Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Kaye v. Board of Trustees of the San Diego County Public Law Library et al., No. D053644, 2009 WL 3738795 (Cal. Ct. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1 Nov. 10, 2009) A California appeals court has refused to overturn summary judgment in favor of a public law library that fired its reference librarian after he circulated a scathing e-mail critical of management.

    A California Appellate Court rejected plaintiff's argument that his e-mail was protected speech and that his termination violated the California Constitution's free-speech clause.

“When public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, the employees are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline,” the appeals court explained, citing Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006).

The dispute arose in 2006 when a representative from the Administrative Office of the Courts contacted the San Diego County Public Law Library to arrange a speaker for a program about helping self-represented litigants with appeals.went directly to Kaye, as he had taught the library's appellate course for self-represented litints.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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