Martin v. Howard University


Law Offices of Dawn V. Martin
Martin v. Howard University

The National Association of Women Lawyers (“NAWL”) filed an Amicus Brief (friend of the court) in
support of Ms. Martin. NAWL’s Brief outlines the issues it believes will affect the rights and safety of
women at work. NAWL is the leading national voluntary organization devoted to the interests of women
lawyers and women’s rights. NAWL has historically served as an educational forum and an active voice
for the concerns of women in the legal profession. See also relevant district court decisions.

On March 17, 2008, a three-judge Panel of :the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
(Judges Edwards, Henderson and Williams), heard oral argument in the appeal in the case. Ms. Martin
told the Panel:
“The precedent set by this Court will determine how employers and educational institutions will respond
to stalking and other types of workplace and campus violence – particularly when it is directed against
women. If a woman can be stalked in her workplace, and fired for asking her employer to take
reasonable steps to keep him out of the workplace, then women will be forced to choose between their
safety and their livelihood – a Hobson’s choice.”

Less than two weeks later, the Panel issued a March 31, 2008 unpublished decision.(No individual judge
was credited with authoring the decision.) This decision, disturbingly, allows an employer to fire a
woman for being stalked — even here, where the harasser is a delusional, serial stalker of African-
American women professors, allowed to roam freely through her workplace — a law school campus of a
national University touted for its civil rights legacy. See April 30, 2008 Press Release. Panel squarely
placed women in the “Hobson’s choice” position warned by Ms. Martin, forcing them to choose between
their jobs and their safety, if they are stalked at work.

Ms. Martin has filed a Petition for Rehearing, En Banc, asking the full court to review the Panel’s
decision. She will file a petition for review by the United States Supreme Court, if the March 31, 2008 is
not vacated/reversed. She seeks the support of Women’s and Civil Rights Advocacy Groups to
support a petition for review by the U.S. Supreme Court and to file a joint Amicus Brief at that