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Important developments in the law relating to colleges and universities occur frequently.  New legislation, court decisions, and administrative rulings must be monitored for their impact on the campus.  The Office of Counsel endeavors to keep the University informed about these matters, and as one means of doing this, analyses of some recent developments prepared by the Office of Counsel are being made available to the campus community through this Website.  Access may be obtained by clicking on the topics listed below.

State Authorization of Distance/Correspondence Educational Activities June 2014
Community College Director Protected Against Retaliation June 2014
The Current Status of Affirmative Action in Admissions April 2014
Is Regular Attendance an Essential Job Function? April 2014
EEOC Issues Guidance on Religious Garb in the Workplace April 2014
Facebook Postings Lead to Firing February 2014
Executive Order Ups Minimum Wage for Federal Contracts February 2014
New Affirmative Action Obligations December 2013
Misconduct is Not a Disability December 2013
Campus SaVE October 2013
Racial Harassment - Nonminority Retaliation Complaint October 2013
Verdict Against Virginia Tech Reversed October 2013
Service Dogs and the Law  October 2013
Fitness for Duty Evaluation Does Not Violate ADA August 2013
Discrimination Based Upon Religion August 2013
Assignment to Vacant Position Under the ADA May 2013
Enforcement of State Authorization Requirements Delayed Again May 2013
Laboratory Accident Leads to Criminal Charges May 2013
Recent Family and Medical Leave Act Rule Changes Related to Military Status April 2013
Tenured Professor Loses Court Appeal of Dismissal April 2013
Supreme Court Decides Fourth Amendment Case  April 2013
Retaliation - An Ongoing Concern January 2013
Alabama High Court Reaffirms Immunity Defense January 2013
Christmas Gifts May Prove Costly November 2012
November 2012
September 2012
Discrimination Charges Continue to Climb April 2012
Student Discipline Based on Facebook Postings? April 2012
Georgia Student Handbook Is a Contract Between University and Students March 2012
"Angry" Professor Loses Free Speech, Defamation Claims March 2012
Development Officer Loses Gender Bias Case March 2012
Changes to Federal Student Records Privacy Law December 2011
Admitting Illegal Aliens Into State Colleges December 2011
Due Process Required for Academic Dismissal December 2011
Update - Legal Developments Regarding Alabama Immigration Law November 2011
Student's Speech and Due Process Rights Claims Fail November 2011
Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect November 2011
Alabama Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal of Student Dining Dollars Complaint October 2011
PACT Plaintiff Cannot Bring Suit October 2011
Defamation - Yes or No? October 2011
Alabama Enacts Sweeping and Controversial Immigration Law July 2011
Nursing Student Complaints Not Protected July 2011
Student Loses Challenge to Plagiarism Finding July 2011
Eleventh Circuit Upholds University's Speech Policies July 20 11
"Cat's Paw" Theory Wins in Supreme Court June 2011
Bayh-Dole Act Does Not Automatically Give Universities Patent Rights June 2011
How to Generate an Age Discrimination Case June 2011
Former Professor Wins Retaliation Suit June 2011
Dean Has No Right to Criticize Administration March 2011
FLSA "Activity" Increasing March 2011
High Court Allows Third-Party Retaliation Claim January 2011
Study of Discrimination Lawsuits November 2010
Final GINA Regulations Issued November 2010
11th Circuit Rejects Hostile Environment Claim November 2010
Disclosure of Student Information Related to Emergencies and Disasters October 2010
UA Fraternity Not Liable to Guest for Assault October 2010
"Empty Holster" Ban Violates First Amendment October 2010
Electronic Privacy in the Workplace: the Quon Decision August 2010
Employers Must Accommodate Breastfeeding Mothers August 2010
New DOD Guidance on Publication Restrictions June 2010
Recent EEOC Discrimination Charge Data June 2010
Distance Learning and Jurisdiction Issues December 2009
11th Circuit Addresses Retaliation "Timing" Element December 2009
"Sergeant Schultz Response" Not an Option for Supervisors December 2009
Private Copy Center Guilty of Copyright Infringement December 2009
Administrator Claims Privilege in Defamation Suit November 2009
FMLA Amended to Expand Military Based Leave November 2009
