Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Project

   A few days ago, I alluded to a personal project that has been keeping me pretty busy lately. A few words on the project follow:

   Over the last couple of weeks, I have been researching the laws concerning sexual harassment in Massachusetts. The idea was inspired by a case I worked on last spring. The upshot of what I have found is a little unsettling: the Massachusetts state sexual harassment laws present very real difficulties for certain classes of plaintiffs in seeking relief. This concern does not affect all sexual harassment plaintiffs, or even anything approaching a majority, but it does affect a discrete (and widespread) group of potential claimants.

   Since the research is still in the early stages, I really don't want to say much more about it (especially since I set out on this project in the hopes of having the end result published). (Okay, I'm dying to share it, but prudence dictates that I exercise a measure of restraint.) But, I can say a few very general things at the outset.

   These laws pose difficulties for certain plaintiffs, who run substantial risks of having their claims thrown out of court. This is largely due to a series of laws that were cobbled together to form what today passes for statutory regulation of this kind of misconduct. Due to the relative recency of the current law's passage, and perhaps to the real danger that some of these plaintiffs will have claims dismissed well before reaching trial, there is little (if anything) written on this topic and there have been no state appellate court cases (and, hence, no reported precedents) addressing the exact point of concern undergirding my project.

   I still have a long way to go, but I hope to start writing the first draft soon. I'll keep you posted as things move along.


Anonymous ks said...

You've piqued my curiosity and this has been on my mind since I read it yesterday. I've narrowed the class of plaintiffs down to two groups that I think fit your description of "discrete (and widespread)." I won't mention them and possibly ruin your efforts, but I'll be anxious to see if my guess is right. Keep us posted.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

Drop me an e-mail at bostonianexile@gmail.com with your guesses, and I will let you know how close you are.

11:26 PM  

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