i t u t s petitioner, respondent - public citizen .brian p. lauten counsel of record sawicki &...

Download I T U T S Petitioner, Respondent - Public Citizen .BRIAN P. LAUTEN Counsel of Record SAWICKI & LAUTEN,

Post on 10-May-2019

212 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

NO. 12-484

IN THE

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERNMEDICAL CENTER,

Petitioner,v.

NAIEL NASSAR, M.D., Respondent.

On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United StatesCourt of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

RESPONDENTS BRIEF IN OPPOSITION

MICHAEL T. KIRKPATRICKPUBLIC CITIZEN LITIGATION GROUP1600 20th Street NWWashington, DC 20009

CHARLA ALDOUSBRENT WALKERALDOUS LAW FIRM2311 Cedar Springs RoadSuite 200Dallas, TX 75201

BRIAN P. LAUTEN Counsel of RecordSAWICKI & LAUTEN, LLP404 N. Central Expy.Suite 850Dallas, TX 75204(214) 720-0022blauten@sawickilauten.com

Counsel for Respondent

QUESTION PRESENTED

Whether petitioner waived its objection to a mixed-motive jury instruction with regard to respondentsTitle VII retaliation claim, and, if not, whether themixed-motive framework applies to Title VIIretaliation claims.

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

QUESTION PRESENTED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii

INTRODUCTION .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

STATEMENT OF THE CASE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

A. Factual Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

B. Proceedings Below. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

REASONS FOR DENYING THE WRIT. . . . . . . . . . 8

I. This Case is a Poor Vehicle to AddressThe Title VII Question Because the CourtWould First Have to Decide WhetherUTSW Waived Its Objection to theMixed-Motive Jury Instruction... . . . . . . . . . . 8

II. There Is No Circuit Split RegardingWhether Title VII Retaliation ClaimsCan Be Tried Under a Mixed-MotiveTheory.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

III. A Different Causation Standard Would Not Change the Outcome of This Case.. . . . 14

IV.The Fifth Circuits Interpretation of Title VII Is Correct.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

CONCLUSION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

iii

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

CASES Pages

Adams v. Robertson,520 U.S. 83 (1997). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons,552 U.S. 214 (2008). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Barton v. Zimmer,662 F.3d 448 (7th Cir. 2011). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa,539 U.S. 90 (2003). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15-16

Dolan v. U.S. Postal Service,546 U.S. 481 (2006). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Fairley v. Andrews,578 F.3d 518 (7th Cir. 2009). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki,552 U.S. 389 (2008). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Gomez-Perez v. Potter,553 U.S. 474 (2008). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Gross v. FBL Financial Services,557 U.S. 167 (2009). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1, 11, 15

Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education,544 U.S. 167 (2005). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Kanida v. Gulf Coast Medical Personnel Ltd. Pship,363 F.3d 568 (5th Cir. 2004). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

iv

Lewis v. Humboldt Acquisition Corp.,681 F.3d 312 (6th Cir. 2012). . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 15

McNutt v. Board of Trustees of the Universityof Illinois,

141 F.3d 706 (7th Cir. 1998). . . . . . . . . . 12-13, 16

Microsoft Corp. v. I4i Ltd. Pship,131 S. Ct. 2238 (2011). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Monrosa v. Carbon Black Export, Inc.,359 U.S. 180 (1959). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Morrison v. Olson,487 U.S. 654 (1988). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Palmquist v. Shinseki,689 F.3d 66 (1st Cir. 2012). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 15

Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins,490 U.S. 228 (1989). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Saridakis v. South Broward Hospital District,468 Fed. Appx 926 (11th Cir. 2012). . . . . . . 11-12

Serwatka v. Rockwell Automation, Inc.,591 F.3d 957 (7th Cir. 2010). . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13

Smith v. Xerox Corp.,602 F.3d 320 (5th Cir. 2010). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 11

Speedy v. Rexnord Corp.,243 F.3d 397 (7th Cir. 2001). . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13

v

Tanca v. Nordberg,98 F.3d 680 (1st Cir. 1996). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13

STATUTORY MATERIALS AND RULES

42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 51.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

H.R. Rep. No. 102-40(II) (1991), reprinted in 1991U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News 693. . . . . . . . . 16

OTHER AUTHORITIES

Eugene Gressman, et al., Supreme Court Practice (9th ed. 2007).. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Charles Alan Wright, et al., Federal Practice &Procedure Civil (3d ed. 1998 & Supp. 2012).. . . . . 8-9

