On October 17, the Jury Verdict Reporter presented partners Manny Sanchez and Bradley D. Alexander with the 2012 Trial Lawyer Excellence Award for an outstanding result achieved in a significant verdict potential matter.
The award followed their successful defense of North Central College in a civil rights themed breach of contract case in which the plaintiff, an outspoken heterosexual student and basketball player, contended that the school’s lesbian head coach breached the Student Handbook proscription of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, contending that she was “driven from the team due to lesbian indoctrination” during her junior year; and that subsequently, certain administrative officials breached the Student Handbook proscription of retaliation, by refusing to allow her to return to the team her senior year, as a result of her parent’s surfacing of the alleged discrimination to the college’s Athletic Director and President.
After extensive motion practice leading to the entry of summary judgment as to counts alleging negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and spoliation of evidence, as well as barring the plaintiff’s hedonic damages expert from testifying, the case proceeded to trial before Judge Dorothy French in DuPage County. The pre-trial demand was $1.6 million and after a nine day trial the plaintiff asked for an award of $1 million. The jury returned a defense verdict in favor of NCC on the discrimination count; and awarded plaintiff $10,000 in damages on the retaliation count.
Click on the following link to read the full page announcement published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on October 23, 2012.