ERA & CWLC advocate for survivors’ rights before CA Supreme Court

July 15. 2021

For Immediate Release
Jul 15, 2021

Media Contact
Jess Eagle
[email protected]

July 15, 2021 – Los Angeles.  Equal Rights Advocates and the California Women’s Law Center, represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, earlier this month filed an important amicus brief in support of the University of Southern California before the California Supreme Court in Boermeester v. Carry.  The issue before the Court is whether schools must allow cross examination of student victims of gender-based violence by the students facing expulsion. In our amicus brief, ERA and CWLC explain that classrooms should not be turned into courtrooms and “a school disciplinary proceeding can be fair without criminal trial procedures such as cross-examination.”

California law currently imposes onerous procedural requirements in university disciplinary proceedings concerning gender-based violence, including the opportunity for accused students to conduct live cross-examination. But similar procedures are not required in other types of school disciplinary proceedings.  This results in a two-track disciplinary system that is separate and unequal, “built upon the false stereotype that women and girls who report their harassment, assault, abuse, or rape are lying.”

We also explain how these onerous procedures further harm the very victims who are supposed to be protected by federal and California law.  In the amicus brief, three survivors of gender-based violence who went through the Title IX process tell their powerful stories.  As the survivors explain, cross-examination and a live hearing before their assailants results in retraumatization that oftentimes is on par with or worse than the attack itself.

Additionally, as the amicus brief explains, the “lofty rhetoric about the truth-finding ability of cross-examination” is not supported by research, and Title IX procedures akin to a full criminal trial have been soundly rejected by experts.  Thus, imposing cross examination in matters involving intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other gender-based abuse has a long-term, detrimental impact on survivors, with no meaningful benefit to the truth-seeking process.

CWLC, ERA, and Gibson Dunn are proud to advocate for the rights and protections of survivors of gender-based violence.  View the amicus brief here.

Stay Connected & Take Action

Legal Advice & Resources / Consejos y Recursos legales

Know Your Rights

Learn what your rights are so you can navigate your situation and make the best decision for you.

Your Rights at Work
Your Rights at School

Contact Us

We may be able to provide free legal help for the following issues at California schools: gender and LGBTQI+ discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

Apply for Legal Help

Learn More

We have trained legal advocates and lawyers on staff to guide you through your legal issue.

Conozca Sus Derechos

Aprende sus derechos para que puedas navegar su situación y tomar la mejor decisión para ti.

Sus Derechos en el Trabajo


Posible que podamos proveer ayuda legal por gratis por los siguientes problemas en el trabajo o la escuela: discriminación basado en el género o por LGBTQI+, acoso sexual, asalto sexual, y discriminación basado en el embarazo o por ser padre/madre.


Nuestro servicio de asesoramiento por teléfono está cerrado por ahora

En este momento, no estamos recibiendo solicitudes dejadas por un recado de teléfono. Sin embargo, usted puede someter una solicitud para una consulta por la manera de hacer clic en el links "Empleo" o "Educación."