Charles Alan Wright, et al., Federal Practice &Procedure Evidence (2d ed. 2005 & Supp. 2012)... . 14

INTRODUCTION

The question presented in the petition is whetherthis Courts decision in Gross v. FBL FinancialServices, Inc., 557 U.S. 167 (2006), which held that themixed-motive framework does not apply to claimsbrought under the Age Discrimination in EmploymentAct (ADEA), bars the use of that framework in TitleVII retaliation cases. Before this Court could reachthat issue in this case, however, it would first need todecide whether petitioner University of TexasSouthwestern Medical Center (UTSW) waived itsobjection to the mixed-motive jury instructiona fact-bound question never decided below. If the waiverissue were resolved against UTSWand the recordand opinions below suggest that it would bethisCourt would never reach the Title VII issue. Thus, thiscase is a poor vehicle for addressing the questionpresented in the petition.

Moreover, the courts of appeals are not divided onwhether the mixed-motive framework applies to TitleVII retaliation claims. Only two circuits haveaddressed the question since Gross, and both answeredin the affirmative. Petitioner claims a circuit split byciting cases from three circuits that interpret otherstatutes, two of which expressly distinguish Title VII.In any event, because the jury rejected UTSWs claimthat it would have taken the same action even withouta retaliatory motive, the outcome of this case wouldalmost certainly be the same even if the Title VII issuewere decided in UTSWs favor.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Factual Background

1. Dr. Naiel Nassar, who is of Middle Easterndescent, was a faculty member at UTSW from 1995 to1998, and from 2001 to 2006. Pet. App. 2. UTSW is

2

affiliated with Parkland Hospital, and UTSW facultymake up most of the Hospitals physician staff. Id.Nassar worked as the Associate Medical Director ofParklands Amelia Court Clinic. Id.

Until 2004, Nassar worked at Parkland withoutincident. R. 2360. Nassars immediate supervisor wasDr. Phillip Keiser, the Clinics Medical Director. InJune 2004, UTSW hired Dr. Beth Levine to be Keiserssupervisor at UTSW. Pet. App. 2-3. Levine wasresponsible for overseeing the Amelia Clinic, but didnot work there on a daily basis. Id. at 3.

Even before Levine began working at UTSW, shetreated Nassar differently than his colleagues. Beforeshe was hired, she interviewed the faculty who wouldbe under her supervision. R. 2926-28. When Nassarmet with Levine, he expected an informal fifteen totwenty minute meeting, as Levine had held with othermembers of the staff. Id. Instead, Levine questionedNassar for an hour and a half, reviewing every detailof his resume and reading from a long list of pre-written questions that she asked of no one else. Id.

Once Levine started at UTSW, she becameirrationally convinced that Nassar was not working ashard as the other doctors. Pet. App. 3; R. 2360-62. Sheexpressed concern to Keiser about Nassarsproductivity, much more so than she did about anyother doctor. Pet. App. 3. When Keiser presentedLevine with objective data demonstrating Nassarshigh productivity and effectiveness, Levine begancriticizing Nassars billing practices. Id. Her criticismdid not take into account the fact, of which Levine wasaware, that Nassars salary was funded by a federalgrant that precluded billing for most of his services. Id.On a number of occasions, Nassar met with Dr.

3

Gregory Fitz, UTSWs Chair of Internal Medicine andLevines supervisor, to complain about Levinesunwarranted and unusual scrutiny. Id. at 4.

In late 2005, when UTSW considered hiringMuhammad Akbar, another doctor of Middle Easterndescent, Levine said in Nassars presence that MiddleEasterners are lazy. Pet. App. 3. Levine successfullyopposed the hiring of Akbar to the UTSW/Parklandstaff. See R. 2383-2400. After Parkland hired Akbarindependently of UTSW, Levine remarked in Keiserspresence that the Hospital had hired another one.Pet. App. 3. Keiser took another one to meananother person . . . who is Muslim and who is dark-skinned. R. 2400.

2. Levines attitude and behavior led Dr. Nassar tolook for a way to escape Levines supervision. Pet. App.4. Although he wanted to do so while continuing towork at the Amelia Clinic, he testified that theharassment was severe enough that he would haveresigned from UTSW even if it meant he had to leaveParkland. Id; R. 2962-63. Parkland staff told Nassarthat if he resigned from his UTSW position, theHospital would hire him to continue working at theClinic. Pet. App. 5. On June 3, 2006, Parkland offeredNassar a job as a staff physician on Parklands payroll,starting on July 10. Id.

Recommended

View more >