Widener Settles Lawsuit Filed by Law Professor who was Punished for Protected Speech

February 8, 2012

For a year now, FIRE has been reporting on the case of wronged law professor Lawrence Connell, who was the target of a campaign spearheaded by Widener Law Dean Linda Ammons. Ammons sought Connell’s termination and banishment from Widener mainly on the basis of Connell’s use of hypothetical legal scenarios that used Ammons as a character (quite a common practice in law schools). Ammons also allegedly induced two students to file charges against Connell. (The law school even indemnified the students.) Connell was exonerated of the original charges but Widener kept pursuing him, bizarrely finding that Connell’s efforts to defend himself constituted "retaliation."

Today, FIRE has learned from Connell’s attorney, Thomas S. Neuberger, that his lawsuit against Widener University, Dean Ammons, and students Jennifer R. Perez and Nadege Tandoh has been resolved amicably and confidentially.

Neuberger’s announcement says that Connell is no longer at Widener. I know that if I were Connell I wouldn’t be too thrilled about sticking around Widener University School of Law while Linda Ammons was running it. Why Ammons is still running the law school is a question people should probably be asking Widener.

While Connell may be prevented by the terms of the settlement from continuing to comment on Ammons’ tyrannical behavior in this ordeal, FIRE faces no such restrictions. We will continue to make sure the public remembers the many wrongs committed by the Widener Law administration against Lawrence Connell. Prospective law school students should think twice (or more) before sending their applications to Widener. 

Schools:  Widener University School of Law

Cases:  Widener University: Law School Threatens Professor’s Academic Freedom