ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459

Monthly Meetings: August 17 – San Diego, September 21 – Phone meeting details

Emotional Support Group Meetings: Los Angeles – July 27

National

MA: Harvard professor loses post for defending an unpopular client

[theappeal.org – 5/14/19]

As soon as it was revealed earlier this year that a house faculty dean at Harvard University, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., had decided to join the legal team of Harvey Weinstein, students spoke out. Two undergraduates wrote an op-ed in The Crimson, calling on Harvard to “remove” Sullivan, because he chose to defend Weinstein, “the man whose infamous sexual misconduct and assault of over a dozen women initiated the #MeToo movement.” The students say that they “condemn Sullivan’s decision to represent Weinstein” while serving as dean, and “further condemn the Harvard administration’s inaction.” [Danu A. Mudannayake and Remedy Ryan / Harvard Crimson]

“Petitions and other expressions of student outrage quickly followed,” writes Lara Bazelon for Slate. Hundreds of students protested. Harvard listened. Last Saturday, Harvard announced that it would not renew the appointments of Sullivan and his wife, lecturer Stephanie Robinson, as faculty deans of an undergraduate residence, although both will stay on as professors. “Sullivan and Robinson have served in those roles for a decade and are the first Black professors in Harvard’s history to receive faculty dean appointments.” [Lara Bazelon / Slate]

Sullivan is among the most high-profile criminal-defense lawyers in the country. He has devoted much of his career to representing less-privileged defendants. He is the director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School and previously served as the director of the Washington, D.C., Public Defender Service. After Hurricane Katrina, he helped free thousands of people who had been incarcerated without due process. [Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker]

A Harvard spokesperson said the decision “was informed by a number of considerations,” but students celebrated it as a “win” for the #MeToo movement. “This win—even if it is localized to our campus—means a lot for a lot of other people. It empowers voices that constantly are criticized,” said Danu A.K. Mudannayake, one of the lead student protesters.

But it isn’t a win, especially not for the disempowered. “It is particularly important for this category of unpopular defendant to receive the same process as everyone else—perhaps even more important,” Sullivan wrote in an email to students after the controversy broke out. “To the degree we deny unpopular defendants basic due process rights we cease to be the country we imagine ourselves to be.”

Read more

 

Join the discussion

  1. mike r

    This new mob BS and this entire #metoo movement is dangerous for us as a nation. We are heading to a civil war and that is not no joke anymore. It used to be like a radical thought but it is getting to the point that it is real. I know many many people that have means and the will that are getting ready and are about to go and are on a very short fuse. All that it is going to take is certain gov actions like trying to ban assault rifles and over taxation that is going to set it off.

  2. G4Change

    Wow. This is not good. Shame on Harvard!!!

  3. Tim

    ” to the degree we deny unpopular….basic due process…we cease to be the …to be. ”

    But your leadership in 1994 (all with ties to Harvard) said it was ok with the WETTERLING ACT!
    “WAS IN PRISON FOR….A CRIME” was utilized in statute.

    It already “ceased” but most do not acknowledge it. The republic is dead. What is left is corporate oligarchs, many of whom belong to the D party. BOTH parties feed off the tax pie. The people remain convinced the control the people’s purse, yet that too is wishful thinking.

  4. AC

    Harvard actually did this to a decades-long well-respected, well-reputed professor and aren’t afraid of a real possible lawsuit?

  5. MS

    This is obviously wrong and scary on so many levels, at least to anyone exercising any level of common sense. Based on the prestige of the “Harvard” brand, you would want to think/hope that the students and the faculty at a prestigious school, a prestigious law school even, would see the errors in their ways. If the injustice wasn’t already bad enough, they opted to also not renew his wife’s contract. Wow! Nice to know there is no shortage of idiots even at a school like Harvard.

  6. TS

    I agree with @MS wrote, but there is more to this decision that is not probably considered – the Harvard U Endowment currently valued at over $38B (Yes, that is a B). Why is that important? The donor who gives to the endowment can quietly drive what they want to happen without any attention. While these the husband and wife are staying on as faculty members, which I believe is a political move to avoid racial discrimination overtones because fully removing them from both could be seen as so, one as to wonder if they will stay and for how long if they do? I think it’d be hard to stay in an environment where other factors were played where due process was not followed.

    So, to keep the $$$ coming in, especially from those well known cash flush donors, when they say jump, Harvard U says, how high (regardless of the opinion of those who know better vs those who are merely finding a moment in time to make a stand regardless of the constitutional violations)?

  7. Facts should matter

    This is just Harvard protecting their brand and reputation by distancing themselves from anything “sex.” Ever since the Sandusky fiasco, this has become the norm.

    America has turned into Salem 1692 thanks to social media.

  8. Jack

    So sad to hear this. This kind of Lynch mob mentality is tearing the country apart. It’s all just insanity at the end of the day though, and eventually I know it’ll stop. When it does, I think it’ll be permanently too.

Leave a Reply

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...  
  • Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  • Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  • Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  • We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  • We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  • Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  • Please do not post in all Caps.
  • If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links.
  • We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  • We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  • Please choose a user name that does not contain links to other web sites
  • Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
 

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer this question to prove that you are not a robot *

.