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Shanlon Wu

Abacus_ “Small Enough to Jail” shanlon wu dc student defense defending college students

Abacus: “Small Enough to Jail”

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The film Abacus: Small Enough to Jail disturbed me in a number of ways.  As a Chinese American, it pained me to see immigrants like my own parents being prosecuted unfairly.  And as a former prosecutor turned defense counsel, it reminded me of the inequities inherent in our criminal justice system. Nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Documentary Feature, Abacus tells the story of the five-year battle fought by the Chinese American Sung family against the prosecution of their family owned bank in Chinatown, New York City.  In the aftermath of the financial crisis caused by mortgage defaults in 2008, this small family-owned community bank became the only bank in the United States which was criminally charged.   That’s right.  The only one.   The giant corporate banks that had cost Fannie Mae and taxpayers trillions of dollars in losses were not prosecuted.  But this one small...
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What to do if you've been accused of sexual assault - on or off campus _ shanlon wu

What to do if you’ve been accused of sexual assault – on or off campus

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The number one rule if you are accused of sexual assault on or campus is: do not communicate with whoever is accusing you. It’s natural inclination to want to make the situation better or explain yourself to the accuser, but communication can be construed as retaliation or further misconduct. Remember, communication is not just by speaking, calling, or texting. It also includes social media messaging such as through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram. Even if you want to say some kind words or apologize, you need to avoid any communication. If you have been accused of sexual assault on or off campus, contacting an experienced student defense attorney can help make sure your side of the story gets told. Contact DC Student Defense today! VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION   Hi, I'm Shanlon Wu with DC Student Defense. If you are accused of a sexual assault on campus or off-campus, the most important...
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The National Security Generation_ What Have We Learned Since Pearl Harbor_ Shanlon Wu

The National Security Generation: What Have We Learned Since Pearl Harbor?

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After dropping off my daughter at school this morning, I heard the radio station play the excerpt of F.D.R.’s address to Congress on December 7,1941.  Listening to that aristocratic nasally alliteration intoning about a day that “shall live in infamy,” made me think about how our generation reacted to the attacks on 9/11.  Would history judge Guantanamo Bay, the extraordinary renditions, the torture interrogations in the same light as FDR’s imprisonment of American citizens in concentration camps based upon their race? Looking back in time from 2017 to 1941, the use of Executive Order 9066 to imprison tens of thousands of innocent American citizens, depriving them of their homes, businesses, destroying their life, liberty and property seems blatantly wrong.  The nearly half-century it took for the United States to admit error and make reparations to the remaining elderly survivors seems too little and much too late. It’s a no-brainer for...
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Suspend Yuli Gurriel from the World Series

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Yuli Gurriel’s “slant-eye” gesture and racist epithet during the World Series requires immediate suspension.  Gurriel, playing for the Houston Astros, directed his hateful racist gesture and epithet towards an opposing player, Yu Darvish, who was pitching for the L.A. Dodgers. The Houston Astros hastily tried to do damage control by making Gurriel available to reporters after the game. The Astros quickly shut Gurriel up when his remarks made it clear that he fully understood the derogatory nature of his actions and epithet. Gurriel referred to the fact that he had played baseball in Japan and knew (his words” “THEY don’t like that” – referring to his use of a racist epithet for Asians.  The press access was quickly ended. So what should be done? The answer is easy: suspend him.  Now.  Take away his ability to play in the World Series. Why? Because what he did cannot be undone. For...
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Why Cosby Probably Won’t Be Convicted

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The recent criminal trial of Bill Cosby made headlines across the world, and many were shocked to see that jurors were “hopelessly deadlocked” and a mistrial was declared. Cosby was charged with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004, but Constand is only one of more than 60 women who have come forward in recent years and accused Cosby of drugging or assaulting them -- or both. Constand, however, is the only one who is still able to pursue criminal charges because of statutes of limitation, and she said she’s willing to testify again if and when prosecutors bring the Cosby case back to trial. Defense attorneys for Cosby might argue that there’s no point in bringing the case back for a costly and time-consuming trial since there’s likely no new evidence to be presented. But Shan Wu, a former federal prosecutor and highly respected defense attorney in Washington, D.C.,...
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student conduct violations shanlon wu

