Protecting Attorneys

Bhatnagar v. Meyer, et al., C.A.No. 21-126-CFC (D.Del. Jan. 31, 2021) (Fourteenth Amendment action by a government attorney and Hindu immigrant of South Asian descent who, shortly after having been praised as “the best of the best” in the County Law Office by the County Executive, was abruptly fired in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic without: any of the protections of the progressive discipline system; an opportunity to defend himself; or any of the other protections of procedural due process.  The racial and religious discrimination charges include the intentional destruction of the attorney’s “Ganesh,” a Hindu religious artifact kept on his work desk, representing the “remover of obstacles”).

Cousins v. Goodier, et al., C.A.No. S20C-11-036-CAK (Del.Super. Nov. 30, 2020) (state law tortious interference with contract and defamation action brought on behalf of a conservative, Christian, business restructuring and liquidations attorney challenging ‘cancel culture’ and political correctness within the Delaware bar and seeking damages against another attorney because of her unjustified interference in his law firm employment contract as well as her false accusations of racism and religious bigotry).

Crumplar v. Superior Court, 56 A.3d 1000 (Del. 2012) (en banc) (per curiam) (reversing a $25,000 sanction imposed on a plaintiff’s attorney by a Superior Court judge and requiring heightened procedural protections when judges seek to impose Rule 11 sanctions on attorneys).

Connell v. Ammons, 2011 WL 4827581 (Del.Super. Sept. 6, 2011) (in a defamation action brought by a tenured conservative law professor and Delaware attorney, denying the law school dean’s motion to change venue).  The filing, legal rulings and eventual amicable resolution of the case attracted widespread attention in the media (1, 2, 3), amongst law professors nationwide (1, 2, 3), and throughout the national educational community (1, 2, 3).

Neuberger v. Gordon, 567 F.Supp.2d 622 (D.Del. 2008) (upholding the First Amendment rights of an attorney to be free of retaliation for filing lawsuits against corrupt government officials challenging, among other things, “institutional racism and racial profiling in the county police department as well as First Amendment retaliation against two minority officers.”  The decision also held the defendants had violated the attorney’s Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy when they revealed his confidential medical information to the news media and many others in an unsuccessful attempt to force him to abandon his injured clients and their civil rights cases).

Neuberger v. Baker, et al., C.A.No. 07-723-GMS (D.Del. Nov. 13, 2007) (successful First Amendment action brought by a civil rights attorney and longtime city resident, against the city Mayor for retaliation because of the attorney’s vigorous advocacy for his clients in filing lawsuits exposing: the longtime racial quota system in city police department promotions; and an unjustified shooting by the city police of an unarmed Marine Corps veteran).

EEOC v. Hora, 239 Fed.Appx. 728 (3d Cir. 2007) (reversal of career ending sanctions against a dedicated civil rights attorney who vigorously represented her client in a hostile work environment sexual harassment case.  At oral argument, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry described the district court decision as the harshest sanctions opinion she had ever read in her time on the bench).

Conley v. Chaffinch, 2005 WL 2678954 (D.Del. March 4, 2005) (in a Fourteenth Amendment sex discrimination case brought by a female state police captain, rejecting the request of the Delaware State Police for sanctions and a gag order against a civil rights attorney who vigorously criticized “alleged misconduct and abuse of office within the Delaware State Police and the Delaware government [because t]hese statements are protected by the First Amendment [as] they are criticisms of alleged governmental corruption, an issue of great public concern that lies at the core of the First Amendment”).

Hugger v. The Rutherford Institute, 94 Fed.Appx. 162 (4th Cir. 2004) (successful First Amendment defense of a prominent attorney President, longtime staff attorney and civil liberties organization sued for defamation by public officials).

Hugger v. The Rutherford Institute, 63 Fed.Appx. 683 (4th Cir. 2003) (affirming removal from state court and dismissal of state law claim against civil liberties organization and their attorneys).