Pocatello, Idaho • Idaho State University has filed a motion in federal court seeking sanctions and $75,000 in legal fees from a former professor who has been embroiled in legal disputes with the school for several years.
Sadid and the school earlier this month reached a settlement in a defamation lawsuit brought by Sadid, the Idaho State Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1fNi5be). Terms weren’t disclosed.
But Sadid on Dec. 18 asked U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to reopen the case, saying he wants to clear his name. The school in its lawsuit asks Winmill to dismiss the case and award costs.
Sadid was a tenured professor at ISU’s School of Engineering but he was fired in 2009 after university officials said he ignored repeated warnings that he was violating the school’s protocol for criticizing upper-level administrators.
Sadid said his speech was protected under the First Amendment and he should be entitled to unemployment benefits.
The request to reopen the lawsuit is "another attempted strategic maneuver from Sadid and his council, designed to prejudice defendant, increase litigation expense and frustrate a just resolution of this matter," wrote John Bailey, the school’s attorney.
Bailey also said that the oral agreement made in court regarding terms of the settlement is binding on Sadid. But Sadid disagrees about what happened in court.
"I made no commitment," he said. "The judge didn’t ask me if I agreed with this. Everyone knows this is a plot except for the court. I am surprised the court does not want to see it."
Sadid said the plot involves his attorney wanting to settle the case even though that’s not what Sadid wanted.
Ron Coulter has asked to withdraw as Sadid’s attorney, Coulter’s second motion to withdraw in as many weeks. Coulter also said Sadid is seeking a different lawyer.
Sadid said he lost confidence in Coulter.
"Throughout (Dec. 14 and the morning of Dec. 16) he said he was not being paid for his time," Sadid said of Coulter. "He said he could not win the case. He killed my confidence. How can an attorney say you can’t win this? How can you trust and attorney to go in front of a jury like this?"
Sadid said he hasn’t been told whether or not the case will be reopened. Coulter said he’s waiting for a response to his request to withdraw as Sadid’s attorney.
Information from: Idaho State Journal, http://www.journalnet.com
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