Legal help from Oprah

July 14, 2008
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Oprah Winfrey wants to offer you legal help. The catch: Your case will be documented in her magazine for the world to see.

I came across a link on CNN.com that leads to a promotional page from Winfrey’s magazine, “O, The Oprah Magazine.”

Winfrey has teamed up with legal experts to offer pro bono representation for people being sexually harassed at work. A select number of cases will be chosen after review by the legal panel, and the magazine will report about what happens as the cases progress.

The Web page gives a definition of sexual harassment and has a form of at least 14 questions for people to answer regarding the harassment. There may be more, but you can only continue if you answer the questions.

This seems like a win-win for both parties involved – the magazine gets content and victims of sexual harassment get free representation. I can see potential legal issues arising in publishing these cases in the magazine, especially if the allegations haven’t been proven yet. What if someone who is chosen with a case against a co-worker ends up losing the case or the proof shows the harassment didn’t happen? I guess one way around this would be to not use the real names of involved people and companies, but then would that take away from the power of the story to readers?

I’ll have to start paying attention to “O” magazine to see if these stories come to fruition and how the magazine handles the cases.
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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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