Marquette Law School Professor Suspended Over Student Relationship

A Marquette University Law School professor who might otherwise weigh in as an expert on such issues has been suspended over allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a student, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The school dismissed Paul Secunda, a blogger and authority on labor and employment law, from his teaching duties two weeks from the end of this past semester. The dismissal is the result of a university investigation that began last May, the school said in a statement.

“Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in education, colleges and universities have become more cautious about student-faculty dating, even while some say that, short of harassment, such consensual relationships among adults should be considered private matters,” according to Journal Sentinel reporter Bruce Vielmetti.

Read the Milwaukee Journal article.

 

 




Former Baylor Coach Rips Pepper Hamilton, Calls Out Ken Starr

Ken Starr

A former football coach who lost his job at Baylor University had some harsh words for former Baylor president Ken Starr, but his strongest words are for Pepper Hamilton, whose investigation led to Baylor’s decision to part ways with almost anyone even tangentially involved in allegations of sexual misconduct by football players.

Above the Law details the saga, based in part on an interview with Baylor’s former defensive coordinator and interim head coach Phil Bennett published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“Bennett rips the firm as clueless about the basics of running a college football team — allegedly suggesting to him that the school’s lawyers should have gotten involved as soon as a student showed up late for practice — and prone to inserting some disturbing racial observations,” writes editor Joe Patrice.

Read the Above the Law article.

 

 

 




Defrauded Students of For-Profit Schools Will Stay Indebted, Judge Rules

Courthouse News Service reports that Education Secretary Betsy Devos need not provide full debt relief to more than 60,000 defrauded students, but she must stop collecting on their loans, a federal judge said in court Monday.

A proposed class of borrowers had asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim to revive an Obama-era policy that promised full debt forgiveness to students defrauded by the now-defunct, for profit Corinthian Colleges, according to reporter Nicholas Iovino.

Kim sided with the federal government’s position that returning to the “status quo” means delaying processing claims for debt relief, not going back to the Obama-era policy of forgiving all loan debt. She acknowledged that borrowers will still suffer harm to their credit and interest growing on their loans, even though she has ordered the government to stop collecting.

Read the CNS article.

 

 

 




Former University GC Gets a $430K Retirement Payout

When Michigan State University head lawyer Robert Noto — under fire for his leadership in the Larry Nassar sexual assaults scandal — retired in February, he did so with a generous payout worth more than $430,000, reports the Detroit Free Press. That’s more than a year’s salary for Noto.

Noto, who had been with the university since 1995, resigned about a month after MSU Trustee Brian Mosallam called for his immediate resignation.

Reporter David Jesse writes that Noto received:

  • Six months of his $403,100 annual salary. That’s $201,550.
  • Payment for 151 unused vacation days. That’s $234,110.
  • The use of an university-owned car through Sept. 5. He also gets computer support from the university for the same time period.

Read the Free Press article.

 

 




Savannah Law School Student Sues for Fraud, Breaching Trust in Planned Closing

A Savannah Law School student has sued school officials for fraud and breach of trust duties stemming from their decision to prematurely close the school in May, which she said will deprive her of the chance to become a lawyer, reports the Savannah Morning News.

The plaintiff, Jordan Crewe, alleged the school’s pending closure results “at least in part from the defendants’ mismanagement of funding for the law school.” In the suit, she also contended the defendants “established Savannah Law School to obtain federal student loan money while aiming long-term to make a profit by flipping the property.”

Reporter Jan Skutch writes that the defendants in the suit are Savannah Law School, John Marshall Law School and John Marshall University, Savannah Law School Associate Dean Keith Harrison and Michael Markovitz, law school board member and treasurer.

Crewe has completed three of the four years needed to obtain a law degree from the school.

Read the Morning News article.

 

 




‘Gainful Employment’ No True Test of School Success

Two weeks before it was set to take effect, the Department of Education has stopped the implementation of a rule designed to hold for-profit colleges accountable for marketing claims about employment rates for graduates. Had the Borrower Defense to Repayment rule taken effect, for-profit colleges would have had to prove their programs led to the “gainful employment” of graduates or risk the loss of federal aid, according to a post by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing.

“There is no doubt that the student loan bubble may burst in the near future due to the crushing amount of student loan debt resulting from the skyrocketing costs of attendance combined with the limited availability of jobs upon graduation,” says Dallas bankruptcy attorney Aaron Gottlieb of Godwin Bowman & Martinez.

“However, some responsibility must still remain with the student loan borrower to carefully choose which colleges and programs to attend. If a for-profit school provides the student an education and degree for which the student paid tuition, then a ‘gainful employment’ requirement following graduation seems to be too broad a brush to wield in determining whether the for-profit school made a material misrepresentation.

“In fact, several lawsuits have been dismissed over the past five to 10 years on the basis of student borrowers’ reliance on publications such as U.S. News & World Report, which listed inaccurate employment rates of graduates. The courts have consistently considered this information mere ‘puffery,’ rather than any sort of guarantee. I fail to see the difference between touting ‘employment rates,’ and promising ‘gainful employment.’ They appear, from my perspective, to be one and the same.”

 

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Judge to Consider Timing of Trump University Trial

A federal judge in San Diego said he wanted a trial by the middle of this year in a lawsuit against Donald Trump over the now defunct Trump University, according to a report by ABC News. That was before the real estate mogul appeared headed for the Republican presidential nomination.

“U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is expected to address the trial’s timing at a hearing Friday in San Diego. Trump’s lawyers, who have put the candidate on a list of witnesses who may testify, have signaled opposition to a trial while Trump is in the race,” the report says.

“This will be a zoo if it were to go to trial,” Trump lawyer Daniel Petrocelli said at a hearing in March.

Read the article.