Leach suffers setback in court hearing - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/20/10

Leach suffers setback in court hearing

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By Staff Reports | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - UPDATED: Fired Texas Tech Football Mike Leach suffers a set back in the 99th District Court on Wednesday morning. Judge Bill Sowder ruled that Leach cannot have expedited discovery. That means Texas Tech will not be forced to turn over evidence to Leach's attorney as quickly as requested.

Leach's Attorney, Ted Liggett, said the Judge's decision doesn't make their case more difficult, but it does stretch it out.

Leach's legal team was hoping to get their hands on documents tied to the coach's dismissal more quickly. That motion was denied. However, Judge Sowder did order Tech to preserve any and all documents relating to the firing of Coach Leach.

He said, whether it's notes or emails, Tech needs to take appropriate steps to print of or electronically save them. The Judge delayed judgement on whether the court has jurisdiction over the case.

The legal fight started when player Adam James and his family accused Leach of mistreating him.

Leach denied the claim, but was later fired for the mistreatment and insubordination. Leach is suing for breach of contract.

Tech says Leach does not have the right to sue them because of sovereign immunity. Which means no on can sue the State without the State's permission.

If it is decided to that the court does not have jurisdiction over the case, then the Texas Legislature would have to waive sovereign immunity.

Texas Tech released a statement on the Judge's ruling. The statement reads as follows:

Today, Judge Sowder ruled against Mike Leach's petition for expedited discovery and expressed serious reservations on six of the plaintiff's seven claims against Texas Tech University. The court will allow both parties time for discovery before ruling on whether Leach can go forward with his breach of contract claim. Texas Tech stands on the merits of our decisions to suspend and dismiss Mike Leach because they were reasonable, fair and justified. We are pleased with the results of today's hearing and look forward to all of the facts being presented for Judge Sowder's ruling.

The facts are clear: it was Coach Leach's poor judgment regarding the irresponsible treatment of a student-athlete with a brain concussion along with his insubordination and unwillingness to reasonably address the issue that led to Coach Leach's suspension and termination.

Coming up tonight on NewsChannel 11, the next step for both sides.

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Posted: Jan 20, 2010 10:56 AM CST

By Staff Reports | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Fired football coach Mike Leach suffered a setback in court Wednesday morning. Judge Bill Sowder ruled that Leach cannot have expedited discovery. That means Texas Tech will not be forced to turn over evidence to Leach's attorney as quickly as requested. The issue of sovereign immunity (Texas Tech's right to not be sued) was delayed by the judge.

Sowder also had a stern warning for Leach's attorneys, saying he has "real concern" about 6 of Leach's legal causes of action. The judge seemed to be implying that most of Leach's lawsuit is at risk of being dismissed.

But Sowder did order Texas Tech to preserve all emails, documents, notes, and other evidence.

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