11/23/2012: Diane Dietz in the RG:
The University of Oregon breached its employment contract with former physics professor Thomas Mossberg when it dismantled his laboratory at the UO in 2004, a Marion County Circuit Court judge has ruled.
Dietz gets several quotes from UO General Counsel Randy Geller, e.g.:
“We intend to continue to vigorously defend the case and are confident that we will ultimately prevail in the case,” UO General Counsel Randy Geller said.
It’s not clear what Randy means by “We”. Ms Dietz notes that UO is represented in court by competent outside counsel, Miller Nash from Portland. While Geller came to UO in January 2003 (resume here), this intellectual property dispute was presumably in large part the responsibility of Geller’s favorite former boss UO General Counsel Emerita Melinda Grier, who is well known for her ”deficient legal representation” of UO in other circumstances.
Damages for the Mossberg case are a long way from being determined. In 2007 Professor Jean Stockard won a $500,000 settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit against UO. One interesting aspect of these suits is who pays. UO has liability insurance of some sort from an OUS policy with United Educators – but I don’t know what they cover. I’ve asked Jamie Moffitt. She thinks the faculty doesn’t need to know that sort of thing, but says I can always make a public records request. Hmm.