A Mother and Father’s Day Letter About Student Conduct Violations

By | college student defense | One Comment

  “Is it too late?”   All too often, I get this question from a parent whose college student son or daughter has already been suspended or expelled for a Title IX violation, plagiarism accusation, or other student conduct code or academic honor code violation.  While it might seem obvious that a lawyer is needed if your son or daughter is accused of campus sexual assault or cheating, the reality is both students and families forego getting college student defense legal advice.  Why?  Here are some of the reasons parents and students give for failing to seek legal advice for a university discipline hearing: We Thought the School Would Be Fair Fairness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but consider this:  fair “trials,” “legal proceedings,” and “investigations” are conducted by lawyers, judges (who are lawyers) and professional criminal investigators (police and other law enforcement).  These professionals have…

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Why Title IX Compliance | campus vs criminal sexual assault shanlon wu

Why Title IX Compliance Isn’t Enough: “Those Who Can’t Do … Consult?”

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George Bernard Shaw’s play “Man and Superman” contains the famous line: “Remember: those who can, do; those who can’t teach.”  The same may be said for Title IX consultants who offer training for colleges and universities in how to conduct Title IX campus sexual assault investigations. Title IX investigations should be conducted by Title IX investigators who have been trained by former sexual assault investigators, not consultants who merely instruct how to “comply” with Title IX law and guidance issued by the Department of Education.  Similarly, training for Title IX hearing panels should be conducted by Title IX trainers who are experienced sexual assault investigators.  Investigating a sexual assault is not the same as investigating sexual harassment. The skills and experience needed for Title IX campus sexual assault investigations do overlap with the skills and experience needed for criminal sexual assault investigations.   But the overlap works this way:  …

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Nothing New Under the Sun: Melania Trump & the Art of the Plagiarist

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First Lady Melania Trump got a pass for plagiarizing former First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech because a staffer took the blame. But college students accused of plagiarism seldom get a pass. Graduate students, college students, high school students, professors and journalists all get accused of plagiarism. Unlike the First Lady they lack any staffers to blame, so they suffer the consequences. The consequences can be severe. At many schools, plagiarism results in sanctions ranging from an “F” on a paper to expulsion. Mid-range sanctions may include failing the course and receiving notations on the student’s transcript. Such notations range from temporary ones to permanent ones and can follow a student when they seek transfer, graduate school admission, security clearances and employment. Even worse, applications of all types often ask if the applicant has ever merely been the subject of or accused of any academic honor code violation. For professional academics…

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sexual assault survivors george washington university shanlon wu

High turnover at university creates instability for sexual assault survivors who need services

By | campus sexual assault | No Comments

On the George Washington University campus, there are several positions that are set up solely to help sexual assault victims. But according to a recent article from the campus newspaper, there is a frequent turnover for these crucial jobs, and victims and experts say the high turnover rate “creates an unstable environment” for the vulnerable people who need support. The paper reports that there have been three victim services coordinators – who provide support for victims during the reporting process – over the past three years, with an interim filling the vital role since the fall. The school says the turnover rate has nothing to do with the job itself, and that it’s normal for institutions of this size to have these kinds of turnover. There’s currently only one full-time staff member in the Title IX office. Shan Wu, a former federal prosecutor who focused on sex crimes for the…

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How Will the Trump Administration Handle Sexual Assault on Campus?

By | campus sexual assault | No Comments

This week, I was interviewed by Danielle Masterson with WHDT World News about my thoughts on how the Trump Administration should handle cases of sexual assault on campus. Here’s the video and transcription: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BpmEw20rA0 Transcription: Danielle Masterson: Spring practice is just around the corner for football players at Michigan State. But media should not expect much from Coach Mark Dantonio. He’s not scheduled to meet with media, with his team returning to the practice field. It’s a significant departure from previous years and it likely has to do with campus sexual assault. There’s a criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving 3 unidentified MSU football players, and a fourth person from the University. A full title 9 investigation is under weigh. For more on this sensitive topic, we turn to Shan Wu a former federal sex crime prosecutor and current defense attorney for students. Shan, for those who don’t…

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