Vol. 18, Iss. 7
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
All rights reserved
alleged a claim of violations of Title IX because he had
coupled them with the allegations of public pressure.
She refused to dismiss the claim. ■
TITLE IX — ATHLETICS
Judge ends suit involving
students of different schools
Case name: Doe v. Brown University, et al., No.
16-614 (D. R.I. 09/06/17).
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, District of Rhode
Island dismissed a suit against Brown University.
What it means: The protection of Title IX prohibits
student-on-student harassment only when both the
perpetrator and victim are enrolled in the same school.
Summary: Providence College freshman Jane Doe
reported to the city police in 2014 that she had been
raped in a Brown University residence hall by three
Brown University football players.
Pursuant to Doe’s requests, Brown agreed to
conduct an inquiry into her allegations. However,
Brown never completed it.
Because both institutions were located in the same
town, Doe withdrew from Providence because of
her claimed fear of encountering the three student-
athletes in the future.
She then ﬁled a suit claiming violations of Title IX.
Brown ﬁled a motion to dismiss, arguing the act
applied only when both students were enrolled in
the same school where the alleged assault occurred.
The district judge said that the few cases address-
ing the issue held that the protection of Title IX was
generally limited to scenarios where the accuser
and the alleged attacker attended the same school.
He dismissed the suit, stating that Brown’s acts —
or failures to act — couldn’t have prevented her from
getting an education at Providence, because Brown
didn’t have any control or inﬂuence over the classes
in which Doe was enrolled. He also explained that
no one at Brown had the authority to take corrective
action to prevent future encounters that allegedly
prevented her from staying enrolled at Providence. ■
FREE SPEECH — TRADEMARKS
Judge decides administration
may have tried to stifle free speech
Case name: Beverly, et al. v. Watson, et al., No.
14 C 4970 (N.D. Ill. 09/29/17).
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Northern District
of Illinois refused to grant summary judgment in a
suit against Chicago State University.
What it means: The power of a university to con-
trol the civility and tone of a faculty blog is limited.
Summary: In 2009, Chicago State University pro-
fessors Phillip Beverly and Robert Bionaz were instru-
mental in founding a blog entitled “CSU Faculty Voice.”
During a 2013 meeting, President Wayne Watson
and Vice President Patrick Cage expressed concern
to Beverly that the blog didn’t adhere to generally
accepted civility standards.
A few days later, Cage sent Beverly a letter order-
ing him to “disable” the blog because it was using
CSU’s trade names and marks without permission.
However, CSU had never perfected any of those
trademark rights at that time.
Beverly and Bionaz refused to shut down the blog.
According to Vice President LaShondra Peebles,
Watson told her he needed her help in trying to get
rid of Beverly.
Beverly and Bionaz ﬁled a suit against the university
and others that asserted several claims. One of them
was that the 2013 Cage “Cease and Desist” letter was
in retaliation for exercising their rights of free speech.
The defendants ﬁled a motion for summary judg-
ment, arguing the purpose of the letter was to protect
intellectual property rights.
But the judge observed that CSU had no trade-
mark rights in its marks at the time the letter was
sent, and also that the Cage letter made numerous
references to the lack of civility in their blog. Because
of those factors, and because the letter was sent
shortly after the 2013 meeting when Watson and
Cage expressed displeasure about the blog, she ruled
that a jury could reasonably conclude that the Cage
letter wasn’t sent to protect trademarks.
The judge ruled that Beverly and Bionaz had pre-
sented sufﬁcient evidence from which a jury could
reasonably conclude that the actions were in retaliation
for the exercise of the right to freedom of speech. ■
DISABILITY — ADULT LEARNER
Student can’t get grade change
based on disability
Case name: Cooley v. Western Michigan University
Cooley Law School, et al., No. 16-13727 (E.D. Mich.
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Eastern District
of Michigan dismissed a suit against the Western
Michigan University Cooley Law School.
What it means: The Americans with Disabilities
Act doesn’t require educational institutions to lower
their standards to accommodate a handicapped