United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division
OPINION AND ORDER
AIKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
wrongful discharge of employment case, plaintiff Kathleen
Dyer sues Southwest Oregon Community College
("SWOCC"), a municipal corporation, as well as Cody
Yeager, Dean of Career and Technical Education at SWOCC, in
her personal capacity, alleging that defendants violated 42
U.S, C. § 1983 when they terminated plaintiffs
employment as a full-time criminal justice instructor at
SWOCC. Plaintiff avers that defendants (1) retaliated against
her for exercising her First Amendment free speech and free
association rights, and (2) deprived her of her Fourteenth
Amendment property interest and right to due process, among
other federal and state law claims arising from the same
nucleus of operative facts. Plaintiff seeks a
declaratory judgment that defendants violated her
constitutional rights. She asks me to award equitable relief,
damages, and attorney's fees.
me is defendants' motion for summary judgment as to
plaintiffs § 1983 claims. For the reasons set forth
herein, defendant's motion is denied in part, as to
plaintiffs First Amendment retaliation claims, and granted in
part, as to plaintiffs Fourteenth Amendment property interest
was initially hired by SWOCC on December 12, 2014, to serve
as the college's sole full-time, tenure-track criminal
justice instructor. The Southwest Oregon Community College
Federation of Teachers is the union which organizes and
represents instructors at SWOCC. See Ds. Ex. 6 at 4.
As a SWOCC faculty member, plaintiffs employment contract was
governed by the union's collective bargaining agreement
with SWOCC. Under the terms of that agreement, all
tenure-track appointments are classified as probationary for
the first three consecutive years of employment. Id.
at 28-29. "At the end of each annual contract the
Employer reserves the sole right to renew the tenure track
faculty member's contract for another year as it deems
appropriate ... ." Id. at 28.
began teaching college courses at SWOCC on January 2, 2015,
Pl.'s 2d Am'd Compl. ¶ 19, In late June or early
July of 2015, the former Dean of Career and Technical
Education, plaintiffs supervisor, retired, Ds.' Ex, 1 at
5, That position was subsequently filled by Cody Yeager, a
defendant in this action. Yeager's first day as Dean of
Career and Technical Education was July 27, 2015. Pl.'s
Ex. D at 4. On August 4, Yeager had an initial meeting with
plaintiff and the exiting Dean. Id. On August 15,
plaintiff hosted Yeager for dinner at plaintiffs home.
Id. Plaintiffs husband and one other professional
colleague were also present at the August 15 dinner.
Plaintiff alleges several state law claims originating from
comments by and interactions with Yeager at the August 15
dinner. See Pl.'s 2d Am'd Compl.
¶¶ 80-97. In or around September 2015, plaintiff
filed complaints with SWOCC's human resources manager
regarding alleged unwelcome sexual advances by Yeager.
Id. at ¶ 31.
September 1, 2015, plaintiff entered into a new contract with
SWOCC for the 2015-2016 academic year. Pl.'s Ex. I. The
dates of the contract spanned September 1, 2015 through June
10, 2016. Id. The contract classified plaintiffs
appointment as "probationary, tenure track -first
October 6, 2015, plaintiff attended a monthly community
criminal justice advisory meeting. Pl.'s Ex. H at 2. The
so-called "chiefs meetings" are monthly lunches
attended by local law enforcement personnel, including the
police chiefs of Coos Bay and surrounding communities.
See Pl.'s Ex. H, Plaintiff had previously
attended chiefs meetings in January and June 2015, pursuant
to expectations that she attend in her capacity as
SWOCC's lead criminal justice instructor, Id. at
1. Plaintiff reported at deposition that she attended chiefs
meetings approximately twice a year: "I was required
to." Pl.'s Ex. B at 9. Between September 28-29,
2015, plaintiff and Yeager exchanged emails regarding the
nature of the chiefs meetings and confirming plaintiffs
attendance at the October 6 meeting. See Pl.'s
Ex. H. In that correspondence, Yeager expressed concern that
an advisory committee to SWOCC's criminal justice program
should include representation from across the criminal
justice spectrum, rather than solely law enforcement.
Id. at 2. Plaintiff responded via email that the
chiefs meetings are "a pretty comprehensive cross
section." Id. However, in deposition, plaintiff
explained that she and the prior Dean of Career and Technical
Education had discussed how the chiefs meetings were
"too law enforcement oriented .... and that we would
work on it." Pl.'s Ex, B at 9.
