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February 06, 2017


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Doug Richmond

Forgive me, but what are the damages? If the school could have terminated the faculty members in accordance with its written plan, which would be true so long as "the financial resources available to the School for instructional services [were] determined by the appropriate governing board(s) to be inadequate to maintain the level of faculty staffing then in place," the faculty members' terminations may have been wrongful, but the affected faculty are in the same position they would have been had the school followed the plan.


Why are no funds available? Is because of a lack of tuition income or did the parent siphon off money as happened in Charleston, I believe.


I'm glad to see this happening as I think Charlotte has behave reprehensibly in so many respects, and I also have great respect for David Frakt. I do wonder, however, whether he has a conflict of interest in this case given his own past history with InfiLaw. Again, I mean no disrespect.

David Frakt

To the person impersonating Derek Tokaz -
Please stop impersonating Derek Tokaz.

terry malloy

Conflict or no, Prof. Frakt is on the right side of this. Further, he's outlined his rationale and positions in a clear voice. To require purity feels unreasonable.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Aren't these "at will" employees? Does the faculty handbook or pamphlet handed out during the course of their employment constitute a contract? Even a shlepper three bill retail theft lawyer like me knows there are questions here. Educate me. By the way, no worries for these canned faculty members. The greatest jobs president god has ever seen is in charge now.

David Frakt

Captain - No these are not at will employees. They have contracts of fixed lengths and generally can only be fired for cause, or as a result of a properly executed reduction in force.

AnonProf - What is your theory that I have a conflict of interest? Generally, conflicts of interest are you when you have two clients who may have conflicting interests, or when you have some personal financial interest that may be adverse to your client. I have carefully reviewed the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct and I have no such conflict. (I also used to teach Professional Responsibility, including here in Florida.) In any event, such conflicts, if they exist, are waivable if fully disclosed to the client. My client is well aware of my "past history with InfiLaw" as you put it. Indeed, my past history with InfiLaw, including my history of publicly critiquing InfiLaw on this website, was one of the major reasons he retained me.

As to Charlotte's claim that there are no funds available, I will believe that when Charlotte files bankruptcy. For the time being, they have enough funds to pay a respectable law firm to defend them, so I guess they have some funds available.


Doug Richmond - A wrongfully terminated employee is generally entitled to reinstatement with back pay, at a minimum, and potentially other damages. The fact that the employer could have lawfully terminated an employee if they had followed proper procedure is not a defense to wrongful termination and does not mitigate damages.


Having your own prior bad experience with an opposing party is not a conflict. Practicing lawyers aren't required to feel neutral about the issues in their cases. I think it's quite appropriate that DF handle these cases if he's so inclined.

David Frakt

Dear Readers,

I welcome comments that are respectful and on topic, including comments which may be critical of my ideas or actions. Comments from anonymous commenters with a personal agenda that is not relevant to the thread, or from those who use the cloak of anonymity to make unwarranted personal attacks, or from those impersonating real people, will be removed. Thank you.

McKinley Morganfield

Some issues that may need resolution: did the terminated employees sign anything as a condition to receiving the severance pay? If so, the signed documents may include a release of all claims against the employer. I'm not an employment law attorney so I cannot say if those releases are valid. There is certainly economic "duress" argument that might invalidate the releases.

David Frakt

McKinley -

Yes, Charlotte law wanted the faculty members to sign a general release in order to get the severance pay. My client refused to sign. All the faculty members that I spoke understood that if they signed and took the money, they would probably be forfeiting any legal claims.

former prof

They did a RIF at Coastal in 2013. I wonder if that RIF declaration was also faulty?


Hope you can pierce the corporate veil; when it comes to Sterling Partners I think "deep pockets" is an understatement.

The only potential conflict of interest I can see is if they call you as a witness, though that would be fairly contrived.


Very curious to see what you unearth during discovery

anon JD/MD

Given the contempt that Infilaw has for their own students and alumni, I bet that their attorney did not attend one of the Infilaw schools.

"Not Derek Tokaz"


What would you see as a realistic and positive outcome in this matter? The complaint isn't that the faculty shouldn't have been terminated at all, but rather just that the process was defective. And the claim doesn't seem to be that but for the defective process, the faculty would have stayed.

Are you asking for something beyond a written copy of the plan and a town hall meeting to voice grievances before the exact same faculty members are sacked?

The remedy here isn't that they get their jobs back, it's that they get the appropriate dog and pony show before being terminated. Is there anything to gain other than maybe a few more weeks of pay?


David, God bless you because you are in the right LEGALLY but I have been through this process as a professor at one of the schools you mentioned. I can tell you how this will play out.

1) They will claim that the faculty handbook is not binding. They will also claim that their own contract is nonbinding and thus your clients were at-will (no, I am not making this up, they will claim that their own contract is not a contract).
2) They will force you into arbitration and pick someone highly antilabor as the arbitrator.
3) They will bury you with discovery requests and dig into the medical and personal lives of your clients.
4) The ABA will be useless even though the ABA requirements for law schools also contain provisions protecting professors from this conduct by the law school: this is because the ABA are part of the problem since all the administrators involved are part of the accreditation group which is a huge conflict of interest (I know, I sued the ABA to close the revolving door, and I lost the suit). The only way a school gets accreditation is to hire the ABA consultants, who then go to work at the school as Deans, and that is how the schools magically get accredited. It's a racket.
5) They will have secret files on each of your clients. For example, the Dean will have written a letter to himself, signed by himself, affirming some rumor that a security guard heard from a student about your professor -- and it will be admitted into evidence despite the hearsay rule.
6) It will end in a spitting contest and you and everyone else will be covered in spit.
7) If it does get to Court in NC, the judge will be an idiot who is friends with the lawyers for the school, or who cannot think their way out of a paper bag.

You have no idea what you are up against.

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