harmful misinformation about the causes of rape and the ways in which survivors report and process having been raped. If possible, counsel should also seek to locate other survivors to offer both support and evidence of intent. “If you have multiple, credible survivors testifying against the defendant at trial, this will only help your case,” Maazel writes.

Additionally, Maazel offers guidance on the thorny role the press can play in a #MeToo case. On the one hand, “[n]ot many survivors want to be known for being a sexual assault survivor. Yet public attention to a case can lead other survivors to learn about the case and come forward, which can be extremely important evidence.”


NYLJ Publishes “The Middle Finger and the Constitution” by ECBAWM Partner Ilann Maazel

In “The Middle Finger and the Constitution,” his most recent column for the New York Law Journal, ECBAWM partner Ilann Maazel unpacks the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Radwan v. Manuel.

Noriana Radwan was a soccer player at the University of Connecticut (UConn) when, during a post-game celebration, she raised her middle finger to a television camera. Although she apologized, UConn canceled her athletic scholarship. Radwan sued, alleging First Amendment, Due Process, and Title IX claims. The district court dismissed all of Radwan’s claims on summary judgment.

On appeal, the Second Circuit reviewed issues of free speech, qualified immunity, procedural due process, and sex discrimination. In his column, Maazel explains the Court’s reasoning and how it arrived at its conclusion that Radwan’s case may proceed to trial to resolve the factual question of whether there are “sufficiently similar” incidents with male athletes that would support a claim of sex discrimination under Title IX.

Maazel also questions the repercussions of the Court’s ruling. “Whatever happens to Radwan’s case, however, Radwan leaves us in First Amendment stasis and a familiar qualified immunity quagmire,” he writes. “We can only hope that Congress or the Supreme Court will one day let plaintiffs hold public officials accountable when they break the law, clearly established or not.”


NYLJ Publishes Criminal Justice System Article by ECBAWM Partner Ilann M. Maazel

In “Criminal Injustice in New York State,” his most recent column for the New York Law Journal, ECBAWM partner Ilann M. Maazel provides insights into the New York state criminal justice system based on his work over the past seven years with clients seeking post-conviction relief. “From the perspective of this civil rights lawyer, the picture is not pretty,” writes Maazel. He explains that factors like minimal accountability for prosecutors, the erosion of the reasonable doubt standard, and sweeping grand jury immunity, among others, contribute to “serious, systemic problems that require systemic reform.”


USA TODAY Publishes Selective Service Reform Article by ECBAWM Partner Ilann Maazel

In his latest column for USA TODAY, “Men-only military draft is a vestige of anti-women bias. Supreme Court should strike it down,” ECBAWM partner and civil rights attorney Ilann Maazel explores the United States’ current Selective Service law and the reasons it needs to change.

“The Military Selective Service Act discriminates against men, by imposing obligations, burdens and penalties that only men face,” writes Maazel. “The law discriminates against women by treating them as less than full citizens, conveying that women are less willing and able to defend the country, and perpetuating paternalistic stereotypes that, as Justice William Brennan once put it, ‘put women, not on a pedestal, but in a cage.’”

Maazel also notes that the law undermines military preparedness by depriving the military of “half the talent and ability of the population.” “[W]e cannot achieve equality while federal law makes men soldiers and women partial citizens.”


ECBAWM Partner Ilann Maazel’s Analysis of Recent NYS Police Reform Legislative Actions Published by the New York Law Journal

In his most recent column for the New York Law Journal, ECBAWM partner Ilann Maazel analyzes recent actions taken by the New York State legislature in the wake of protests against police brutality and a growing awareness of systemic racism. Evaluating the potential impacts of the repeal of Section 50-a of the New York Civil Rights Law (shielding police disciplinary records from disclosure), the “chokehold ban,” the new right to record the police in public, the “Amy Cooper” law creating civil liability for the summoning of police in certain circumstances, and other actions, Maazel writes, “The New York State legislature has taken (mostly) positive action. But there is still much work to do.”

You can read the full article here.


Dan Kornstein Published in the New York Law Journal

In “O.W. Holmes Jr. and #MeToo,” ECBAWM partner and New York Law Journal occasional essayist Daniel J. Kornstein writes: “Holmes should be a hero, as yet unsung, of the #MeToo movement. He is sensitive and aware of the embarrassment and shame felt by a victim of sexual assault. He provides new support for any victim criticized for not reporting an incident sooner. Holmes’s comments should be cited in any brief on the point.”


ECBAWM Attorneys Published in The New York Times, “Another Venue for Sexual Harassment Claims”

Zoe Salzman, Elizabeth Saylor, and Alanna Kaufman’s Letter to the Editor, “Another Venue for Sexual Harassment Claims,” was published in The New York Times on October 31, 2017. In the letter, the attorneys advise victims of workplace sexual harassment to speak out and bring their case to the  New York City Commission on Human Rights.  Salzman, Saylor, and Kaufman specialize in the representation of victims of sexual harassment.