Our case at Occidental College, where former student shock jock Jason Antebi finally settled a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the school for maliciously violating his free speech and due process rights, has hit the media.
The settlement of the case, which received tons of media attention as it unfolded, was covered in the Los Angeles Daily News and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Sadly, in both of these stories, Occidental’s lawyer Stuart D. Tochner downplays the school’s culpability in firing Antebi for what was clearly protected speech. Tochner stated to the Chronicle
There isn’t and never was any merit to Mr. Antebi’s lawsuit. This settlement will spare the college’s employees from a wasteful diversion of attention.
Similarly, Tochner commented to the Daily News that
It was settled for a nominal sum. Occidental College absolutely admitted no wrongdoing.
We beg to differ. One look at Antebi’s appellate brief or any of FIRE’s carefully documented case materials, including a letter thoroughly rebuffing each of Occidental’s arguments, clearly shows that not only did Antebi’s case have merit, but that Occidental unlawfully violated Antebi’s rights—whether they admit it now or not.