McAllister Olivarius in the news

Revenge pornography -- also termed image-based sexual abuse -- is a growing problem that hurts women and girls especially. Because inadequate laws lag far behind rapid technological developments and fail to address the often devastating consequences, it is crucial for survivors to have access to new ways to minimize damage and pursue justice. For this reason, trans-Atlantic law firm McAllister Olivarius, a leader in this emerging area of law, has developed an innovative web-based service, revengepornlawyers.com, that provides immediate self-help solutions for survivors and makes legal advice more accessible to them too. The site offers two tracks to survivors. One is a “DIY” section that explains the legal landscape and provides information on steps that survivors can take themselves to reduce harm and pursue the perpetrator. It includes ‘how-to’ guides on preserving evidence, strengthening cybersecurity protection, and contacting websites and social media platforms to request the removal of offending content. The other track offers access to the firm’s lawyers for a low-cost (£250) consultation, using an innovative online questionnaire that allows survivors to explain their case effectively. The process has been designed to help clients describe their situation in their own terms, allowing the legal staff to zero in quickly on the available options. The next step is a phone consultation to discuss possible courses of action. This approach gives survivors control over when and how they share their stories and ensures that consultations are solutions-based.

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““They reached out to us on Friday. We are willing to negotiate with UIUC, but we have not yet agreed upon the terms of a tolling agreement, which would extend our time limit for filing suit,” said Alison Wilkinson, an attorney with the New York-based law firm that filed the suit.

A tolling agreement would waive the statute of limitations, allowing the plaintiffs to sue the university after the usual deadline.

“If we do not get a tolling agreement in place before Friday, we will be filing on Friday,” Wilkinson said.”

Read the rest of the article here.

“Yale has been an organizing principle of my life for 46 of my 64 years. I graduated from Yale College, the School of Management and the Law School. I met my husband at Yale, our three children are Yalies and at last count, my law firm has employed 63 Yalies. I have sued Yale too, several times: first as an undergraduate plaintiff in Alexander v. Yale, the 1977 case that first established that it was against the law for a publicly funded university not to have a system to address sexual harassment, and more recently as a lawyer representing sexual harassment victims. I was a poor kid from New Jersey for whom Yale opened the doors to a life I have felt lucky to lead. I am immensely grateful to it for all that it taught me — including that self-criticism is a foundation for self-improvement.”

Read the rest of Dr. Olivarius’ op-ed here.

Barrister Georgina Calvert-Lee talks to the BBC File on Four about how universities systematically disadvantages students who file complaints of sexual harassment. McO clients from Warwick University and Cambridge University are interviewed about their experiences being treated like they were on trial, faced threats of harassment charges of their own if even discussing the reason for their complaints and how this lead them to seek legal action.

Listen to the whole programme here.

Read more about the McO case Warwick Rape Chat case here.

Read more about Danielle’s case against Cambridge University here.

“The most severe accusations involve Xingjian Sun, who said she began a sexual relationship with Xu when she was a 19-year-old freshman at U. of I. in 2013. Xu was 45 at the time. Sun alleged she felt pressured to submit to Xu’s advances, which the lawsuit claims ultimately led to a sexual assault. The two-year relationship became verbally and physically abusive, eventually leading to two suicide attempts, she alleges in the suit. Sun graduated from U. of I. in 2016. She now lives in New York. Her attorney, Alison Wilkinson, said Sun chose to be identified in the lawsuit rather than file anonymously.

“I think that she was done being bullied by him,” Wilkinson said. “This is a very big step for her to come forward and no longer be a victim but to be a survivor and a fighter.”

Read the rest of the article here.

One of our plaintiffs speaks exclusively to CBS News about the abuse she endured:

"I didn't seriously date anyone before him. I didn't know what was love."

Oliver asked, "How many times did he rape you?"

"It's too much, I don't remember," Sun replied. "It's too traumatizing. but I would say none of the sex, especially after the fight, was consensual."

The fights were frequent, she said, and in one instance, she thought she would die. On one occasion, Sun said Xu tried to run her over. "He was after me, and he went to the parking lot and started his car driving after me trying to crash me in the street," Sun said. "I was so scared, and I was actually surprised that someone actually just try to kill me in public."

Oliver asked, "How many times did you report professor Xu to the university?"

"I believe eventually three times," Sun said. "I felt like they wanted to sweep it under the rug, that's for sure."

Read the rest of the article and see the whole segment here

“Zhao said she joined the lawsuit to prevent Xu — or professors like him — from abusing their power in the future.

“I feel that Gary Xu, if he stays in academia or anywhere, he would be a potential harm to junior faculty or whoever works as a subordinate for him,” Zhao said. “So as I have experienced this, I don’t want that to happen anymore anywhere.”

She also hopes this lawsuit improves academia overall.

“If I want to stay in academia, I’ll become a female international junior colleague who has little leverage,” she said. “And I want the surroundings to be better, healthier, before I can even join academia and feel safe, not having what was done to me happen again when I become a junior colleague.”

Read the rest of the article here.

“Three people have filed a lawsuit against disgraced Chinese curator Xú Gāng 徐钢, the former professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC), who was accused of sexual misconduct stretching back decades in a series of damning revelations that came to light last year.

In a lawsuit filed on September 10 in Illinois, Xingjian Sun, Xing Zhao, and Ao Wang accused Xu of engaging in “a pattern of sexual abuse and labor trafficking of Chinese students” when he served as head of the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department at the university.

According to the complaint published by law firm McAllister Olivarius on its website, before Xu resigned in 2018 in the wake of sex scandals, he abused his power and authority over the course of many years during his teaching career.”

Read the rest of the article here.

““We think that Gary Xu is a very dangerous man. Our goal is to prevent him from being able to harm other women and students,” said Alison Wilkinson, an attorney with New York-based law firm McAllister Olivarius. “Our secondary goal is to invoke some systemic change at the University of Illinois and at other universities, where students can be taken advantage of by professors without any oversight to prevent that from happening.”

“She was new to the country, isolated and so young,” the lawsuit says. “She was the perfect target for him.”The woman is named in the court filing, but News-Gazette Media has chosen not to publish her identity in accordance with its policy not to identify alleged rape victims.

She was taking an independent study course with him, and they started dating that fall, despite Xu’s marriage and two children. (He divorced his wife last year, according to court records.) Xu first was violent with her that November, pushing her against a wall when she mentioned her ex-boyfriend. Shortly after that, the woman attempted suicide, and Xu insisted she skip eight therapy sessions at the UI she was supposed to attend.Not long after that, Xu showed up to the woman’s apartment and raped her violently. But the relationship continued, with Xu paying her rent and giving her other cash gifts, the lawsuit says, “with the unstated quid pro quo that she would sexually service him whenever he chose.” Xu got the woman pregnant in early 2014 and then forced her to get an abortion, scheduling an appointment for her without her knowledge and giving her $400 in cash to do so.”

Read the rest of article here, detailing the entirety of our claims against Xu.