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06/18/2015

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Hilde Lindemann

Thanks, Eric. I'll make sure the Board sees this.

Eric Schliesser

Swell, Hilde!

Mark Lance

It is completely standard for organizations like the APA to have liability insurance for the organization, its board, and its employees. I find it surprising that this has not been pointed out as the obvious response to legal liability, and surely better than a crowdsourcing fund.
Otherwise, great list of suggestions!

Eric Schliesser

Yes, Mark, that is a key way to go.

Heidi Howkins Lockwood

Two additional afterthoughts:

(1) I'd like to see the APA back away from the implicit suggestion that victims will be required seek restraining orders in order to receive APA protection, due not just to the fact that it is often impossible (and unwise) to pursue a restraining order, for various reasons -- but also because the victim's name must be revealed on a restraining order, and the restraining order itself would no doubt be available to the public and advertised through that metameta cesspit blog.

(2) After some conversations with Title IX attorneys and activists in DC, I am finding it hard to believe that the APA truly cannot bar members from attending a conference if they have been found guilty of sexual assault by a university review board. (Recall that it is possible -- indeed common -- for victims to file a complaint at a university but then decline to pursue the same in court, often because they do not want to endure the additional trauma of a court case.) I'd like to see the legal opinion that led the Board to this conclusion.

(Hilde, would you mind adding these to our original list?)

Anne Jacobson

I dearly wish the APA had given us some examples of what they felt caused too much legal liability. There are all sorts of problems with cases of charging violations of Title IX, not least of which is that there is no law against being a complete jerk. There is a law against making hiring/compensation decision on the basis of gender stereotypes; in my experience, real jerks don't constrain their jerkiness to legal actions, but really it can be nightmarish to work through these issues.

I'm wondering if we have very accurate ideas about the costs of legal action. I have only my own case to refer to, and I realize that people like Heidi Lockwood have much more experience. Still, there is no way crowd sourcing would have come near to covering the cost of my complaint, if anything I've seen serve as an indication.
when I started legal proceedings against various people at the University of Houston, I did have a very excellent lawyer in Houston who took my complaint on a contingency basis, but I did have to pay 25K upfront. I don't think his fees were excessive.

Our stance was fairly conservative, since we wanted most of all to avoid a court case. He said that would cost about $100,000 with no guarantee of outcome. Of course, if I didn't win the court case and got myself sued, the results might have been financially dire. At the same time, since the settlement was in terms of paid leave, he didn't get a percentage of anything; he reckons he was out of pocket by about $80K.

This means we could be talking about $100K for a simple case.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.

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