Legal Momentum News Brief—Week of June 11, 2018

June 15, 2018

500 Business Leaders Gather for 2018 Aiming High Awards 

The glamorous vaulted space at Cipriani 42nd Street was abuzz with feminists on Thursday, June 7 as several hundred guests gathered for a luncheon celebrating the three 2018 Aiming High Award honorees, Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte; Sari Granat, EVP and General Counsel, IHS Markit; and Man of Distinction Bill Ford, CEO of General Atlantic.

3 Aiming High 2018 honorees with Carol Moody 

Photo, L-R: Cathy Engelbert, Legal Momentum President and CEO Carol Baldwin Moody, Sari Granat, Bill Ford

The program began with an overview of Aiming High’s history by founder Karen Kaplowitz, followed by highlights of Legal Momentum’s mission and recent achievements by Legal Momentum President and CEO Carol Baldwin Moody. Leah Johnson’s moving tribute to the late Lisa Garcia Quiroz, a 2017 Aiming High honoree, followed. The award presentations featured inspiring words from each honoree.

“It is the time that my position, and other female leaders, are the norm—not the novelty. Women must champion one another," said Cathy Engelbert.

Sari Granat pointed out, "Men apply for jobs when they're 60 percent qualified, and women need to feel 100 percent qualified to apply. I hope that all of you in this room feel the responsibility to find those in your network who have potential."

"Legal Momentum's commitment to empowering women through the law is inspiring to us all,” said Bill Ford, adding that a group of more than 400 CEOs has now signed a pledge of commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Legal Momentum Presents “Double Trouble” at NCVLI

Legal Momentum’s Deputy Legal Director and Senior Attorney Jennifer Becker presented a breakout session at the annual National Crime Victims Law Institute in Portland, Oregon, a conference that gathered 400 lawyers, advocates, and allied professionals who work with victims as they navigate justice systems. Jennifer’s presentation, “Double Trouble: Litigation and Advocacy Strategies for Sexual Assault Victims Simultaneously Navigating Criminal and Civil/Campus Proceedings” discussed the prevalence of sexual assault victims needing to simultaneously navigate more than one systemic response and how parallel criminal justice and campus responses to sexual assault affect one another. She offered strategies for both civil attorneys and victim advocates to help sexual assault victims navigate both systems simultaneously and to bridge communication between the parallel systems for a more streamlined and trauma-informed response. 

Legal Momentum Signs On to Amicus Briefs in Three Cases

Legal Momentum continues its program of joining amicus briefs to advocate in the courts on key issues related to women’s rights. Legal Momentum has signed on to three important cases about online “revenge porn” harassment, access to reproductive healthcare, and age and gender discrimination in employment.

Herrick v. Grindr, LLC concerns cyber-harassment. Mr. Herrick’s ex-boyfriend created false user profiles on the gay dating site Grindr in Mr. Herrick’s name and used them to stalk and harass Mr. Herrick. Grindr failed to protect Mr. Herrick from this abuse and evoked the Communications Decency Act Section 230 as a defense against liability. The amicus brief educates the court about the dynamics and harms of cyber-sexual harassment.

In Jock v. Sterling, the brief asserts the rights of female employees to pursue meaningful class action remedies for age and gender-based employment discrimination, even when they are subject to mandatory arbitration.

State of California v. Azar centers on religious exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s provisions for employer-provided contraceptive coverage. A strong set of amici joined the Center for Reproductive Rights in arguing for exacting judicial scrutiny of laws that discriminate against people who seek to exercise a fundamental right, and against women, particularly low-income women of color. 

Legal Momentum Welcomes Summer Interns

Legal Momentum welcomes six young women as Summer Interns, who will be helping advance Legal Momentum’s mission of equal rights for all women and girls. Four law students, Olivia Barket, Kayana Cobb, Olivia Smith, and Shaina Weisbrot, and two undergraduates, Akanksha Ray and Saba Sakhi, are currently working in Legal Momentum’s offices. Our legal interns will be spending their summer researching defamation laws in response to #MeToo. They will also be advocating for the elimination of the subminimum wage for tipped workers, surveying court decisions on sexual harassment at universities under Title IX and Title VII, and exploring sexual harassment training options. They are excited to help Legal Momentum and to gain insight into women's policy advocacy this summer.

Olivia Barket hails from the University of Miami Law School, where she is a Miami Public Interest Scholar. "I'm excited to be at Legal Momentum to help protect women's rights in the workplace, and more broadly, to ensure that all women feel safe in all areas of their everyday lives," she says. Kayana Cobb is a student at Cardozo Law School and secretary of its Women’s Law Initiative. Olivia Smith is a Graduate Fellow at CUNY Law School. Shaina Weisbrot is also a student at CUNY Law School, as well as holding a master’s degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from New York University. Akanksha Ray is a rising junior at Duke University where she is studying foreign policy and economic development and is a part of The Moxie Project, a women’s leadership program. Saba Sakhi is a rising senior at CUNY Hunter College, where she is studying psychology and legal studies and is part of the JFEW Eleanor Roosevelt Scholars Program.