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    12.20.18 Professor Minna Kotkin Appears on CBS News to Discuss Harvey Weinstein Case
    Minna Kotkin

    Professor Minna Kotkin appeared on CBS News with anchor Dana Tyler to discuss Judge James Burke’s denial to dismiss sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein, allowing the case to go to trial.

    After calling the day’s hearing “a bit of an anticlimax,” Kotkin explained that “the next big thing is going to be a hearing about whether the judge will allow other alleged victims of Mr. Weinstein to testify in court at the trial,” a ruling that made a big difference in the second of the two trials against Bill Cosby. “In the first [Bill Cosby] trial only two women were allowed to testify. In the second trial a number of women were allowed to testify, and many commentators think that’s what made the big difference in getting him convicted.”

    Despite the dismissal, Kotkin believed that the defense team did accomplish its goal of obtaining evidence of ongoing consensual friendly relationships between the complainants and Weinstein. “These women are going to be up for a really rough cross examination when the trial comes,” she said.

    The takeaway for law students, Kotkin said, is that they need to advise their clients who are alleging sexual harassment or assault to protect themselves in a number of ways—by going to the human resources department, taking notes, and amassing evidence. “They can’t remain silent,” she said. “We’ve seen how all these women in the Weinstein situation have remained silent for so many years. That’s been a real problem. It’s important to come forward with your complaints, to keep records, to make sure you use the remedies that are available in the workplace.”

    Minna Kotkin is the director of the Employment Law Clinic and teaches New York Civil Practice. She has taught civil procedure, administrative law, civil rights law, and interviewing and counseling. She has written and lectured extensively on issues of employment discrimination and clinical legal education. She has served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Litigation and Section on Clinical Legal Education. She currently serves on the board of directors of Disability Advocates, Inc. and the United State District Court, Eastern District of New York Litigation Fund.

    Watch the full interview here