Case Studies

Lewis Rice Attorneys Win Significant Title IX Case for Saint Louis University in U.S. Court of Appeals

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled unanimously in favor of Lewis Rice client, Saint Louis University, in an action involving Title IX and several other Missouri common law tort and statutory claims. Lewis Rice attorneys Neal F. Perryman and Sarah E. Mullen successfully represented the University, both in the trial court and on appeal. Neal argued the matter before the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The plaintiff sued the University, attempting to hold it responsible for damages resulting from an alleged off-campus sexual assault, as well as an alleged back injury which the plaintiff claimed she suffered as the result of her participation in intercollegiate athletics. After lengthy trial court litigation, District Judge Henry E. Autrey granted summary judgment to the University on all claims, holding, among other things, that the University's conduct toward the plaintiff was not "clearly unreasonable" as a matter of law, and that the plaintiff's other statutory and other common law claims failed.

On appeal, the judgment was affirmed in all respects, holding that the University's conduct was not shown "to exhibit deliberate indifference" and that the University could not be held liable under Title IX or any other attempted tort or statutory theory.

Successful Defense of Saint Louis Public School District in Discrimination Case

Lewis Rice attorneys Vincent D. Reese and Anne R. Kerns successfully defended the St. Louis Public School District in a lawsuit brought by a Black Community Collaborative Specialist who asserted that she was improperly paid less than her White co-worker. The plaintiff originally asserted seven causes of action against the school district, four of which were initially dismissed by the court. After the completion of discovery, the school district moved for summary judgment on the three remaining claims of race discrimination and retaliation. In defense of these claims, the school district presented uncontroverted evidence that the plaintiff's lesser pay was the result of her shorter tenure and experience and not based upon illegal discrimination or retaliation. Ultimately, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri granted summary judgment on these remaining claims, which fully disposed of this matter.

Victory In Landmark School Case

Lewis Rice attorneys Richard B. Walsh, Jr. and Evan Z. Reid successfully represented the Special Administrative Board governing St. Louis Public Schools and a local taxpayer in opposing a state law that required the district to pay tuition and transportation costs for students to transfer to other school districts, but provided no funding.

The evidence at trial established that the annual cost to St. Louis Public Schools in connection with the law's mandates would be nearly $300 million. The court agreed with the St. Louis Public Schools District and the taxpayer that the law violated the Hancock Amendment to Missouri's Constitution because it imposed new costs without adequate funding from the state and that compliance with the law was impossible. The court blocked enforcement of the law and awarded costs to the school district and attorney's fees to the taxpayer.