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Attorney David A. Russcol speaks to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly about First Circuit case on litigating under a pseudonym

Attorney David A. Russcol spoke to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly about a recent First Circuit decision in Doe v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the First Circuit addressed for the first time when a litigant can proceed under a pseudonym. The First Circuit held that courts must look at the totality of the circumstances in deciding whether litigating under a pseudonym is appropriate in a given case. The underlying case was brought by a student who had been found responsible for sexual misconduct at his university, and was arguing that the school’s proceedings that led to that determination were improper. One factor Attorney Russcol identified as weighing in favor of pseudonyms in these types of campus discipline cases is that “the purpose of the proceedings is not to determine the truth of the underlying allegations but merely whether a university followed its established procedures,” making the identify of the litigant less relevant than in other types of cases. The article is available here.

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