Now, some details in Judge O. Max Cogburn’s Order (attached at the end of this article for your convenience) that dismissed Wanda Leonard’s case. You don’t have to believe me, just read this Order for yourself and form your own opinion on whether or not my conclusions and opinions noted in this article are correct. Remember-think for yourself.
1. The Seventh Amendment (Amendment VII) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. This Constitutional amendment codifies the right to a jury trial in certain civil cases and prevents activist judges from overturning a jury’s findings of fact. And, in a jury trial, a jury is the “trier” (or finder) of fact. The jury finds the facts and applies them to the relevant statute or law it is instructed by the judge to use in order to reach its verdict.
By dismissing Wanda Leonard’s lawsuit, Judge O. Max Cogburn basically took away Wanda’s right to a jury trial. And “likely” invented his own facts, legal and otherwise, in the process.
2. Throughout the 26-page Order that Dismissed Wanda Leonard’s case, Judge O. Max Cogburn cited the defendants (BoTs) “stuff” many more times than the Plaintiff Wanda Leonard’s stuff. Clearly showing a bias in favor of the BoTs.
3. Judge Cogburn, on several occasions, cited testimony (deposition testimony, not live testimony on the stand that can be cross-examined) from CCC’s Dr. Becky Sain. Tainted testimony because Dr. Sain herself was alleged to have been one of the persons involved in the alleged discriminatory acts against Wanda Leonard. It was in Dr. Sain’s interest to lie to cover her own skin. Cross examination in front of a jury would have brought out these matters. Also note that Dr. Becky Sain is NOT a MEDICAL DOCTOR.
4. Judge Cogburn, on several occasions, cited deposition testimony from Doctors that were involved with some sort of consortium with CCC to provide students to the CCC Nursing Program that Wanda Leonard taught. The Classes Wanda Leonard taught were for highly skilled emergency room and surgical nurses. The so-called Doctors were not real medical doctors or real surgical doctors, but Administration Doctors with Doctorate degrees in anything but medical doctors. They also had an interest in covering up their lack of timely input to the CCC situation. They also were not allowed to be cross-examined in front of a jury.
5. On Page 1 of Judge O. Max Cogburn’s Order (attached at the end of this article), Cogburn states “This Court is aware that some companies today attempt to disguise an unconstitutional reason for termination using a pretextual “legitimate business reason” for their decision. However, that is not what we have in this case.” Tis is a statement of “Fact” and not law. Findings of fact are the responsibility of a Jury and Wanda Leonard asked for a jury trial. Only by dismissing the case could Cogburn have gotten away from this requirement. This certainly indicates to me that an activist judge was making up rules for his own purpose, whatever that was.
6. Cogburn’s Order states Whether an employee met her employer’s legitimate expectations at the time of termination depends on the “perception of the decision maker . . ., not the self-assessment of the plaintiff,” and not the opinions of the plaintiff’s coworkers. And because it is the plaintiff’s burden to persuade the trier of fact that she met her employer’s legitimate subjective employment expectations, at the prima facie stage, the Court must consider the employer’s “evidence that the employee was not meeting those expectations.”
On page 7 of Cogburn’s order Cogburn says “Defendants argue Plaintiff was not performing her job duties pursuant to Cleveland-CC’s legitimate expectations when she was told her contract would not be renewed.” Plaintiff contends her “evaluations from her managers over the years reflected her success in the program,” and that “through her last evaluation in May, 2016, plaintiff’s performance in her position was not questioned.”. Cogburn continues “While her disciplined teaching and testing style drew some complaints, primarily from students who could not succeed, it was recognized, at least implicitly, that her performance was beyond satisfactory. In fact, plaintiff never received any specific criticism for her performance.”
So, how can Judge Cogburn recognize Wanda Leonard’s performance was better than satisfactory, yet rule that CCC had a legitimate reason to fire Leonard??? Cogburn should have denied CCC’s Motion to dismiss right there and called for the jury trial to begin.
7. Now go to the bottom of Page 7 and top of Page 8 and read how Cogburn allowed CCC to weasel out of the fact that Wanda Leonard’s performance as noted in Paragraph 6 above was always much better than satisfactory. And remember that Wanda Leonard’s graduating students as noted later in Cogburn’s Order all passed their State licensing requirements. All of them, 100% of her graduating students passed their State Exams. So, who would you want in your operating room assisting the Medical Doctors cut on you?? Wanda Leonard’s graduating students or Judge O. Max Cogburn, Dr. Becky Sain, Eddie Holbrook, Dr. Shannon Kennedy of some other nitwit? One of the BoTs maybe?
Folks, I’ve read enough and said enough about Judge Cogburn’s Order. The Order is attached. Read the rest of the Order at your leisure. Form you own opinion on whether or not Wanda Leonard deserved to have her case heard before a Jury as the US Constitution, Seventh Amendment, allows.
I read through it all and formed my conclusion that Wanda Leonard DID deserve her jury trial where she could call her witnesses and cross examine the Board of Trustees witnesses. I fully intended to travel to Asheville and watch this trial myself. I fully believe a Federal Court Jury would have found in favor of Wanda Leonard and the CCC BoTs would have been taught a lesson that they would never forget. I also truly believe that the CCC BoTs should be ashamed of themselves for letting all this happen to begin with as well as not doing what was right to resolve this situation years ago.
Instead, it appears that the BoTs have NOT learned a thing and are going around bragging that they did everything right, when everything they allowed to happen was wrong.