Independent Investigations of Abuse - Part 2

Join us for Part 2 of our discussion about investigators of sexual misconduct in independent schools. Your host Jamie Forbes, the founder and CEO of Learning Courage, speaks with attorneys Mary Beth Hogan and Highland Chen who share their extensive experience with cases involving sexual abuse in schools. Find out what school leaders need to consider when facing allegations of past abuse, how schools and school boards can handle future allegations of abuse, and what has changed in recent years.

Topics covered:

- How transparent should schools be when disclosing historical sexual abuse and handling future cases?
 - What happens when school boards start investigations eager to uncover the truth when some members are reluctant or become reluctant as an investigation moves forward?
- Find out how independent school board leadership can engage with outside investigators, and fully understand what could happen during an investigation of sexual abuse.
- What impact can new laws, like the new New York Child Victims and Adult Survivors Act, have on investigations?
- What happens when school boards do not realize that investigating lawyers are not always there to protect the Board from lawsuits? 
- Why experienced attorneys say that an investigating law firm needs to be independent of the school being investigated.
- Find out what school boards and survivors of sexual abuse can do to reduce anxiety during an investigation, and how to maintain confidentiality throughout the process.

 Episode guests:

Attorney Hailyn Chen 

Hailyn Chen is a litigation partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.  Since 2019, Hailyn has served as one of two firmwide Managing Partners of MTO, which comprises around 200 lawyers, with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.  Her practice focuses on complex litigation, internal and government investigations, and crisis management. 

Hailyn has extensive experience handling sexual misconduct and sexual abuse matters, including representing the University of California and other universities in internal investigations, government investigations, and litigation. She has also represented companies in a broad range of industries in internal investigations and government investigations involving alleged fraud, corruption, and abuse. Hailyn was recently recognized for her work with The Thacher School, leading an investigation into decades of sexual abuse at the elite boarding school. Hailyn J. Chen (

Attorney Mary Beth Hogan

Mary Beth Hogan is Co-Chair of Debevoise & Plimpton’s Litigation Department. She has a broad-gauged litigation and investigations practice that focuses on sensitive investigations for educational institutions, corporations and other organizations, including board-directed independent investigations of sexual abuse or harassment.

Ms. Hogan’s work in this area also includes advising boards of corporations, educational institutions, and nonprofits on #MeToo-related governance issues. She is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 US and Benchmark Litigation, which has named her as one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation.” In 2015, Ms. Hogan was named “Lawyer of the Year for Private Practice” for gender diversity in the profession by Chambers & Partners.   Mary Beth Hogan | Professionals | Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 


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