An article in the New York Times on February 9, 2017, “Stanford drops lawyer who advised students in sexual assault cases,” quotes RBGG’s Michael Bien about the dismissal of a lawyer, Crystal Riggins, from a panel of six lawyers retained by Stanford University to provide legal representation to students in the Title 9 process – with a limit of 9 hours paid by Stanford. Riggins was dropped from the panel after publicly characterizing Stanford’s internal process for handling complaints as being too favorable to those accused of sexual assault.
According to the Times: “Michael W. Bien, a San Francisco-based lawyer, has guided several accusers through the sexual assault proceedings at Stanford. Bien, too, criticized Stanford’s unanimous-decision standard, saying it was ‘virtually impossible’ to get a favorable decision. He is not on the list of Stanford’s sponsored lawyers and said the university was running the risk of eroding the lawyers’ credibility by retaliating against dissenting opinions, as it appears Stanford did by removing Riggins from the panel. The university should not be able to regulate what the sponsored lawyers say, or how they handle their clients, Bien said. ‘It makes the panel look like a sham.'”
RBGG’s Michael Bien and Jenny Yelin have represented a number of women in legal actions and Title IX administrative proceedings relating to campus sexual assaults at Stanford and other colleges and universities.