Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky, P.C. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
764 N.E.2d 825 (2002)
The law firm of Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky, P.C. (Messing) (plaintiff) filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (Commission) against President and Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard) (defendant), on behalf of its client Kathleen Stanford, a sergeant with the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD). The complaint alleged that the HUPD and its police chief, Francis Riley, discriminated against Stanford on the basis of gender and retaliated against her for previous discrimination complaints she made against the department. As part of its investigation, Messing communicated ex parte with five HUPD employees who were not involved in the alleged discrimination of Stanford. Harvard filed a motion to sanction Messing for the ex parte contact. The Commission found that Messing’s contacts with the HUPD employees violated Rule 4.2 of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct, but did not issue sanctions. Thereafter, Messing removed the case to superior court. Harvard again filed a motion seeking sanctions for Messing’s ex parte communications. The superior court judge found Messing had violated Rule 4.2, issued sanctions, prohibited the firm from using any information collected from its ex parte communications, and awarded attorneys’ fees. Messing appealed. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cowin, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 168,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.