Paul L. Caron

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Former George Mason Law Prof Files $108M Lawsuit Against Former Students Accusing Him Of Sexual Misconduct, Former GMU Law Professor Files $108M Lawsuit Against Women Accusing Him of Sexual Misconduct:

WrightA $108 million lawsuit has been filed against two women who came forward last week accusing now-former George Mason University law professor Joshua D. Wright of sexual misconduct.

Several women, most of whom received their J.D. degrees from George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, spoke out in a Law360 article published on Aug. 14 ['I Suffered Silently': Ex-Law Prof Allegedly Preyed On Students], a Daily Mail article published on Aug. 15 [George Mason University Law Professor Joshua D. Wright Is Accused of Sexual Misconduct and Abuse of Power by Female Students], and on social media, accusing Wright of acting inappropriately, abusing his power and demanding sexual favors.

Wright filed suit in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Virginia, on Thursday against Elyse Dorsey, who graduated from GMU Law and is now a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, and Angela Landry, who graduated from GMU Law in 2012, and is now an attorney with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Wright’s complaint refers to the defendants as “scorned, former lovers” who “have embarked on a vendetta to destroy his reputation, portray themselves as #metoo victims, and make a fortune in the process.” ...

According to the Daily Mail article, Dorsey alleged that, while working as one of Wright’s research assistants in law school, Wright initiated an inappropriate sexual relationship with her during what was purported to be a work trip to California. In his complaint, however, Wright calls the trip “a romantic getaway for two lovers to spend time in wine country.”

He alleges that he and Dorsey started a romantic relationship while they were both married, which lasted for 11 years, “sometimes in a romantic capacity and sometimes not, but always as close friends and colleagues,” according to the complaint.

Near the end of 2021, Dorsey filed a complaint with GMU Law against Wright alleging violations of Title IX, which Wright claims was done as a result of him ending the off-and-on romantic relationship with her in October 2021, according to the complaint.

The complaint also alleges that Landry had engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with Wright that began at some point between 2009 and 2012, which continued into 2016. ...

Other women who have come forward with allegations against Wright include Christa J. Laser, a professor at Cleveland State University College of Law, and Brandy Wagstaff, an adjunct professor at GMU Law.

Laser graduated from The George Washington University Law School in 2011 but applied for a job at GMU in 2021, according to the Daily Mail’s article. She posted about the lawsuit on X, formerly Twitter.

Laser wrote on X that after meeting with Wright about the job, he followed up with an email asking her on a date. ...

Wright’s lawyers, Lindsay McKasson and Jason Greaves, partners at Binnall Law Group, did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

Bloomberg Law, Ex-FTC Official Accused of Sexual Misconduct Sues for Defamation:

“Every relationship I have ever been in was 100% mutual and consensual, some in question spanning several years and one even more than decade,” Wright said in a statement Friday through his counsel, Lindsay McKasson of Binnall Law Group. “I am fully accountable for the decisions I made as an unfaithful husband. I have learned from these mistakes and will always feel remorse for my ex-wife and my family as I hurt those I care for and love.”

Irina D. Manta (Hofstra), "Strangers on the Internet" Podcast Ep. 39: Prof. Christa Laser on Her #metoolaw Sexual Harassment Allegations:

In this exclusive interview, Prof. Laser tells the full story for the first time about her allegations against ex-GMU prof Joshua Wright. ...

Christa and I discuss the possible professional repercussions against female "troublemakers" who call out rule- and law-breaking at their institutions. We also analyze how and why legal academia breeds predatory and discriminatory behavior, how allies can help, and what reform might look like in light of this #metoo moment.

Irina D. Manta (Hofstra), "Strangers on the Internet" Podcast Ep. 40: Prof. Brandy Wagstaff on Josh Wright Sexual Misconduct Allegations:

GMU adjunct professor Brandy Wagstaff opens up in this exclusive interview about her alleged sexual relationship with Josh during her time as his student and research assistant. She also narrates the allegations made against Josh to her by her students over the years and her efforts to motivate the law school to act.

Brandy and I discuss the culture of GMU Law and the reforms that she would like to see. Furthermore, Brandy responds to Josh's defamation lawsuit against two other alleged victims that became public shortly before recording, and she explains her own decision to come forward despite the possible risks.

Note: According to a statement printed in the media by Lindsay McKasson, counsel to Joshua Wright at Binall Law Group "all allegations of sexual misconduct are false," "These false allegations are being made public after unsuccessfully demanding millions of dollars behind closed doors," and "We look forward to total vindication in court." According to a tweet by Prof. Christa Laser, "I don't appreciate that his attorney falsely suggests we are all lying (1/2 was in writing!) & want $ (this is a lie–I only want him gone)."

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