For more information please call  800.727.2766


Michigan Judge Leaves Amid Sexual Harassment Findings

A Michigan trial court judge submitted his letter of resignation after Michigan State University (MSU) found he engaged in inappropriate conduct.

In July 2022, MSU released a report reflecting its investigation into allegations brought by former interns against Judge Joseph Farah. Farah worked as an adjunct professor at MSU's College of Law through May 2021. Grace Ketzner (who approved the use of her name in press reports) alleged Judge Farah sexually harassed her and stalked her in violation of Title IX. Ketzner alleged Farah made sexual comments to her about his former students and interns, asked her repeatedly to travel with him,  spend time alone with him, and commented about buying her drinks. Ketzner also accused Farah of complaining about her work performance after she refused his attempts. According to Ketzner, Farah asked her to be his "typist" for a novel about a young woman with an older boss who “teaches her how to explore herself” sexually. Ketzer resigned her position and then reported the harassment. Farah declined to participate in MSU’s investigation, choosing instead to submit a written statement denying the allegations. The released report shows investigators found Farah's explanations "inconsistent, unbelievable, and less credible" than Ketzner's. Another woman came forward during MSU's investigation to share she observed and experienced behavior from Farah that made her uncomfortable. MSU’s Resolution Officer found Farah violated its policies against sexual harassment. The Officer also confirmed Farah "immediately retaliated against [Ketzner] by spreading negative feedback about her." The Officer did not find Farah stalked Ketzner. Michigan Radio reported that Farah's sexual harassment of young women working for him was an "open secret" in the legal community.

Farah's letter indicates he will retire on November 9, 2022. Ketzner had also filed a grievance about Farah with the Judicial Tenure Commission. The Commission keeps any investigations confidential. Ketzner said a Commission attorney contacted her to tell her the Commission reached an agreement with Farah. It is believed that Farah will not be appearing in court after August, with his role limited to writing opinions and orders.