Ms. Martin has personally experienced employment discrimination and injustice in the courts -- not just
for her clients, but for herself, as a plaintiff, in Martin v. Howard University, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
19516 (D.C. 1999); 81 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 964; 15 BNA IER CAS 1587.
As discussed in Ms. Martin's January 3, 2012 Press Release, the Supreme Court was scheduled to
conference the case on January 13, 2012, but because of the number of cases conferenced for that day,
numerous cases, including Martin, are scheduled to be decided on January 16th -17th. This case is
particularly appropriate to be heard during January, which is National Stalking Awareness Month. The
high Court will decide whether to grant Ms. Martin's Petition for Certiorari (see also Appendix, with
Exhibits), asking the high Court to hear reverse the lower courts' rulings that allow an employer to fire,
or otherwise retaliate or discriminate against, a woman who is stalked in her workplace -- even if she is
stalked by a stranger who has targets only women precisely because they are women in that particular
profession and/or workplace. The prestigious SCOTUSblog, monitoring Supreme Court cases, has
identified Martin as a case that has a "reasonable chance" of being granted certiorari. See http://www.
scotusblog.com/2012/01/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-11312/. On November 16, 2011, The
National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation filed an Amicus Curiae (friend of the Court) Brief
urging the high Court to hear the case. Howard opposed the Petition to hear the case and Ms. Martin
filed a Reply Brief, addressing Howard's objections. Additional women's advocacy groups who wish to
voice support should contact NOW's President, Terry O'Neill and Ms. Martin.
As a law professor at Howard University, Prof. Martin was harassed, in the law school building at
Howard University, by a delusional, homeless, serial stalker of African-American female professors.
Howard allowed the stalker, Leonard Harrison, to freely roam the law school halls and offices, despite its
own Campus Security policies and procedures requiring such a stalker to be banned -- and also despite
the instruction of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) if Harrison returned so that he could
be arrested for stalking.
It was later learned that Harrison was searching for the physical embodiment of his "fantasy," or ideal
"wife" --modeled after a fictional female character, Geneva Crenshaw, in a book, And We are not Saved,
written by the renowned Professor Derrick Bell. Harrison pursued women who fit the "profile" of the
fictitious Geneva Crenshaw. Instead of following its own security procedures to ban the stalker from
entering the law school buildings, Howard responded to Prof. Martin’s requests for protection by
refusing to renew her teaching contract. Prof. Martin sued Howard for sexual harassment/hostile work
environment and retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex/gender, as well as race, color, ethnic
origin and religion.
In 1999, the U.S.District Court for the District of Columbia set precedent in Martin v. Howard
University, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19516; 81 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 964; 15 BNA IER CAS 1587,
adopting the EEOC Regulation 29 CFR 1604.11(e). The Court held that an employer can be held liable
for the sexual harassment of an employee, by a non-employee, if the employer knew or should have
known of the harassment and failed to take reasonable steps to stop it. In 2006, after a trial, the jury
agreed with Prof. Martin that Harrison’s harassment did create a “hostile work environment” for her and
that Howard did not take reasonable steps to end it; yet, the jury verdict was for Howard. With
insufficient legal instruction from the Court, the confused jurors found that the harassment was not
based on sex; Prof. Martin’s complaints were not therefore not “protected activity” under Title VII. The
Supreme Court initially declined to review Martin, but nine days later, it decided Crawford v. Nashville.
Crawford clarified that “protected activity” under Title VII is a question of law for the Court, not a
factual question for a jury.
Martin is the first case to present the issue of "gender profiling" in the employment context -- or the
"working while female" factor. The National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National
Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), joined by additional women’s and victims’ advocacy groups,
filed an Amicus Curiae Brief in this case, stressing the need to protect stalking victims from employer
Ms. Martin was a guest on "Good Morning America," on ABC (Ch. 7), August 5, 2010, interviewed by
reporter Erin Andrews, who was also a victim of stalking. See http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/erin-
WATCH a more detailed documentary about this case, on the Insider Exclusive website, with
producer/host Steve Murphy, below.
To post comments about the documentary and/or the case, see the 10 minute version of this
documentary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxyzwRGYIgA&feature=channel_page and http:
Ms. Martin was interviewed by Sky Radio, as part of its "Salute to Women in Leadership," summary in
Time Magazine, Global Edition, December 15, 2008. Hear her interview at http://www.skyradionet.
com/americanbiz.cfm. The interview was aired on American Airlines from December 16, 2008 through
January 31, 2009. Coincidentally, January was National Stalking Awareness Month; her interview was
particularly timely, then, since she is discussing a workplace stalking case -- her own litigation against
Howard University Law School, where she was a law professor.
Ms. Martin also discusses the case on ABC News Radio's "The Law Business Insider" which recognized
her as one of "America's Premier Lawyers." Hear her interview at http://behindtheheadlines.tv/index.
The entire Trial Court record, prior to the appeal, is uploaded as the Joint Appendix to the Appellate Brief.
See Table of Contents for Joint Appendix. The Joint Appendix, pages 10,784-13,473, includes the
transcript of the entire trial.
Because of the long history of this case, the information has been divided into subtopics, which may be
accessed by clicking the appropriate link.
The Amicus Curiae Brief filed by the National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation in the U.S
Supreme Court, on November 16, 2011
2012 STATUS OF CASE
HOWARD'S CONTINUED ANTI-CIVIL RIGHTS COURT FILINGS AND REFUSAL TO
ADDRESS STALKING, SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SAFETY ON CAMPUS
MEDIA COVERAGE OF CASE
THE BIZARRE FACTS OF STALKING AND EMPLOYER RETALIATION, Stalked by a
Delusional, Serial Campus Stalker at Howard University Law School
THE STATUTORY AND COMMON LAW CLAIMS AGAINST HOWARD UNIVERSITY
THE JURY VERDICT
|Law Offices of Dawn V. Martin, LLC
Martin v. Howard University
Prof. Martin is
pictured with some
of her students at
Howard Law School
in 1998. More than
and wrote letters of
protest to then Dean
Howard's refusal to
renew Prof. Martin's
Click on icons below
to hear 1999 radio
Ambrose Lane Show, June 23, 1999, both on
Burnie McCain Show, May 5, 1999. Howard's
own security officer, Officer Amos Sirleaf, called
in show to Prof. Martin, risking his job to do so.