Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Attorney seeks to withdraw from law student’s suit alleging wrongful expulsion

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 23, 2017


The attorney representing a former Southern Illinois University student seeks to withdraw as counsel for “irreconcilable differences” in a suit alleging the student was wrongfully expelled from law school.

Attorney Jason J. Bach filed a motion to withdraw as counsel on May 15.

He originally filed a motion for Pro Hac Vice admission on Jan. 10. However, he argues that during discovery additional information surfaced that was not provided to the plaintiff’s counsel prior to representation.

Bach claims irreconcilable differences exist between him and plaintiff Julie Bullock and that his continued representation of the plaintiff may be in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and 28 U.S.C. §1927.

According to the American Bar Association, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 requires lawyers to file documents that have not been presented for improper purposes and that reasonable inquiries are made regarding the factual and legal allegations.

Further, Rule 11 “authorizes the imposition of deterrent, not compensatory, sanctions.”

The American Bar Association also states that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 28 addresses sanctions for lawyers who engage in tactics such as filing duplicate complaints and baseless motions, or who persist in meritless arguments, among other actions.

Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams scheduled a motion hearing for June 6 at 11 a.m.

Bullock is also represented in the case by Bryan E. Drew of Drew & Dew PC in Benton.

Bullock filed her complaint on Jan. 3 against the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University School of Law, Christopher Beham and Cynthia Fountaine.

In her complaint, Bullock claims the defendants wrongfully expelled her from law school, causing her to lose her Illinois Bar 711 license and her externship with the state’s attorney’s office.

She requests compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, plus interest, attorney’s fees and costs.

Williams had previously scheduled a settlement conference for May 12, but vacated the conference after the defendant argued that a settlement conference would be futile.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:17-cv-9

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois