Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Suing the Law Schools

Vanessa Browne-Barbour, an associate professor at Duquesne Law School (at least according to the school's website) filed suit last week againt Duquesne.  She argues that she was passed over for the position of interim dean (when former dean Donald Guter was forced out) because of her race and gender.  She is arguing that her prior experience as an associate dean made her better qualified for the interim position than the man - Ken Gormley - who was ultimately selected as interim, and now permanent, dean.  She was the first African-American woman tenured at Duquesne and is a Duquesne law alum.  Whether or not her claims are true, she has an awfully tough road ahead for her case - if only because Gormley's pedigree fits the deanship so well. 

Meanwhile, Hofstra Legal Writing Professor Scott Fruehwald has his suit tossed a couple of months ago.  Mitchell Rubenstein over at Adjunct Law Prof Blog explains:

Here, a legal writing instructor was denied a 5 year long term renewable contract. After he accepted a one year probationary type appointment, he sued claiming the Hofstra's decision to deny him a long term contract was arbitrary and capricious which is the governing standard under CPLR Article 78. After reviewing complicated procedural issues, the court concluded that Hofstra was not arbitrary and capricious, given the deference court's pay to law school decisions, because multiple observers noted issues with the petitioner's teaching performance.

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