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Education | Title IX


  • Pre-litigation action by a school administrator who had a two-year affair with her principal. When the administrator learned that the principal also had affairs with other school personnel, she complained to the school district that the principal had sexually harassed and assaulted her. The district hired an outside consultant to investigate the matter and found the relationship to be consensual and not actionable. Further, the investigation discovered through forensic evidence that the administrator had allegedly falsified student academic records, including that of her own child and another pupil. The administrator denied the allegations, claiming that the investigation was in retaliation for her having complained. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Pre-litigation action by a substitute teacher alleging that her former employer, a charter school, discriminated and retaliated against her in violation of the FEHA and Labor Code section 1102.5. She alleged that the charter school wrongfully terminated her for being a whistleblower when she objected to behavioral intervention for an African-American preschooler without an individualized education plan as required by the IDEA. The charter school alleged that the substitute teacher repeatedly failed to follow lesson plans for teachers whose classes she covered, that these teachers complained about her, and that she was tardy in carrying out her duties. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Pre-litigation action by a teacher alleging that her former employer, a charter school, retaliated against her for complaining about a kindergarten student’s physical battery of the teacher and other students, which she alleged created an unsafe education and work environment. She alleged that following her repeated complaints, the school failed to assist her and eventually retaliated against and terminated her in violation of Labor Code sections 232.5, 1102.5, and 6310. The school alleged that the teacher had the assistance of another teacher and a teacher’s aide in her classroom, that the teacher was unable to cooperate with her colleagues, and that the student in question was eventually provided with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for his learning disability. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Pre-litigation action by an undergraduate female student alleging that her former university violated Title IX and negligently hired, supervised, and retained her supervisor/advisor, a male project scientist whose work computer’s screensaver showed images of sexually explicit child pornography. The student’s inadvertent viewing of the pornographic images allegedly caused her to finish her degree earlier without completing an honors thesis, delayed her planned application for graduate school, and led her to self-isolate in a foreign country. The university alleged that it had no prior notice of any misconduct by the scientist, that once notified its police department and Title IX office immediately investigated and permanently removed the perpetrator from the campus, that it ensured the scientist was arrested, sentenced, and terminated, and that it assigned another professor to mentor student and write her a letter of recommendation. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by a female student challenging the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of her former university. Student alleged that the university had negligently hired, supervised, and retained a male residential assistant, who sexually assaulted her in her campus dormitory. The trial court had sustained demurrers without leave to amend on student’s Bane Civil Rights Act, Unruh Civil Rights Act, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. On her negligent supervision claim, the court found that there was no actual or constructive notice of the residential assistant’s history or potential to commit sexual assault, that the university had regularly trained all its residential assistants on university policy, and that the university’s Title IX office had immediately investigated and disciplined the perpetrator after the student complained. On appeal, the student alleged the lower court erred in its analysis of negligent supervision. The university asserted that the trial court’s ruling was correct and should be affirmed. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Pre-litigation action by school administrator alleging that her employer, a school district, engaged in sex, race, age, and disability discrimination and harassment, retaliated against her for taking CFRA leave for her own serious health condition, and forced her to quit. Administrator alleged that the principals at two different schools where she was assigned were disrespectful to her, which she perceived to be discriminatory. School district alleged that it accommodated administrator’s transfer request, that she failed to submit doctor’s notes to support the entirety of her CFRA leave, that she did not engage in a good faith interactive process in anticipation of returning to work, and that she abandoned her job. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by minor through her father and guardian ad litem alleging that a school district defamed them by libel and slander, and intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon them. After minor was permitted to attend a high school in the district under an inter-district transfer, father became active in openly expressing concerns to administrators, teachers and board members about various operations of the district. Tensions escalated such that the district filed police reports against father for criminal threats. When minor applied to continue her inter-district transfer permit for the next school year, the district obtained outside counsel’s statutory interpretation permitting the district to deny her application. Father protested to a county office of education that reversed the district’s denial of the transfer permit. Father then moved daughter into her grandparents’ home within the district, so that she could complete her high school education there. Father and daughter then filed suit. District claimed that its actions were protected by immunity or privilege. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by a probationary instructor alleging that his former employer, a public college, engaged in race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation after he complained about denial of the opportunity to self-evaluate his performance. The college denied any wrongdoing.  It alleged that the instructor had not performed up to standard and that he had voluntarily resigned.  In addition, college alleged that instructor failed to properly exhaust his administrative remedies, and that his action was time barred. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by male student alleging officials responsible for his Title IX process at a public university violated his due process rights by deliberately pursuing, investigating, trying, and convicting him of the alleged sexual assault of a female student, when witnesses and exculpatory evidence showed no sexual assault occurred.  University officials alleged they had provided male student with an appropriate disciplinary hearing, and claimed qualified immunity.  The state trial court denied male student’s petition for writ  of administrative mandate. In a published opinion, the state appellate court reversed and issued a remittitur in favor of male student.  A separate federal court action by male student alleging violation of constitutional due process and various torts had been stayed pending resolution of the state court proceedings.  Resolved globally through mediation.

  • Action by 69-year-old teacher alleging her former employer, a school district, discriminated against and harassed her on the basis of her age, and retaliated against her after she complained. The former employer alleged the teacher refused to accept constructive feedback on her performance, was the subject of complaints and an investigation for acting out toward students, and had had elected to retire. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by professor alleging his former employer, a public university, retaliated against him following an administrative settlement of his complaint for age, race and disability discrimination. The professor claimed that the university failed to honor the terms of the settlement agreement, impeded his research and teaching opportunities, and barred him from attending professional conferences. The university alleged the professor had earlier elected to benefit from a faculty early retirement program that permitted him to both collect a pension and work part-time, an option that limited his teaching and research activities, and travel had not been authorized under the federal program that funded the professor’s work. The trial court granted summary judgment for the university. The appellate court found triable issues and overturned the trial court. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.

  • Class action by 18 to 21-year-old disabled incarcerated inmates in county jails alleging failure of multiple state, regional and local agencies to provide them with special education required by federal law. The public agencies alleged their policies and procedures comply with applicable law. This case commenced in 2008, was removed to federal court, and had been appealed at various levels, including the California Supreme Court. Portions of the class action were settled over nine years. Case litigated for 10 years of which portions of the class action were settled.  Fully resolved by mediator’s proposal.​

  • Action by a group of deaf teachers in a public school for the deaf alleging their employer, a school district, failed to provide effective communication devices and reasonable accommodation under federal and state public accommodations and disability access laws. Following partial settlement on the case in chief, the parties disputed plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees. The school district alleged the attorneys’ fees demand was excessive. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by facilities manager alleging her former employer, a public university, discriminated against and harassed her because of her race and sex, retaliated against her for complaining, constructively terminated her, and committed other compensation violations and torts against her. The university alleged the employee failed to exhaust her administrative remedies. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.​

  • Action by tenure-track professor alleging her former employer, a public university, discriminated against her when it denied her tenure and terminated her on account of her sex, age and marital status. The employer alleged that the professor had not met the standards for research and teaching required for tenure following a seven-year probationary period. 

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