Every day we are bombarded with public accusations. Not all of them are true. Some of them are. People who make claims should be taken seriously. But they should not automatically be believed. Last Friday, we filed suit against the University of Michigan on behalf of a woman professor who was falsely accused of sexual harassment by three graduate students. They also falsely accused her of another ridiculous allegation: that she kept a gun in her office. Even after the police searched the office and found that accusation to be false, the University kept an investigation going for a year.
That she was cleared of sex harassment did not end things. The University decided to punish her for unspecified decisions in her interactions with students that they claim violate some undefined policy. They stripped her of the right to take on new students.
In an age of accusations, please remember that due process matters. And while the news may be filled with powerful men being taken down, history shows that the loss of due process tends to harm those who are weakest.
Ryan Seacrest op-ed: misconduct allegations ‘gut-wrenching’ – Ryan Seacrest article