Saturday, April 5, 2014

Judge's Faux Apologies for Sexist Blog

Beth Burkstrand-Reid (Nebraska) joins us as guest blogger this month.  Her research focuses on reproductive rights and women's health, specifically abortion, birth control and pregnancy-related law. She is the recipient of the 2014 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Status of Women, presented by the UNL Chancellor and the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women . Prior to her legal career, Professor Burkstrand-Reid was a journalist, with her writing appearing in The New York TimesThe Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. She's on Twitter @beth_burkstrand. 

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf, author of the now-infamous “On being a dirty old man and how young women lawyers dress,” has returned to his computer, addressing the controversy his blog generated. In one recent post, titled "The Top Ten Things I Learned from Being a (Fill in Epithet of Choice)," Kopf said:

I despise faux apologies. So, for the uber outraged, hear this: I believe what I wrote. But the Judge makes it clear that his post did have some unintended consequences.  Says Kopf: "Most importantly, the federal trial courts (including the one in which I am privileged to preside) are places where all female lawyers are safe. Thus, I am deeply ashamed that my post generated the following fearful comment from a real trial lawyer that I presume is entirely genuine: "Wow, am I ever glad I don’t have to appear before you. I would be very uncomfortable, having read your post.”

Kopf also discloses that the original "true story" he told about a woman lawyer who "wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest"  was "untrue, although it was essentially accurate. It was an amalgam intended to take separate but similar experiences of mine in the courtroom and to blend them together precisely so I didn't identify anyone." 

 -BBR

 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/gender_law/2014/04/judges-faux-apologies-for-sexist-blog.html

Women lawyers, Workplace | Permalink

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