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School held in contempt of court in wrongful termination suit

A Missouri public school system has been ordered to pay sanctions to its former superintendent after the school district failed to produce evidence in a wrongful termination suit and was ruled in contempt of court. The suit began in 2009 after the superintendent claimed he was forced to resign because he refused to provide false information in a separate legal issue involving the Missouri Public Schools Retirement System.

The superintendent's legal team has repeatedly requested emails from the school district to back up the man's claim of wrongful termination. However, the school district has failed to provide any of the communications. On Jan. 17, 2013, the superintendent again asked the court to order the school to submit the emails. The court partially granted the request on Feb. 19 and ordered the school district to find and deliver the emails. By April 8, the school had still failed to submit the emails, and the court found the district in contempt of court.

On June 11, the court found the school district to be in contempt of court and ordered it to reimburse the superintendent for his legal fees. The superintendent reportedly has 30 days to submit the expenses for payment. A trial to consider damages related to the man's termination will begin in early August. A statement released by the school district noted that its insurance company's legal team was reviewing the matter.

Wrongful termination judgments can often depend on digital communications like email, and it can sometimes be difficult to obtain those communications from a company that is trying to defend itself against litigation. An attorney with experience in wrongful termination law could help an individual who feels he or she has been unfairly removed from a job. The attorney could examine the details of the termination, present the case in court and file any unnecessary motions and requests to obtain the evidence necessary to support the suit.

Source: Liberty Tribune, "LPS found in contempt of court", Ryne Dittmer, June 20, 2013

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