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Widener Law settles with Prof. Lawrence Connell

Widener Law settles with Prof. Lawrence Connell

I have posted numerous times before about the case of Lawrence Connell, the Widener Law School Professor who was placed on one-year unpaid leave and forced to undergo a psychiatric examination as a condition of return.

The sanctions imposed by Dean Linda Ammons were so controversial that a high profile alumnus and major donor to the law school resigned from its fundraising committee and publicy criticized Ammons.

The short story is that Connell was vindicated by a university panel of allegations of race and sex discrimination, but found to have “retaliated” against the two complaining students by circulating an e-mail to the student body defending himself and having his lawyer threaten to sue the students.  Connell sued Ammons as well as the two students, and the case was filed in conservative Sussex County, Delaware.

Connell successfully fought an attempt to move the case, which I predicted would put a lot of pressure on Widener to settle.

The case now has settled, with Connell leaving Widener permanently in exchange for what presumably was a cash settlement.

I received the following statement from Connell’s attorney:

I am authorized today, February 8, 2012, to make the following announcement about my client professor Larry Connell’s pending lawsuit in the Delaware Superior Court against the Delaware Law School of Widener University, Dean Linda Ammons, and students Jennifer R. Perez and Nadege Tandoh.

“All claims amongst all parties have been resolved amicably and Professor Connell’s employment with the University and Law School has been concluded. Specific terms of the resolution are confidential. So, we have no further comment.”

Thank you.

Thomas S. Neuberger, Esq. Attorney for Professor Connell

I hope Connell received just compensation. He certainly deserved it.


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I recall a law school course on The Psychology Of Communication, taught by a PhD psychologist who did a lot of expert legal work.

He committed the cardinal sin of noting that men and women communicate differently, which prompted several young women to take the vapors and complain to the idiot dean of the law school.

There is no dogma that is defended like Collectivist dogma.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Ragspierre. | February 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Then I once dodged a bullet. I remember having a freewheeling discussion in my class about the difference between men and women. It was necessary to inform the women that men are not women with marbles, and they should stop expecting men to behave like women. The guys loved it. One kept on giving me adoring looks and said after that he wished his girlfriend had been in class that night. The women were okay, I guess. Nobody reported me to the admin.

DINORightMarie | February 8, 2012 at 11:25 am

I understand his settling the case, but it appears, on the surface, that the leftist ideologues got what they wanted:

* Publicity.
* The appearance of vindication of their claims (as settlement usually makes the accused appear guilty).
* And the removal of a Conservative law professor from Widener Law.

Too bad that he couldn’t stick it out and make them prove their allegations. I believe it might have eliminated some of this use of the courts to remove a problem via “discrimination” accusations.


    Juba Doobai! in reply to DINORightMarie. | February 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Only superficially. In reality, Widener looked ridiculously Soviet. Ammons has to be an Obama voter; heck, they all are there. They lost reputation and good name. Moreover, they lost megabucks, which is the lifeblood of universities.

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Good luck, Professor Connell.

So should we start a pool as to when Dean Ammons will be leaving Widener ?

All claims amongst all parties have been resolved amicably and Professor Connell’s employment with the University and Law School has been concluded.

Surely, there could be a better way to have worded this.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to janitor. | February 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I remember reading a letter from a lawyer online. The matter, website, and author are unclear, but the letter was brilliant in how it sliced and diced as the guy told the other law firm their client was an idiot whose idiocy was only highlighted by the lawsuit. Brilliant, heady, funny stuff. So, yeah, this guy coulda done better, but not all legal beagles are wordsmiths.

In other words, Widener wins. Correct?

The recent GOP debates, particularly the exchange between Newt Gingrich and Juan Williams, have shown us there is a vast difference between perceived racism, accusations of racism and actual racism.

The accusations were based on the words: ‘janitor’ and ‘food stamps.’

First, Newt was known as a Jack Kemp, civil rights, unbiased by color politician throughout his career.
Second, most recipients of food stamps are actually white, not African-Americans.
Third, Newt’s own daughter and many whites get jobs cleaning, serving tables, being janitors (a high paying job) to work their way through school. I have a friend who earned a bachelors, two Masters and a PhD doing janitorial work. He’s white and his father was a full-time lifelong janitor without a degree.

Racism, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder.

theduchessofkitty | February 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Now, where does this Professor go to get his reputation (and his career) back?

I hope all of them paid through the nose. The students have demonstrated they are unteachable, as well as unable and or unwilling to think beyond their grievance mentality. Ammons proved she’s racist, ignorant, and vindictive. Widener’s administration showed itself to be cowardly and lacking in the integrity to tell two students and a stupid woman to sit down, shut up, and open their minds. As I said, I hope they all paid. Big time.

    Anchovy in reply to Juba Doobai!. | February 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    My guess is the students will graduate from law school and continue their vendetta with a bar card and a law license.

      leereyno in reply to Anchovy. | February 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Sadly people with their mentality attend law school for precisely that purpose. They see their legal credentials as a wrecking ball and our nation as its target.

      But likely without a job. Who’d hire them? I’m sure even the crazies at the Southern Poverty Law Center would think long and hard.

Now Widener get the nickname ‘Narrower’; probably lose some students, gain some others, but the net result is not good for the school.

I have no idea if it was a good school or not before this incident.

    Owego in reply to SweetAndy. | February 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Widener was always a third rate institution in the Delaware Valley, an area rich in excellent educational opportunity. Ammons and the administration have helped solidify its position.

      lawyerdude in reply to Owego. | February 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Owego – That’s a hell of a thing to say about Widener Law School. As an alumnus, I’m offended. We are a FOURTH-rate institution, not a 3rd rate one. The US News & World Report Ratings said so, before they changed the tier system. Get it right next time.

[…] WIDENER LAW SCANDAL UPDATE: Widener Law settles with Prof. Lawrence Connell. […]

I agree that a settlement is often the best way to resolve a dispute. But, no one except the participants know “what” was settled. The students and Ammons will talk privately that Connell chickened out and they were right all along. If Connell breathes a word, he will be castigated by the Weidner administration who will do Ammons and the students dirty work. On the other hand, litigation is always risky. And it is risky for everyone.

    Prof. Connell also runs the risk of Weidner “leaking” terms of the settlement that are a complete lie by way of the media, and being unable to defend himself without breaking the agreement and getting smacked. I certainly hope he got a settlement that has at least six figures in it, or even two commas….

[…] Law settles with Prof. Lawrence Connell” [William Jacobson, Legal Insurrection, earlier here, here, here, etc.] Sensitivity camp at U. of Idaho Law […]