Who is Yarelyn Mena? City University of New York removes profile of attorney who worked on Johnny Depp’s legal team

The City University of New York has deleted the profile of Yarelyn Mena, who participated in the recent Johnny Depp defamation lawsuit. CUNY is New York’s public university system under which several other colleges fall.

The article was deleted after the institution faced a huge backlash from critics who claimed the university supported the actor accused of domestic violence. The university has since issued a statement defending its actions by removing the article.

Yarelyn Mena was the youngest lawyer to join the team at Brown Rudnick LLP representing the Pirates of the Caribbean actor. The actor has been involved in a long legal battle against his ex-wife and actress Amber Heard. The 29-year-old attorney helped Depp win a $10.35 million verdict.

Congratulations to Camille Vasquez (@BrownRudnickLLP Promote his partner), Ben Chew, Wayne Dennison, Jessica Meyers, Rebecca Lecaroz, Andrew Crawford, Stephanie Calnan, Samuel Moniz, Yarelyn Mena, thank you to everyone who stood by Johnny Depp.#JusticeForJohnnyDepp https://t.co/Hz1F3lmkmk

CUNY posted the profile with a photo of Yarelyn Mena sitting next to Johnny Depp during his trial. The institution praised Mena for her:

“Extensive legal research, contributions to draft motion, and preparation of witnesses and attorneys.”

However, netizens “cancelled” the article, arguing that the educational institution was supporting an actor accused of domestic violence. On August 3, the CUNY website released a statement apologizing for publishing the article.

They also added that they had no intention of “conveying any support for Mr. Depp”. Their statement said:

“We understand the strong negative emotions caused by this article and we apologize for publishing this article. We have removed it from our CUNYverse blog. The article was not intended to express support for Mr. Depp, implicitly or otherwise, nor to question Amber Heard’s claims.Domestic violence is a serious problem in our society and we regret any pain this article may have caused.

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Who is Yarelyn Mena?

The Fordham Law School graduate is the daughter of two immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

Yarelyn Mena joined Brown Rudnick LLP in October 2019. The Latina received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2015 from Hunter College, where she studied psychology. While at Fordham University Law School, she was one of 25 county students chosen to serve on the National Hispanic Bar.

Mena specializes in intellectual property law and commercial law.

While explaining her responsibilities regarding Depp’s sensational court battle, she explained in the CUNY article that she:

“worked with the team on the opening and closing and was the fact master of all evidence. If anyone needed photos or text messages, I tracked them down and helped everyone as I went.

After CUNY deleted the post praising Mena, Brooklyn College professor KC Johnson took to Twitter, lambasting CUNY’s decision.

Not a good look for CUNY, to say the least. (The memory-holed article celebrated the legal acumen of a 2015 Hunter graduate, the daughter of two immigrants from the Dominican Republic, who had worked on the Depp case.)www1.cuny.edu/mu/cunyverse/2… https://t.co/zyvV9Izden

A line from the institution’s creeping apology could even be interpreted as casting doubt on the jury’s verdict in the civil case. CUNY’s message to talented young graduates entering law seems to be – we will only celebrate you if we institutionally endorse your client.

In another tweet, Johnson also explained how CUNY’s deletion of the article could be a representation of their disbelief at the jury’s verdict in the Depp-Heard trial. Hoeg Law Firm attorney Richard Hoeg also expressed his disappointment with CUNY and said, “It’s pretty unbelievable.”


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