2006 Archive

Students Weigh-in on California Supreme Court Case of Sexual Harassment

Two Boalt 3Ls--Chrissy Sohl and Michael Bhargava--presented differing views on the California Supreme Court case Amaani Lyle v. Warner Bros. Inc., which addresses sexual harassment issues in the offices of the TV series "Friends." The court heard arguments on February 14 to decide whether writers' sexually explicit banter while they developed story ideas for the sitcom amounted to constitutionally protected free speech or might be considered sexual harassment of Lyle, a female writers' assistant.

The students' op-ed pieces appeared in the Forum section of the Los Angeles Daily Journal on March 1. Sohl writes, "I believe the Supreme Court will hold for Lyle that triable issues of material fact exist, and affirm the court of appeal's finding that Warner Bros. should not have been granted summary judgment." However, Bhargava believes that Lyle's claim "can succeed only by stretching sexual harassment law so far that it violates constitutional guarantees of free speech."