Fashion, Fashion Victims Unit, Law Professors, Law Schools, Racism

A LSU Law Center Professor’s Scattershot Attack in a Baton Rouge Battle

Earlier this month, Lousiana State University heralded its victory in a lawsuit. Meanwhile, a professor at LSU Law Center was mighty disappointed. She was the one who sued the school.

Professor Darlene Goring teaches common law property, real estate transactions, and immigration law. The Northwestern Law grad also mentors the Black Law Students Association. Goring joined the faculty as an Associate Professor of Law on a tenure track in 2002. She got “indefinite tenure” in 2005, though did not get to drop the “Associate” from her title. She sued LSU in 2008, claiming the school had denied her full professorship and tenure “because of her race and her stance on law school policies.”

That all sounds rather staid. Except “law school policies” is a code word for a vicious fight with the president of the Black Law Students Association. Goring told the president in January 2007 that she was inappropriately dressed at a BLSA event in Miami — she allegedly told her that she looked like a “slut” and a “whore.” Maybe the Big Easy could use some fashion tips from the Windy City.

Then-3L Daphne M. LaSalle was not happy about being called out on her attire. She and Goring allegedly “hurled invectives and accusations” at one another; the “acrimonious” confrontation escalated, eventually playing out on Facebook…

Goring’s lawsuit against LSU did not survive summary judgment. The order describes the fallout between Goring and LaSalle (who is wearing perfectly appropriate attire in her Facebook profile photo). Tangent: is including “Esq.” in your Facebook name a douche move?

According to the order [PDF], LaSalle’s mom had words with Goring at the LSU Law graduation:

Repercussions from this altercation continued into May 2007 when Goring and LaSalle’s mother got into a heated verbal exchange at the Law Center’s graduation ceremony. LaSalle’s mother briefly confronted Goring concerning her displeasure with Goring’s conduct, specifically some of the words Goring allegedly used to describe her daughter’s wardrobe. Goring alleges that LaSalle posted photographs and derogatory comments concerning the confrontation on her Facebook page.

The parties dispute what happened once Goring reported the photographs. LSU alleges that LaSalle removed both the photographs and references to the altercation on her Facebook page when VC Joseph asked her to do so. Goring counters that LaSalle continued to make postings on her page. Goring alleges that she again reported the matter to VC Joseph and Law Center library staff, to inform them that LaSalle used the Law Center’s computer for the web postings in violation of the usage policy, but that no action was taken against LaSalle.

Going to the Law School Board to report a student being mean to you on Facebook? Jeez. We’re starting to think that LSU should have been a contender for douchiest law school.

A few months later, Goring requested promotion for full professorship and was denied. She then sued, for discrimination based on race and because those Facebook postings contributed to a hostile work environment.

The court was not impressed with her litigation abilities. The law professor got schooled by Judge James Brady in the summary judgment:

As an initial matter, the Court notes the lack of clarity and organization that pervades Goring’s submissions. This scattershot approach of aggregating facts, then summarily attaching causes of action hampers the Court’s ability to identify the specific claims at issue and efficiently address the current motion.

A law professor who is legal writing-challenged? Unfortunately, that’s not particularly shocking.

Goring and LaSalle likely aren’t too chummy. But there are no hard feelings between Goring and LSU. During the course of the litigation, the Board promoted Goring to full professorship.

Professor suing for tenure denial [LSU Reveille]
Lawsuit against LSU Board thrown out (with Summary Judgment Order) [Louisiana State University System]

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