UB Law Professor Seeks Distance from Dean Mutua
by Buck Quigley - posted 12:13 pm, September 23, 2014
To follow up on yesterday’s post…
Click here to read the Motion filed on August 13, 2014 in support of Charles P. Ewing’s request for a separate trial—apart from the proceeding brought by former UB Professor Jeffrey Malkan against outgoing UB Law School Dean Makau Mutua.
From the Motion:
This Memorandum is submitted in support of Defendant Charles P. Ewing’s (“Ewing”) Motion for Separate Trials. Plaintiff Jeffrey Malkan’s (“Malkan”) claims against Dean Makau Mutua (“Mutua”) should be tried separately to avoid foreseeable “spill-over effect” and indelible prejudice to Ewing, who truly is an innocent bystander to the events that led to Malkan’s § 1983 employment claim. Ewing played no role in Mutua’s decision to non-renew Malkan’s term appointment as Clinical Professor. Ewing entered the picture later, as part of a good faith process within the Law School to try to resolve in a collegial fashion differences among faculty members. Instead of getting a reward for his selfless service and professionalism, his good deed has been punished. Lest the punishment become even worse, he asks for a separate trial.
The Motion describes how the account of events given by several faculty members present at an April 28, 2006 vote by the Committee on Clinical Promotion and Renewal (CCPR)—regarding Malkan’s promotion to the position of a clinical full professor from his position as clinical associate professor—is at odds with the account sworn by Dean Mutua.
Seven UB Law Professors who were present at the meeting testified under the penalty of perjury that Malkan had been approved for the promotion by that vote.
Also according to the Motion, Mutua testified “that the CCPR did not vote on whether Malkan should be promoted to Clinical Professor; rather he testified that the CCPR voted to keep Malkan as Director of the Research and Writing Program for an additional year.”
Mutua appears to be the only one who recalls events this way. Again and again, the 14-page document appealing for a separate trial for Professor Ewing paints Mutua in a very unfavorable light.
The Motion offers a recent passage from Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, on the importance of providing truthful testimony in court.
The Motion closes like this:
One would think that Justice Sotomayor’s admonition applies with particular force when the public employee is the Dean of the only state law school in New York. False testimony stains the legal process and the judicial system. It strips legal institutions of their integrity and undermines their standing in the community by inhibiting their capacity to render justice. False testimony by one co-defendant unnecessarily bears the potential to prejudice his co-defendant and deprive him of the opportunity to fairly and truthfully offer his own defense.
Ewing should not be compelled to assume the risk that a reasonable jury will: (1) readily conclude that Mutua, his co-defendant and the Dean of a Law School, has twice offered false testimony under oath against the interests of the plaintiff in the current action; and (2) thereafter give Ewing’s defense less weight than it deserves because of his previous close working relationship with Mutua at the Law School.
Therefore, for the reasons set forth above, Charles P. Ewing respectfully requests that this Court grant his Motion for Separate Trials and order that Malkan’s claims against Mutua be tried separately.
Click here to read it for yourself.