Wednesday, May 21, 2008

FGCU Files A Lawsuit of Its Own

The National Law Journal has this account of Florida Gulf Coast University's efforts to enjoin former general counsel Wendy Morris from releasing information about the university that it claims is protected by the attorney-client privilege. Morris, we've noted, filed suit against FGCU in April, claiming that she was discharged in retaliation for encouraging the President to investigate allegations of Title IX violations within the university.

Experts interviewed by the Journal say FGCU's case is weak because the Florida Bar Rules of Professional Conduct contain an exception to the attorney-client privilege rule for lawyers who are suing their former employers or need to defend themselves. To qualify for the exception, Morris need only show that the information she's revealed in her complaint or other public sources is "germane to her suit" -- as opposed to extraneous information whose only purpose of to embarrass FGCU.

I've read Morris's complaint, and while all it says should embarrass FGCU, it's certainly germane to her retaliation suit.