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Posts tagged as “Brandon Austin lawsuit”

UO commemorates 3rd annual Gottfredson Day by not suing him for legal fees

8/9/2017:  Three years ago yesterday the UO Board of Trustees paid President Mike Gottfredson $940K to leave town immediately. Half up front, the rest within two weeks. In exchange, Gottfredson released UO from all liability related to his brief and disastrous employment as UO President and agreed to pay his own attorney costs, etc:

I’m no Harvard law professor, but I think it’s the $940K that makes that a legally enforceable contract, not just a promise:


But will UO enforce it?

As reported in this Jack Moran story in the RegisterGuard last month, after winning dismissal of the federal court case by the three former Dana Altman basketball players and alleged rapists who had argued that UO and Gottfredson had illegally ruined their basketball careers by kicking them off the team and campus without due process, the UO General Counsel’s office announced that they would sue the players for legal costs:

The University of Oregon is seeking reimbursement of nearly $53,000 in attorney fees and court costs from three former Ducks basketball players who sued the UO after being kicked out of school following a rape investigation in 2014.

The university on Friday filed a motion for fees and costs in U.S. District Court. The move comes nearly two months after a federal judge dismissed civil lawsuits brought by the players, who were banned from campus for up to 10 years but did not face criminal charges after a female student accused them of sexual assault.

In the request for reimbursement, lawyers for the UO characterize the lawsuits — filed by Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson — as frivolous and unreasonable.

“The university rarely seeks prevailing party fees,” the motion states. “But in this case, plaintiffs pursued claims that lacked any reasonable basis in law or fact, which forced the university to waste considerable public resources.” …

Seems iffy, unless of course you’re one of the Miller Nash Graham & Dunn attorneys that UO is paying by the hour at $350 per. In contrast the contract with Gottfredson is pretty clear cut. So why won’t the UO General Counsel’s office unleash Miller Nash et al to take Mike Gottfredson to court over his share of the Austin et al legal fees?

I don’t know, but there are many more details in the court docket here, including plenty of expensive conversations with “Dr. Gottfredson” in the detailed billing records:

8/8/2016: UO to mark 2nd Gottfredson Day with traditional appearance in Federal Court

[Remember the Hat Day is November 21].

UO Reply in Support of Their Motion to Dismiss Third Amended Complaint to Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (Motion to Dismiss Third Amended Complaint)

4/13/2017: If that’s not clear, the docket is here.

2/12/2017 Dana Altman’s Duck basketball players file more lawsuit docs:

UO lawyers get extra time to respond to Dana Altman players’ lawsuit

10/30/2016 update:  Long story after the break, which I suppose is a good thing for those that bill by the hour.

The latest is that the judge has given UO’s hired lawyers an extension from 10/28 until 12/2 to respond to the players lawyers’ response to the judge’s response to the UO lawyers’ request for dismissal, as well as an extension to respond to the players lawyers’ 3rd complaint, which of course was amended in response to the UO lawyers’ response to the players lawyer’s 2nd complaint. In case that’s not perfectly clear, here’s a free link to the docket, from the hack of the federal court’s paywalled database. Oh, wait, there are two dockets – maybe the links you want are here.

10/11/2016: Dana Altman’s players refile discrimination complaint against Gottfredson, UO

Celebrity lawyer Alex Spiro will refile lawsuit by Altman’s basketball players

9/8/2016: Federal Judge McShane has ruled in favor of UO. The Emerald has the story here. Duck advocate Tobin Klinger has the party line in Around the O, the official organ of the Ducks:

“The court’s decision dismissed all of the students’ claims and upholds the University’s position that the students were afforded appropriate due process under the UO’s student conduct code. In addition, it affirms that the student conduct processes are separate and independent of criminal matters.

But Klinger fails to report that Judge McShane left the door open to refiling. And, according to the more accurate report by the Oregonian’s Tyson Alger here, it seems that the young men’s legal counsel, well-known celebrity attorney Alex Spiro, plans to try phoning it in one more time:

Court documents show that many of the claims of the players against the university were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they’ll be allowed to refile within the next 30 days. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane did dismiss the players’ claim of not receiving due process with prejudice, meaning that it can’t be refiled.

“We are simply redrafting the pleadings and moving forward with the case pursuant to the court’s decision,” said Alex Spiro, the lawyer for Dotson and Artis.

Judge McShane’s full opinion is here. I believe this is the last of the lawsuits related to the alleged rapes on the night of March 8, 2014, if it ever ends. UO paid Jane Doe $800K, Morlok and Stokes $425K, $2.5K for Shelly Kerr’s ethics fine, and unknown amounts for lawyers, including defending UO attorneys Doug Park and Sam Hill from an Bar ethics complaint. And, of course, UO’s “brand” took a huge hit.

