TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, January 10, 2014

Law Prof Says School Violated ADA by Barring Him From Campus for Chastising Students for Being Unprepared

National Law Journal, Professor Alleges Law School Violated ADA, by Karen Sloan:

CornwellA longtime professor at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has filed suit, claiming administrators violated the Americans With Disabilities Act when they declined to accommodate his depression and Asperger’s syndrome.

Joel Cornwell has taught at the school since 1985 but was suspended from teaching and barred from campus in October following a series of dustups with students and administrators that he attributes to his mild form of Asperger’s. He says the condition makes it difficult for him to pick up on nonverbal cues and impairs his social interactions.

Cornwell filed suit on Jan. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, seeking reinstatement, past wages and damages for emotional distress. ...

According to Cornwell’s complaint, his problems began in February 2011 when he engaged in an angry exchange with maintenance staff after they repeatedly failed to configure a classroom properly for his seminar course. ... Problems surfaced again in October, when Cornwell lost his temper in class and chastised two students for being unprepared, according to court records.

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Without stating a view, what would have been a reasonable accommodation in such a case?

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Jan 10, 2014 6:45:38 AM


Posted by: Eric Muller | Jan 10, 2014 7:02:44 AM

Filed suit Jan 31? What year?

Posted by: Bob Kamman | Jan 10, 2014 7:24:24 AM

Clearly they are also being discriminatory because he is a time traveler. Thus his ability to file suit on Jan. 31 and his ability to know the maintenance staff were not going to have his room set-up properly.

Posted by: Daniel Waters | Jan 10, 2014 8:49:52 AM