This week, Texas A&M and Texas Wesleyan filed the expected motions to dismiss. Here are the filed motions and supporting briefs:
Briefly summarizing these motions:
- A&M argues that they can’t be sued on this issue because it has sovereign immunity. This may have merit on some claims and not others, or no merit at all.
- A&M argues that the law school can’t be sued on the trademark issues because the trademark holder is the Texas A&M University System, who we have not sued (yet).
- A&M argues that we have lack of standing, and that we have no claims against Dean Morriss because he has no authority to issue law degrees, suggesting that we potentially need to add A&M Provost Karan Watson and Vice Dean Arik Short (Interim Dean during the acquisition) to shore up standing.
- TWU argues that there is no implied contractual relationship with its alumni, and alternatively that the alumni have no standing.
They have some other minor issues, but those are the larger issues. Our deadline to respond is October 30th (21 days from the first motion to dismiss). By then, we’ll need to file two responses and an amended petition on behalf of the pre-acquisition alumni. If we need to add A&M, Arik Short and Karen Watson as defendants, then that will be the time to add them. I have been contacted by another dozen or two pre-acquisition alumni that want to be named plaintiffs. There is some ying and yang to adding more plaintiffs, so we’ll look at that too.
If you have any input, we’re looking over these issues over the next week or so, and will release a pre-filing set of responses to the litigation team for last minute review around October 26th. In particular, we need input on the following subjects: sovereign immunity, Section 1983 claims, trademark claims, federal standing issues, and implied contracts.
At some point, we will rework this set of posts and make a single section of the site for the entire affair, but if you are looking at this issue for the first time, be sure to look at the source documents for the acquisition, the general arguments, and the initiating complaint pages.
Warren V. Norred
*If you are watching this suit on PACER, you’ll also note that A&M had to refile their brief after Judge McBryde unfiled their first one due to its failure to comply with his local rules. I’d poke fun at A&M (which is being defended by the State of Texas), except that I’ll be next. Judge McBryde has rules, and you’ll follow them, even if you are the state. I don’t think that their revised filing complies with Judge McBryde’s formatting rules yet, but I’m certainly not going to raise the issue.