The former Texas Teach coach has retained Capital Alliance, formerly known as the Eppstein Group, to oversee the filing and passage of a bill giving Leach permission to sue the state. Bryan Eppstein confirmed the facts to me in an interview earlier today.The suit is the result of what Leach has contended is a wrongful termination of his contract by Texas Tech following his suspension and subequent firing in December 2010.
In pursuing Leach’s wrongful termination claim in court, his attorneys previously argued that the university’s behavior leading up to his firing bars it from claiming a defeense of sovereign immunity from action by Leach.
The procedure for suing the state is set out in the Civil Practice & Remedies Code:
(a) A resolution that grants a person permission to sue the state has the following effect and the permission is granted subject to the following conditions: (1) the claimant may sue for any relief to which the claimant is entitled as a result of the described claim; (2) the suit must be filed before the second anniversary of the effective date of the resolution; (3) service of citation and other required process must be made on the attorney general and on a person named in the resolution as a representative of the affected state agency; (4) the suit must be tried as other civil suits; (5) neither the state, nor any of its employees, agents, departments, agencies, or political subdivisions, admits to liability for, or to the truth of, any allegation asserted by the claimant; (6) the alleged cause of action must be proved under the law of this state as in other civil suits; (7) the state does not waive any defense, of law or fact, available to the state or to any of its employees or agents; (8) the state reserves every defense, except the defense of immunity from suit without legislative permission; (9) the state's ability to plead res judicata to any issue is not affected; (10) the state does not grant permission to recover exemplary or punitive damages; (11) the state's sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution is not waived; and (12) the state does not grant permission to be sued in any federal court. (b) A resolution granting permission to sue does not waive to any extent immunity from liability.
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While I have not written about the Leach case in this space, I believe that Leach did nothing wrong it placing Adam James, son of ESPN analyst Craig James, in a darkened shed for two hours. Football coaches inflict far harsher punishments every day. I hope the Legislature gives Mike Leach his day in court.