January 2016, plaintiffs tenure committee conducted its first
review of plaintiff. Pl.'s 2d Am'd Compl. ¶ 40.
The committee recommended "retention without
reservation." Id. On February 15, 2016, a S
WOCC student then enrolled in one of plaintiff s courses
approached plaintiff regarding criminal charges he was facing
following an arrest. Pl.'s Ex. J at 1; Ds.' Ex. 5 at
1; see also Pl.'s 2d Am'd Compl, ¶ 53.
Using her SWOCC office phone and while the student was
present in plaintiffs office at SWOCC, plaintiff allegedly
called her colleague, Paul Frasier, an adjunct criminal
justice instructors at SWOCC and a local District Attorney.
Pl.'s Ex. J at 1; Ds.' Ex. 5 at 1. Plaintiff states
that she asked Frasier to look up the student's
arraignment date, which Frasier agreed to do. Pl.'s 2d
Am'd Compl. ¶ 54. The Notice of Termination letter
from SWOCC to plaintiff states that plaintiff left a voice
message for Frasier "asking him to look into it."
Pl.'s Ex. J at 1; Ds.' Ex. 5 at 1.
plaintiff reached out to Yeager to inquire about whether it
would be appropriate for plaintiff to represent the student,
pro bono, in the criminal matter. Pl.'s Ex C at 3. Yeager
reports that she responded that it would not be appropriate
and would constitute a conflict of interest because "as
a faculty member that would put her and the college in an
adversarial relationship with the District Attorney's
Office." Id. In deposition, Yeager further
averred that she told plaintiff a conflict of interest would
exist if plaintiff were to represent "[a]ny SWOCC
student," not only students currently enrolled in
plaintiffs courses. Id. at 3-4. Yeager told
plaintiff that she would also check with the Vice President
of Instruction. Id. at 3. Allegedly Vice President
Ross Tomlin agreed with Yeager's assessment that
plaintiffs representation of students would be a conflict of
interest; Yeager says that she communicated Vice President
Tomlin's opinion to plaintiff the same day that Yeager
spoke with Tomlin regarding the matter. Id. at 4.
Plaintiff declined to represent the student facing criminal
charges who had requested plaintiffs assistance. Pl.'s 2d
Am'd Compl, ¶ 59.
March 8, 2016, Yeager issued a Notice of Performance Analysis
to plaintiff via email on a day when plaintiff was out of the
office. Ds.' Mot. Part. Summ. J. 4; Ds.' Ex. 1, 6.
The Notice elaborated two counts of complaints against
plaintiff: (1) use of foul language, and (2) plaintiffs
telephone call to Frasier regarding the student who had come
to plaintiff looking for help with navigating his criminal
charges. Ds.' Mot. Part. Summ. J. 4;
Ds.' Ex. 1, 7. Allegedly Frasier had interpreted
plaintiffs call regarding the student's arraignment date
as "a request to intervene in his capacity as a District
Attorney on behalf of a student[.]" Ds.' Mot. Part.
Summ. J. 4. Plaintiff reports that she was very surprised by
the occasion and content of the Notice: "[T]here was no
basis for it. I had never heard any of these allegations
brought to me ever. No complaints, nothing. It was just pure
speculation, and I was astounded." Ds.' Ex. 1, 7.
March 16 or 17, 2016, plaintiff met with Yeager and Human
Resources Manager Matt Gilroy to discuss the Notice of
Performance Analysis; the topic of representing students in
legal matters arose during that meeting. Pl.'s Ex. C, 4;
Pl.'s Ex. B, 5. HR Manager Gilroy "advised
[plaintiff] not to represent any current students, . . .
Students that are in her current classes." Pl.'s Ex
A, 4. In deposition, Gilroy explained that SWOCC had a policy
"concern about possible preferential treatment, . .
giving those students something she wasn't providing
other students[.]" Id. at 5. Gilroy confirmed
that he would have permitted plaintiff to represent students
who had been previously enrolled in her courses and students
who might eventually enroll in plaintiffs courses.
