June 14, 2006 Press Release (with minor June 15th revisions)
Recall from the May 16, 2006 Press Release, that On May 15, 2006, the parties entered an agreed order to among other things reschedule the response date for the answer and/or other pleading to June 8th; and reset the next court status appearance to June 14 at 9 am.
Defendant has not yet answered or pleaded otherwise to the amendments to the complaint. This morning counsel for the defense, Jeff Nowak, was in the emergency room following a fall down the stairs. Although the defense requested all of today's court matters be reconsidered on either June 19th or June 21st, the Court conducted the status hearing notwithstanding counsel's absence. Defendants have not responded to the motion for leave to file a count for tortious interference with contractual relations. This count was therefore filed today. The court gave defendants 14 days (until June 28th) for an answer to the count itself (now that the motion has been granted), and the court reset the time for response to all remaining counts for June 28th, and court offered to set next status appearance to July 7th or July 11th. Counsel for the plaintiff preferred July 11th. The defense may answer the tortious interference count, or to file a motion to dismiss it, a motion for judgment on the pleadings, or a motion for summary judgment on June 28th. If defense files such a motion, the court may set a briefing schedule on July 11th that could extend through the summer. The court has not scheduled any motion regarding the complaint for initial hearing on July 11th. The briefing schedule could be set at a different time. On July 11th, the new tortious interference count will be at issue should defendants opt to answer. It should be noted that there is an off chance that a motion could be noticed earlier or a briefing schedule could be entered by agreed order.
The court continues to reserve ruling on both of the plaintiff's motion for discovery sanctions for shredded documents, erased computers, and untimely production and the defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's expert report on the argument that career damages cannot be recovered in a breach of contract case. The court will rule on these two motions by mail shortly. The court continues to reserve ruling on a motion by defendant for relief from defendant's duplicate cost petition arising from the plaintiff's 2nd amended complaint.
The court indicated today that after ruling on the two pending motions it will set a dispositive motion schedule, expert cut-off date, set a trial date and, pending its ruling on the motion to strike the expert report, set an expert deposition schedule. The court today expressed its disdain for the excessive number of motions and objections regarding each item at issue.
In his suit against the University, nine claims are now at issue. Counts I and II allege, respectively, breach of express and of implied contract, due to violations of University regulations, and his rights to freedom of inquiry, as set forth in the University manual and handbook. Freedom of inquiry, one of the most highly protected freedoms in an academic community, is the freedom to inquire without penalty or retribution. Counts IV and V allege breach of express and implied contracts for financial aid (especially free tutoring). Newly added counts VII and VIII reallege these breaches of contract with refinements based on discovery to date. Count IX for spoliation of evidence was added for breach of duty to preserve evidence by destroying thousands of potentially relevant documents. Count VI alleges detrimental reliance on the promises of the University. Count X is for tortious interference with contract. Vernón claims the University lured him from another program, and uprooted his life. Vernón is represented by Elaine Siegel (ELAINE K.B. SIEGEL & ASSOC., P..C., 39 South LaSalle Street, Suite 617, Chicago, Illinois 60603, (312) 236-8088, EKBSiegel@aol.com).
Vernón, a kukkiwon certified black belt, is one of Chicago's most prominent non-projectile weapons practitioners and most popular beach personalities. He often performs using the nickname "Tony the Tiger". You can see him perform July 3rd in the Wilmette Parks District Independence Day Celebration. He was the 1st middleweight collegiate athlete to deadlift 600 lbs. without using steroids. His father, Dr. Carlos Vernón (1937-2003), was the 1957 Athlete of the Year for the Republic of Panama and is the greatest sprinter in Latin American history. He ran a 10.2 when the world record was 10.1.
Donations to his legal fund by check and money order, at Vernón Legal Fund, 1507 E. 53rd. St. - #608, Chicago, IL 60615 are welcomed. Donations by credit card and electronic payment can be made via free paypal accounts (from www.paypal.com) to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.