Magistrate Judge Netburn

At least four SDNY lawsuits have been filed against Columbia University relating to the recent campus protests, including a class action complaint filed April 29, accusing the University of breaching its contractual obligation to provide a safe learning environment, insofar as Columbia chose to respond to the protests by making classwork partially remote for the remainder of the school year:

Columbia has in no uncertain terms announced that the university is not safe for its Jewish students. But rather than clear the encampment, the administration decided to take the extraordinary step of shifting to a “hybrid” model of education for the remainder of the academic year, where students that don’t feel safe enough to attend class in person can view the class online. This absurd shift makes no attempt to solve the safety problem on campus, and at the same time, creates two very different educational experiences for Jewish and non-Jewish students. The vast majority of the student population, including these extreme demonstrators, get to attend classes in person, take tests in person, communicate with professors in person, and otherwise take advantage of the campus.

The Jewish students, on the other hand, get a second-class education where they are relegated to their homes to attend classes virtually, stripped of the opportunity to interact meaningfully with other students and faculty and sit for examinations with their peers. This policy shift is a clear admission that the campus is not simply experiencing a protest movement, which has happened to universities across the country for decades, but instead, has become a place that is too dangerous for Columbia’s Jewish students to receive the education they were promised.

The class action is before Judge Torres, who has scheduled a hearing on the plaintiff’s TRO application for tomorrow.

The other cases are:Continue Reading Columbia University Faces Wave of Litigation Over Campus Protests

On Friday, Judge Netburn rejected the New Yorker magazine’s letter request to release a sealed deposition of former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, in a case brought by Muslim officer who sued Mr. Kelly and New York City for discrimination but lost on summary judgment.  She found that she lacked jurisdiction to grant the request because the proper procedural vehicle is a motion to intervene under Rule 24 — which the District Court cannot address while an appeal is pending:
Continue Reading Judge Netburn Refuses New Yorker Magazine’s Request for Ray Kelly’s Deposition Because Appeal Divested Her of Jurisdiction