Id. at 6. Gilroy allegedly suggested the following
three restrictions on plaintiffs prospective representation
of SWOCC students: she could only provide such representation
if she did so (1) pro bono, (2) on her own time, and (3)
without utilizing SWOCC resources,  Pl.'s Ex, B, 5-6;
Pl.'s 2d Am'd Compl. ¶ 56. Yeager was present at
this meeting and does not appear to have contested
Gilroy's directive. Pl.'s Ex. B at 6. Plaintiff
avers that no other SWOCC supervisor or administrator
countered or withdrew Gilroy's directive to plaintiff
regarding representation of students. P.'s 2d Am'd
Compl. ¶ 58.
in late March or early April 2016, two of plaintiff s
students came to class and explained to plaintiff, in the
presence of attending classmates, that they and other SWOCC
students had been arrested and charged as Minors in
Possession ("MIP") while at a party at a private
residence the previous weekend. P.'s Ex B at 2. The two
students went on to explain that the circumstances of the
arrest led them to believe the police had violated Fourth
Amendment constitutional protections governing search and
seizure. Id. at 3-4. Plaintiff was
clear with the two students enrolled in plaintiffs class that
she would not represent them. Id. When the two
students asked if she would represent other SWOCC students
involved in the MIP incident, plaintiff reports that she
responded, "If they approach me, I'll talk to them
.... I don't know. It depends on their attitude, It
depends." Id. at 4.
or two later, plaintiff was approached by a young man as she
was getting in her car at SWOCC to go home after work.
Id. at 4-5. The young man introduced himself as one
of six SWOCC students not enrolled in plaintiffs course who
had been arrested on MIP charges. Id. He asked if
plaintiff would meet with them to discuss the case.
Id. Plaintiff reports that she agreed to meet, but
emphasized, "we're going to do it off campus and
we're going to do it after work or on a Saturday
afternoon," per the directive of HR Manager Gilroy.
Id. at 5.
met with the six SWOCC students the following day at 5:30pm
at Oak Street Park in North Bend, OR. Id; Ds.'
Ex. 5, 1; Pl.'s Ex. J, 1. Plaintiff reports that she and
the other six students were "huddled together" as
they spoke. Ds.' Ex 1, 23. The two students enrolled in
plaintiffs course, who had also been arrested and who had
originally alerted plaintiff to the arrests, were also at the
Park that evening, though they were "on the other
end" of the picnic area such that plaintiff would have
had to raise her voice "considerably" above
"normal conversation tone" for them to hear.
Id. at 23-24. Plaintiff reports, "I don't
know what they heard because they never told me what they
heard, But these were their friends and they all hung out
together[.]" Id. at 24.
first appeared in court on behalf of the six SWOCC students
not enrolled in her course on April 25, 2016. P.'s Ex. B
at 5. Approximately five days before the case, plaintiff
approached the judge presiding over the case in order to get
the judge's input on whether a conflict of interest
existed. Id. at 7. The judge allegedly found that
plaintiffs representation of the students posed no conflict
of interest. Id. Plaintiff explains "I thought
she [the judge] was the appropriate person to make a
determination as to whether or not there was a conflict of
interest.... And she determined there was no conflict of
interest so 1 went forward." Id.
3, 2016, Paul Frasier, local District Attorney and adjunct
SWOCC criminal justice instructor, sent an email titled
"Dyer Investigation" to Yeager and Gilroy,
regarding plaintiffs representation of the six SWOCC students
who had been charged with MIPs. Ds.' Ex. 2. Frasier
specifically detailed concerns expressed by the Coos Bay
Police Captain regarding plaintiff representation of the
students: "He informed me that he felt it was a conflict
for her to be in charge of the criminal justice program and
then to be representing these students. He was not happy with
Ms. Dyer's actions." Id. Frasier also
stated in the email that the plaintiff had previously
contacted the Police Captain regarding to the case of the
previous student, whom plaintiff had declined to represent.
11, 2016, Frasier submitted a memo to the file of the MIP
cases removing himself from prosecution. Ds.' Ex. 3. The
reason given in the memo for his removal was "to avoid
any appearance of impropriety or conflict" in light of
the fact that "the attorney for these defendants is
Kathleen Dyer, who is my supervisor at SWOCC where I teach
Criminal Justice classes ... ." Id.
Frasier assigned a different prosecutor to the case.
