Wednesday, June 04, 2014

It Doesn't Matter What You Do As a Teacher

As I have written before, all you have to do is exist to get yourself named in a civil lawsuit. Anything can be alleged, and unless the complaint violates some technicality, it isn't going to get thrown out by a judge, let alone be disregarded by a jury. That's because of the requirement that there must be a pretrial mediation or settlement conference to discuss financial payouts to plaintiffs.

If lawyers were halfway honest about civil suits and teachers, they wouldn't write a 10,000-word piece of bullshit like this lawyer did putting the onus on teachers when in fact they know good and well teachers don't have to do anything wrong to get named in a civil action. Few actually do anything to warrant a lawsuit.

The suits are all about getting a pretrial settlement, an insurance payout, from a school district. Public school teachers cannot be held personally liable (thanks to having qualified immunity) if what is being alleged happened within the scope of their duties. Outside of school, probably, but not during school or any school-sponsored event.

If there is ever a trial and a judgment, extremely, extremely rare when it involves parent lawsuits against school districts, then THAT would be considered a "victory" for the plaintiffs. Few if any ever go that far for the simple reason insurance carriers won't pay attorney fees for a trial and appeals. Those expenses can run easily six figures or more.

What happens, of course, is by settling with parents, even MORE civil cases, most of which are groundless, get filed by lawyers who don't have the ethics to turn these parents down. The lawyers also know they won't be sanctioned by judges for filing frivolous actions.





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