Denver radio personality named David Mueller. At issue is a brief encounter in June 2013. Mueller and his girlfriend took a picture with Swift after a concert. Swift said that Mueller groped her by putting his hand on her behind.
.. Incredibly — and in spite of the awkward pictorial evidence — Mueller sued Swift, attempting to hold her responsible for his lost salary and other business opportunities. Rather than settle the case quietly, Swift did something unusual. She countersued — asking for only $1 in damages — and demanded a jury trial.
.. Swift is showing America — in the most public way possible — that when it comes to adjudicating claims of sexual assault, the choice isn’t a binary one between criminal prosecution and campus kangaroo courts. There’s a third option: civil litigation.
.. Accused students are often denied any substantial legal assistance, access to witnesses, full information about the charges against them, the power to conduct legal discovery, and the ability to effectively question their accusers.
.. completely ignore standard rules of evidence.
.. Civil litigation requires plaintiffs to prove their case only by a “preponderance of the evidence.” Moreover, a plaintiff runs her own case. She can choose to file, she can choose her lawyers, and she can choose to settle. Courts also have far more power than campus tribunals. Unlike a campus court, they can issue injunctions and order defendants to pay compensatory and monetary damages.
.. At the same time, however, the accused enjoys the full array of due-process rights. He can use a lawyer. He has a right to see the evidence against him, a right to question witnesses, and a right confront his accuser. Oh, and the case goes before an impartial judge and a jury of his peers, not an ideologically stacked tribunal of social-justice warriors. The civil-litigation system corrects all the due-process flaws of campus kangaroo courts while also granting the accuser far more power to seek justice for wrongdoing.
.. when the court case is over, the university could take action based on the results — results obtained through the use of full and appropriate due process.
.. There’s simply no way to easily, cheaply, and justly adjudicate sexual-misconduct claims. And there’s certainly no way to painlessly try these cases. It took bravery for Swift to make her claims. But bravery can be contagious ..