10/18/2012: This is the Emeldi suit against the UO Ed School. It's a big deal, the decision is going to make it much easier for students to sue professors. Interestingly the decision was written by 3 judges, the dissent by 7. From Scott Jaschik in IHE. The dissent:
“[T]he panel overlooks the critical differences between academia and the outside world. It applies the law so loosely that one of the laxest interpretations of the pleading standard is now planted squarely in academia, just where the pleading standard should be highest,” the dissent adds. “If this ill-considered precedent stands, professors will have to think twice before giving honest evaluations of their students for fear that disgruntled students may haul them into court. This is a loss for professors and students and for society, which depends on their creative ferment.”
... Randy Geller, general counsel of the University of Oregon, said via e-mail: "We will evaluate the decision, including the dissent signed by seven Ninth Circuit judges, and determine whether to seek additional appellate review."Actually Geller wasn't really on the case, and we all hope he will not be making any decisions about whether or how to appeal. UO hires competent outside counsel for situations like this, here this included Denise Gale Fjordbeck, Assistant Attorney General and Bruce Campbell of Miller Nash. Geller wanted to hire Frohnmayer's firm, but Kroger said no. No word on how much this has cost so far. Full decision and dissent here.