Andy Ballard and Andy Hess of AME’s Huntington office recently secured a victory for their clients in the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Andy Ballard and Andy Hess of AME’s Huntington office recently secured a victory for their clients in the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Their briefing and oral argument resulted in a published opinion affirming a dismissal granted by the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.  The case involved a former student at Marshall University who left her student-teaching post in protest over differences with her supervisor. Because she failed to complete a required course, she did not qualify to graduate from the University’s Masters of Arts in Teaching program or gain teaching certification. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's finding that sovereign immunity barred Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Marshall University Board of Governors (MUBG). It also affirmed the court's dismissal of Plaintiff's claims against individual MUBG employees for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff did not have a legitimate claim of entitlement to the property interest of academic credit, graduation, certification, or prospective employment, which she claimed triggered her due process protections. Moreover, the mere fact that certain individual Defendants had knowledge of Plaintiff's sexual orientation, without evidence of overt animus, was not sufficient to support an Equal Protection claim for intentional discrimination. Kerr v. Marshall University Board of Governors (4th Cir., May 24, 2016)

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