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Law & Order: SVU – Restitution at Last

Last night NBC’s Law & Order: SVU aired an episode about the Marsh Law Firm’s effort to obtain compensation for victims of child pornography called Downloaded Child. This clip, Restitution at Last, should sound familiar to anyone who has been following our work. They even mention the Violence Against Women Act and joint and several liability. Pop culture, we have arrived!

You can watch last night’s full Law & Order SVU episode, Downloaded Child, here free online (for a limited time). They are even using the Twitter hashtag #StolenChildhood which was the title of the story about our clients written by Emily Bazelon in the New York Times Magazine last year.

After you’ve watched Downloaded Child, read about the real #StolenChildhood, Emily Bazelon’s groundbreaking New York Times Magazine story about our clients and our firm’s efforts to obtain compensation for victims of child pornography.

Is Belle Knox the Madonna of Her Generation or Something Else?

Thirty years ago, before the Internet, Madonna scandalized society with her brash underwear, explicit sexuality, and the song “Like a Virgin.” Madonna’s clothing, performances, and music videos had a huge cultural and social impact on fashion, music and the emerging Internet of its era—the edgy counter-culture youth driven cable television network known as MTV.

Madonna’s 1984 title track, “Like a Virgin”, topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks. It was criticized for promoting premarital sex and undermining family values, and there were efforts to ban the song and the accompanying video.

In July 1985, Penthouse and Playboy published several nude photos of Madonna taken in New York in 1978. Desperate for money, Madonna posed for as little as $25 a session. Their publication caused a media backlash and social criticism, but Madonna remained defiant and unapologetic. Madonna later appeared on the cover of the NY Post saying about the photographs “I’m NOT ashamed.”

Then there was Madonna’s 1992 book that was simply entitled Sex. It was shrink-wrapped and could not be previewed, and was filled with sexually provocative and explicit images. While the book was strongly criticized, it sold 1.5 million copies at $50 each in a matter of days.

Finally, in September 1993, Madonna embarked on The Girlie Show World Tour, in which she dressed as a whip-cracking dominatrix surrounded by topless dancers. Once again the show faced strong negative reaction. In March 1994, Madonna appeared as a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, using profanity that had to be censored and handing Letterman a pair of her underwear and asking him to smell it.

Madonna’s sexually explicit films, music and books, combined with her unabashed appearance on Letterman, led some to conclude that Madonna was so far outside the mainstream that her career and her legacy were effectively over.

They were wrong.

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Supervised Visitation

Supervised Visitation and the Role of Human Service Departments

Supervised child visitation can be indicated in cases involving custody; shared parenting; grandparent custody or visitation; divorce; legal separation; post-decree matters; emergency custody situations; abuse/neglect/dependency cases; concerns about parental abduction; and, reintroduction of a parent after a long absence.

Child visitation can be restricted or denied if a court finds that allowing regular visitation would endanger a child’s physical or emotional health. In numerous situations, courts may order child visitation by stipulating how often visits are to occur, with whom, and whether the visits are to be supervised by a human services employee or some other responsible adult. If there are protection and safety concerns the visits are supervised.

Such supervised visits also provide an opportunity for workers to observe and document parent-child interactions.

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Court Okays Strip Searching Middle School Students

Most people agree that it’s inappropriate for an eighth grader to be drinking alcohol. What happens, however, when middle schoolers get caught? Do you know that your child could be arrested, strip searched, and thrown into jail?

Last month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee) held that this kind of law enforcement activity is acceptable and does not violate the Constitution. I think this is outrageous. Here is why I think the Sixth Circuit got it wrong:
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Stop Campus Sexual Assault

The Problem of Campus Sexual Assault

Recently, a friend and fellow University of Chicago alumna showed me an open letter to university president Robert Zimmer demanding that the university reevaluate its policy regarding campus sexual assaults. After reporting an assault by her then-partner and being illegally offered a mediation session by Dean of Students Susan Art, current fourth-year student Olivia Ortiz filed a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), prompting a larger investigation of the university for possible violations of Title IX. In response, a coalition of alumni wrote and circulated the letter in question. I gladly added my name.

Though I am heartbroken to read about my beloved alma mater’s betrayal of sexual assault victims, I am not surprised. Campus sexual assaults are chillingly common, according to the Department of Education’s 2011 Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Violence Background, Summary, and Fast Facts (found on Marsh Law Firm’s roundup of Title IX resources):

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