As it happens, just an hour before this opinion was released Duck AD Rob Mullens was talking to the UO Board of Trustees. They had no questions for him about any of this, including why the academic budget had to pay for it.

The gist of Judge McShane’s decision:

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I’m no law professor, but it seems pretty clear-cut. UO’s Deputy Counsel Doug Park offered the student-athletes a deal that would allow them to go play basketball somewhere else, and they took it after getting advice from their own lawyers:

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Then they had second thoughts. Judge McShane essentially said “too bad, a deal’s a deal”.

8/27/2016: Celebrity lawyer Alex Spiro calls Dana Altman’s black basketball players “boys”

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Mike Gottfredson 2nd highest paid public Univ administrator for 2015

So he should be able to pay UO back for his legal defense, right? Andrew Theen has the report in the Oregonian, based on the latest Chronicle data: Michael Gottfredson, a former University of Oregon president, received more than $1.2 million in compensation during the 2014-15 school year, making him the…

2 more Dana Altman recruits sue Gottfredson & Holmes for due process violations

3/15/2016: Duck Athletics brings still more invaluable publicity and goodwill for UO. Who defines our “national brand”? Brandon Austin. From Google search trends:

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Camilla Mortensen has the latest lawsuit story in the Eugene Weekly. Also see Andrew Greif in the Oregonian and Jack Moran in the RG.

The $20M complaint from Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson’s lawyers Alex Spiro of NYC and Brian Michaels of Eugene is here. Artis and Dotson’s state complaint is basically a cut-and-paste of Austin’s federal complaint here, which was filed by Marianne Duggan of Eugene and preeminent sperm lawyer Alan C. Milstein of Moorestown, New Jersey back in October.

I’m no law professor, but if attorney Alex Spiro (Harvard Law) had passed this in as his final paper, I’d report him to UO’s student conduct office for plagiarism and urge Sandy Weintraub and Robin Holmes to expel him – after a thorough hearing and appeal, of course.

John Canzano has an opinion piece in the Oregonian: Canzano: Lawsuit not fair to Oregon Ducks, but ends up a strong NCAA play:

Did Altman support the dismissals of the players? Did Gottfredson ask for Altman’s resignation somewhere in the process and get push back from key boosters? Were the players a sacrifice that was made to appease the protesters picketing the university president’s office? And why didn’t Oregon just do what every other reputable university might do — suspend the players pending the outcome of the investigation instead of initially standing with them, then after the NCAA Tournament, dismissing them?

Quite the difference from his Jan 8 2015 column: Canzano: Every day Oregon stands with Dana Altman is another step into the muck:

Best case scenario, he turned his back on three innocent players who were under investigation for sex assault. Worst case, he knowingly recruited a player who was under investigation for a sex assault, then lied for months about what he knew and undermined campus safety while trying to save himself.

This is your basketball coach, Oregon. One who should have been fired months ago.

… The lawsuit [he means the one from the survivor Jane Doe, with whom UO settled for $800K], zeroes in on the exact problem. It alleges that the university took steps to protect itself and to guard its coach, while accepting the survivor as collateral damage. Given that federal law mandates that Oregon should have handled this with urgency and alacrity the actions at UO are troubling.

Among the shocking allegations in the lawsuit? UO refused to provide the players with unredacted documents. Say it ain’t so!

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As with Austin’s, this complaint makes many other serious allegations of violations of due process rights by VPSA Robin Holmes and her assistants Sandy Weintraub and Chicora Martin and the feckless Mike Gottfredson.

Where were these people getting their legal advice? From Randy Geller, formerly UO General Counsel, now “of counsel at Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick, and/or his Assistant GC Doug Park, who is still employed by UO as associate GC for $200k+.

Here’s UO Strategic Communicator Tobin Klinger’s improbable explanation for why Geller “retired” – announced in the midst of the events described in the lawsuit, and the day before sports reporters unexpectedly broke the story of the basketball rape allegations:

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Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson’s prayer:

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1/26/2016: Duck lawyers respond to Brandon Austin’s due process lawsuit. Park gave Austin a clean transcript.

More students punished for sexual assault are winning in court

11/5/2015: Jake New has the analysis in InsideHigherEd. The start: Last week, Brandon Austin, a former college basketball player, filed a lawsuit against the University of Oregon for $7.5 million, arguing that administrators there violated his rights when they suspended him over his alleged involvement in a gang rape. Austin was…