Claudia Escoto filed a federal lawsuit alleging that she was subjected to egregious and continual sexual harassment while working as a staff assistant to Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Scott Laurent. Escoto alleged that Laurent described to her, in graphic detail, other judges and employees he wanted to have sex with, or had sex with, and the positions he wished to have sex with them. Laurent discussed in lurid detail the physical attributes of attorneys who came before him and further discussed attraction to and sexual relations with other judges, according to Escoto’s 19-page complaint filed against Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice (DOJ). See Escoto v. Garland, Case No. 2:23-cv-03340 (C.D. Ca. filed May 2, 2023).

After suit was commenced and the complaint served on all defendants, the docket reflects that the parties submitted a Joint Rule 26(f) report wherein Escoto’s counsel identified 32 witnesses, including Laurent and Laurent’s wife. Shortly after the parties attended a Rule 16 conference, and without conducting any discovery whatsoever, the DOJ made a Rule 68 offer of judgment to Escoto. Reading between the lines of the litigation, it was apparent the DOJ did not want to subject Laurent to cross examination and wanted this matter to go away quickly.

Making It On to the Judge’s List of Conquests