"Me Too" Sexism, Bias and Sexual
Misconduct in the Legal Profession
As the "Me Too" movement shines a light on sexual misconduct and sexually inappropriate actions, it's time to examine the effects of this kind of conduct in the legal community. In a 2018 American Bar Association survey of 3000 professionals in the legal profession, 68% of female respondents and 19% of the male respondents indicated that they had been the victim of sexual harassment. In this interactive presentation attorneys will learn why sexual misconduct and bias is a pervasive problem in the legal profession, reasons that legal professionals are reluctant to report this problem, and how to foster an environment to prevent this type of misconduct. We will review disciplinary cases involving inappropriate sexual conduct by judges, prosecutors, and attorneys. This interactive presentation even gives you the chance to pit your opinions about the disciplinary violations against the actual rulings by the Ethics review boards in each case. Attendees have described this presentation as informative, helpful, dynamic, and an important discussion about a relevant topic.
"When There are Nine"
Sexual Bias in the Legal Profession
When the late Justice Ginsburg was asked when will we have enough woman on the United State Supreme Court, she famously said, “When there are nine.” In 1981, when I started practicing law as an Assistant Summit County prosecutor in Akron, Ohio every one of our seven Common Pleas judges was male. In 2020, every one of these judges is female. Because of this change, does this lead to the conclusion that sexual bias in the legal profession is gone, a relic of the past? Unfortunately, sexual bias is still alive and well in the legal profession. In a 2018 American Bar Association survey of 3000 professionals in the legal profession, 68% of female respondents indicated that they had been the victim of sexual bias or sexual misconduct. According to the National Association of Women Judges, approximately one third of judges nationwide are female although over half the attorneys are female. Today, women still make up only 27 percent of all federal judges. Currently, there are only a handful of female managing partners in the larger law firms. In this presentation, attendees will learn about sexual bias in the legal profession, why attorneys are hesitant to report this bias and how Summit County Ohio overcame that bias to elect an all-female bench.
Identifying & Combating Gender Bias:
Examining the Roles of Women Attorneys in Movies and TV
Every attorney regardless of gender must have an equal opportunity to advance their career in the legal profession. However, the legal profession has a history of gender bias against women and recent surveys and statistical studies indicate there is still gender bias in our profession.
In this presentation, attorneys will learn to identify both implicit and explicit gender bias in the legal profession by reviewing how Hollywood depicts women attorneys on television and at the movies. The presentation will also offer attendees suggestions to recognize and combat implicit biases.
To learn to recognize implicit gender bias, we will review film clips of award-winning movies selected by lawyers in two "best lawyer movie" polls conducted by the American Bar Association in 2008 and 2018.
Please join us for this unique and entertaining presentation.
Battling Gender Bias: How Bill Cosby and
other Sexual Predators Escape Punishment
Bill Cosby victimized nearly sixty women and was convicted of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand and sentenced to prison. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed his convictions indicating he could not be tried again. In 2006 the FBI did an extensive investigation of Jeffrey Epstein and found that he had sexually assaulted 37 girls, some as young as 14, and prepared a 53-page indictment. However, Epstein was never charged in federal court and pleaded guilty to state charges where he served only 13 months in jail with work release. In this presentation we will discuss the Epstein and Cosby prosecutions and other cases where the legal system protects the predator and not the victims. Further, we will discuss why this occurs, how to prevent these miscarriages of justice and what steps we can take as lawyers to ensure that the legal system treats victims of sexual assault with dignity and respect.