SWOCC students' trial was held on May 19, 2016, in Coos
County Circuit Court. Pl.'s Ex. 1 at 13. Plaintiff
represented the six SWOCC students not enrolled in her
course, whom she had met with at Oak Street Park. Pl.'s
2d Am'd Compl. ¶ 63; Ds.' Mot. Part. Summ. J. 5.
At trial, plaintiff cross-examined the police officers who
had arrested the students then on trial. P.'s Ex. B at
11. Plaintiff asked the police officers questions, including
whether they had shown the results of the breathalyzer tests
to the students who were arrested, whether those results
could be corroborated, and why the police had entered the
residence without a warrant. Id. at 12; Ds.'
Mot. Part. Summ. J. 5. When one of the police officers
responded by asking whether plaintiff was questioning the
officer's integrity, plaintiff avers that she responded,
"I'm questioning how you handled the case,
yes." P.'s Ex. B 12.
cases against the six SWOCC students whom plaintiff
represented were dismissed due to Fourth Amendment
violations. Pl.'s 2d Am'd Compl. ¶ 63. The two
students then enrolled in plaintiffs course represented
themselves pro se, and their cases were also
dismissed. Id. According to plaintiff,
"the judge agreed with me that there was an egregious
Fourth Amendment violation on ail eight cases, and as a
result of that[, ] the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine
kicked in and all the charges were dismissed." Pl.'s
Ex. B at 7-8.
24, 2016, SWOCC President Patricia Scott had a meeting with
the police chief and police captain "regarding
Kate's [plaintiffs] behavior in the courtroom at that
trial," Pl.'s Ex, E, 3, This meeting was scheduled
by Frasier. Id.
1, plaintiff attended a monthly chiefs meeting. Prior to the
chiefs meeting, Yeager sent Frasier an email about the
meeting in which she told Frasier that if he or the police
chiefs felt they needed to "bar" plaintiff from the
event, they "need not fear any interference from
[Yeager] or SWOCC." Pl.'s Ex. C, 7-8. The plaintiff
was not barred from the June 1 chiefs meeting, and the
meeting was quite tense. First, Frasier arrived to the
meeting with the Assistant District Attorney who had
prosecuted the MIP case. Ds.' Ex. 1, 14. Plaintiff
indicated in deposition that the Assistant D.A.'s
presence was unusual. Id. Furthermore, Yeager joined
the meeting about halfway through, and Frasier, who seems to
have been facilitating or running the meeting, called on
Yeager to provide an update on SWOCC's criminal justice
program, despite that plaintiff was listed on the agenda to
give the SWOCC update. Id. at 15.
end of the meeting, plaintiff alleges that Frasier announced
that he wanted to "address the elephant in the room ....
[plaintiffs] behavior." Id. at 16; Pl.'s
Ex. B, 10, According to plaintiff, Frasier then
"lambasted" her for fifteen minutes regarding her
representation of SWOCC students at the MIP trial, her
purported conflict of interest, and how she had
"embarrassed" police officers on the stand.
Id. Apparently the Coos Bay police chief also
critiqued plaintiff for calling the police officers'
integrity into question, which plaintiff agreed she had done,
saying, "It's called cross-examination."
Id. Plaintiff reported in deposition that the
critique lasted thirty minutes and she was
"humiliated:" "it was a no win situation for
me." Pl.'s Ex. B, 10-11; Ds.' 16-17. According
to plaintiff, Frasier announced to the group that plaintiffs
behavior had been such that it needed to be raised publicly.
Pl.'s Ex. B, 15; Ds.' 20. "He made it really
personal at that meeting." Id. Frasier
concluded by telling plaintiff she was no longer invited to
the chiefs meetings. Id.
3, plaintiff received a Notice of Investigatory Meeting from
HR Director Gilroy, alerting plaintiff that SWOCC was
considering dismissing her from her position. Ds.' Ex. 4.
The Notice letter stated that "[t]he basis of this
proposed action stems from the College's concerns
regarding your violation of College directives and
unprofessional conduct in violation of the College's Code
of Conduct." Id. The letter further announced a
"due process, pre-termination meeting" scheduled
for June 7, which was purportedly intended to give plaintiff
"an opportunity to present any information [she]
want[ed] considered." Id.
7, plaintiff attended the pre-termination hearing as
scheduled. Pl.'s 2d Am'd Compl. ¶ 70. The only
SWOCC administrator at the hearing was HR director Gilroy.
