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December 2016 Archives

The legal standard for rape or criminal sexual conduct

The legal standard for rape or criminal sexual conduct, as it is technically known in Michigan law, is not that high. But it does require that there be credible evidence of non-consensual sexual touching. The standard of what is it consensual is whether a reasonable person would realize that the person who later claims it was rape was not consenting. In an increasing number of cases that arise on college campuses, the person who claims she was raped was not too drunk to consent, nor did she say "no." Quiet unhappiness by one person will not in most cases be the basis for criminal charges that stick. It can however be the basis for campus Title IX proceedings where the standard is often "yes means yes".

Court of Appeals Decides Internet Anonymity Case

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in the case of Sarkar v. Does, a case brought by Nicholas Roumel of NachtLaw on behalf of a research scientist who was subject to a smear campaign, by anonymous commenters on an anonymously hosted web site called "PubPeer," that ultimately cost Dr. Sarkar two tenured university positions. The decision was anxiously awaited by both the scientific and internet community, drawing "friend of the court" briefs from Google and Twitter, among others.

NachtLaw Wins Motion in Internet Anonymity Case

The Michigan Court of Appeals is considering cross-appeals in the case of a prominent cancer researcher, represented by Nicholas Roumel of NachtLaw, who was subject to a smear campaign, by anonymous commenters on an anonymously hosted web site. (See previous blog post about Sarkar v. Doe(s)).   After oral argument, while the Court was considering the case, the web site's attorneys attempted to introduce the results of an investigation against the researcher into the appellate record. NachtLaw considered this to be an improper attempt to influence the Court with evidence that was not properly presented before the court. The court just issued a ruling, siding with NachtLaw, and refusing to allow introduction of the investigation. This development was covered by Retraction Watch and "The Scientist":

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