Id. at ¶ 71. Yeager, SWOCC President Scott,
SWOCC Vice President Tomlin, and Frasier were not present,
thus plaintiff alleges she had no opportunity to confront the
witnesses against her. Id. At or shortly after the
hearing, HR Director Gilroy delivered to plaintiff a Notice
of Termination, dated June 7, 2016. Pl.'s Ex J; Ds.'
Ex. 5. The Notice of Termination stated, "During this
meeting, you were given an opportunity to respond to the
College's concerns. After carefully considering all of
the issues and your responses, the College has determined
that your conduct demonstrates a continued pattern of
unprofessional conduct." Id. at 2. Plaintiff
alleges that HR Director Gilroy threw the Notice of
Termination at her in front of students and SWOCC colleagues.
Pl.'s 2d Am'd Compl. ¶ 72.
Notice of Termination alleged two counts upon which
plaintiffs termination was based. Pl.'s Ex J; Ds.'
Ex. 5. First, the Notice alleged insubordination pertaining
to plaintiffs representation of the six SWOCC students
because two of plaintiff s then-current students were present
when plaintiff gave the other six legal advice, which the
Notice claimed "constituted [plaintiff] representing
them" in violation of Yeager's instruction that she
"not represent [her] current students."
Id. Second, the Notice alleged plaintiff had engaged
in unauthorized use of employment time and SWOCC resources
when she called Frasier from her SWOCC office phone in
February 2016 during work hours regarding the student who had
approached her about legal representation, whom she declined
to represent. Id. Plaintiff challenges
the reasons outlined by SWOCC in the Notice of Termination as
"mere pretext" for her termination. Pl.'s 2d
Am'd Compl. ¶ 74.
employment contract with SWOCC was set to expire on June 10,
2016, three days after her employment was terminated. Because
plaintiffs employment was terminated immediately prior to the
administration of final exams for the courses she was then
teaching,  SWOCC subsequently paid her beyond
her final paycheck to grade her students' exams.
Pl.'s Ex. A at 8.
appears from the record that plaintiff filed a formal
grievance regarding SWOCC's termination of her
employment, pursuant to the terms of the teachers' Union
agreement with SWOCC. Ds.' Ex. 6 at 51-53. The parties
appear to have participated in arbitration. Pl.'s Ex. B
at 9; Ds.' Ex. 1 at 9, 16.
initially filed this action on December 2, 2016 (doc. 1) and
filed a second amended complaint on August 23, 2017 (doc.
17). On September 28, 2017, defendants moved for partial
summary judgment as to plaintiffs federal claims, all of
which arise under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (doc. 19). Plaintiff
has agreed to voluntarily dismiss her § 1983 claims
alleging violations of equal protection and liberty interest.
Ds.' Mot. Part. Summ. J, 1. Plaintiffs remaining §
1983 claims entail defendant's alleged violations of
plaintiffs First Amendment rights to free speech and free
association, as well as her Fourteenth Amendment property
interest right to due process.
judgment is appropriate if "there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The
moving party has the burden of establishing the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact. Id.; Celotex Corp. v.
Cartrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If the moving party
shows the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the
nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and identify
facts which show a genuine issue for trial. Id. at
324. "Summary judgment is inappropriate if reasonable
jurors, drawing all inferences in favor of the nonmoving
party, could return a verdict in the nonmoving parties
favor." Diaz v. Eagle Produce Ltd. P'ship,
521 F.3d 1201, 1207 (9th Cir. 2008).
brings her claims against defendants, alleging retaliation
for and violation of her constitutional rights under 42
U.S.C. § 1983,  Defendants do not challenge that
they acted under color of state law in terminating plaintiffs
move for summary judgment as to plaintiffs First Amendment
and Fourteenth Amendment claims, arguing that: (I) plaintiffs
free speech and free association claims should be addressed
as a hybrid claim; (II) plaintiffs contested speech and
association activities did not pertain to matters of public
concern, but even if they did, on balance SWOCC's
legitimate administrative interests outweighed plaintiffs
First Amendment rights; and (III) plaintiff did not have a
reasonable expectation of continued employment, and thus she
lacked a protected property interest meriting due process
under the Fourteenth Amendment, I will address each of these
arguments in turn.
First Amendment Hybrid Claim
argue that I should conjunctively address plaintiffs freedom
of speech and freedom of association retaliation claims.
See Ds.' Mot. Part. Sum, J. at 7; Ds.' Reply
at 2-3; Pl.'s 2d Am'd Complaint, 20-25. Defendants
argue plaintiffs two First Amendment claims are sufficiently
intertwined to merit the hybrid speech/association analysis
set forth in Hudson v. Craven, 403 F.3d 691, 696-98
(9th Cir. 2005). In Hudson, the court held
that "[t]he speech and associations! rights at issue
here are so intertwined that we see no reason to distinguish
this hybrid circumstance from a case involving only speech
rights." Id. at 698. As a result, the court
applied the free speech retaliation analysis set out by the
U.S. Supreme Court to both of plaintiffs First Amendment
Hudson, the Ninth Circuit's hybrid analysis has
been applied throughout the Circuit in cases where plaintiffs
have pled both speech and association retaliation. See
Vizcarra v. Chou, 2007 WL 4790813, *4 (CD. Cal. 2007)
(applying the hybrid analysis when plaintiff-employee alleged
that defendants-employers retaliated against plaintiff due
not only to plaintiffs own speech but also the speech of
other employees with whom she associated and whose speech
defendants may have attributed to plaintiff); Schnabel v.
Hualapai Valley First Dist., 2009 WL 322948, * 10 (D.
Ariz. 2009) (applying the hybrid analysis when
plaintiffs-employees' alleged that defendants-employers
retaliated against plaintiffs due to statements made at Union
meetings and information plaintiffs shared with the Union);
Biggs v. Town of Gilbert, 2012 WL 94566, * 6 (D.
Ariz. 2012) (applying the hybrid analysis when
plaintiff-employee alleged defendants-employers retaliated
against plaintiff due to plaintiffs retention of, and thus
association with, legal counsel whom plaintiff hired to
represent and speak for plaintiff regarding prospective
adverse employment action). Indeed, it appears that courts
within the Ninth Circuit apply the Hudson's
hybrid analysis virtually any time a plaintiff pleads both
speech- and association-based retaliation claims. See
Murray v. Wash. St. Dep't of Ecology, 2008
WL 467340, * 4 (E.D. Wash. 2008); Godwin v. Rogue Valley
Youth Con. Facility, 656 Fed.Appx. 874, 875 (9th Cir.
2016); Candelaria v. City of Tolleson, 2017 W1
6031769, * 1 n.1 (9th Cir. 2017); cf Hall v. Summit Fire
Dist., 2018 WL 1576865, * 7 (D. Ariz. 2018) (finding the
hybrid analysis inapplicable because plaintiff alleged solely
associational retaliation and did not include a freestanding
claim for violation of freedom of speech).
argues her speech and association retaliation claims are not
inextricable and opposes applying the hybrid
speech/association analysis to her First Amendment claims.
Pl.'s Memo Oppo. Ds.' Mot. Part. Sum. J. at 3-4.
Plaintiff seeks to distinguish her claim from that of the
plaintiff in Hudson, which the District Court
characterized as "more one involving freedom of
association than freedom of speech." 403 F.3d at 695.
Here, plaintiff argues that the speech and associational
activities in which she engaged, and which led to the alleged
retaliation by SWOCC, are separable; to wit, plaintiff avers
that her speech claim pertains to her cross-examination of
police officers at trial, while her association claim
pertains to her representation of SWOCC students. Pl.'s
Memo Oppo. Ds.' Mot. Part. Sum. J. at 3-4. Plaintiff
further alleges that disputed issues of material fact
separate plaintiffs speech and association
the activity engaged in by plaintiff is certainly factually
distinguishable from the activity engaged in by the plaintiff
in Hudson, here plaintiffs First Amendment claims
are sufficiently intertwined to constitute a hybrid
circumstance familiar from speech/association retaliation
cases within the Ninth Circuit. Plaintiffs allegedly
protected speech activity of cross-examining police officers
at trial would not have occurred but for her association as
pro bono legal defense counsel for the six SWOCC students.
This does not negate that disputed issues of material fact
remain regarding SWOCC's inconsistent policy as to legal
representation of students by faculty, as well as SWOCC's
purported justification(s) for terminating plaintiffs
employment. However, ...