Oregon Court Rules on Elements of Proper Trespass Warning November 2009
Alabama Age Discrimination in Employment Act Prima Facie Case Requirements October 2009
Congress Amends the False Claims Act July 2009
State Agent Immunity May 2009
New Disability Discrimination Legislation March 2009
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Becomes Law March 2009
Federal Court Rejects Finding of Sexual Harassment March 2009
Higher Education Opportunity Act January 2009
Students' Complaints Protected October 2008
Costly Failure to Preserve Electronic Evidence October 2008
Unexpected Sources of UBIT October 2008
Identify Theft June 2008
EEOC Announces 2008 Enforcement Objectives June 2008
UA Student Protestors Acquitted June 2008
Conflict of Interest Issues in Higher Education in the Spotlight April 2008
Teaching Assistant's Retaliation Claim Dismissed April 2008
Free Speech Rights of Public Employees Continue to Diminish February 2008
FMLA Amended to Support Servicemembers February 2008
UAB Defends Discrimination Lawsuit December 2007
Immunities Applied in University Lawsuit October 2007
Supreme Court Rules on Public Employee's Speech Claim August 2007
New EEOC "Caregiver Discrimination" Guidance August 2007
Alabama AG Issues "Public Writings" Opinion May 2007
Employee Decisions Doom Sex Harassment Claim May 2007
Administrators Not Liable for Student's Drug Overdose Death March 2007
Eleventh Circuit Court Applies Recent Changes in Sexual Harassment Law March 2007
School Contractor Loses on Bid Law Dispute March 2007
New Federal Rules Concerning Electronically Stored Information December 2006
Implementing Policy by Email Notice Disapproved November 2006
Felon Rejected for Social Work Degree Program November 2006
Student Suits Against Universities - A Losing Proposition? October 2006
Supreme Court Broadens Basis for Retaliation Claim June 2006
Restraining Orders February 2006
Supreme Court Addresses Race Bias Proof Issue February 2006
Workplace Romance Presents Complex Legal Issues October 2005
Cancer, the Workplace, and the ADA October 2005
Troy State Officials Protected by Qualified Immunity July 2005
Constitution Day Commemoration Requirement July 2005
High Court Expands Patent Infringement Exemption July 2005
Universities Can Be Sued by Students for Violations of the ADA June 2005
Supreme Court Recognizes Title IX Retaliation Claim June 2005
"Unintentional Discrimination" Claim in Age Cases June 2005
CREATE ACT Allows Collaborative Patents February 2005
University of Phoenix Docked for Unpaid Overtime February 2005
Patent Forfeiture to U.S. Government Upheld February 2005
Effort Reporting:  The New Federal Target? November 2004
The FMLA and a "Pre-Eligibility" Leave Request August 2004
Online Course Pack Copyright Case Settled August 2004
Attorney General Strengthens ACHE's Hand March 2004
Training Can Be a Valuable Defense December 2003
Protection of a Faculty Member's Interest in Class Lectures December 2003
Designating Absences as FMLA Leave December 2003
Legal and Practical Implications of the Use of Email September 2003
Use of Student Evaluations in Tenure Decision Upheld September 2003
Supreme Court Upholds Limited Role for Affirmative Action in Admissions August 2003
OCR Clarifies Athletics Title IX Compliance August 2003
Safeguarding of Personal Financial Information by Higher Education May 2003
Export Control Laws in the University Setting March 2003
Language in Handbook Saves the Day January 2003
Recalcitrant Faculty Member Dooms College January 2003
EEOC Using Mediation to Reduce Case Backlog January 2003
New Law Addresses Copyrights and Distance Learning November 2002
Dismissal of Researcher Upheld November 2002
UAB Instructor Loses Jurisdictional Battle in Libel Suit September 2002
Federal Student Records Law in the Courts July 2002
Rights in Theses and Dissertations:  Facts and Fallacies July 2002
Fraternity Adviser May Be Liable for Hazing Injuries July 2002
Change in Sex Offender Registration Law Affects Universities May 2002
Vulgar Language in the Classroom Not Protected May 2002
Viewing of Videotaped Motion Pictures in the Classroom and Library March 2002
Uniformed Services Employment Rights September 2001
First Amendment Does Not Protect Grading Decisions July 2001
Notarization of Documents May 2001
Cautions Regarding Telephone Taping May 2001
Liabilities for Hazing Activities May 2001
Reference Input Helps Sustain Challenged Hire February 2001
Court Upholds Universities Right to Control Grades February 2001
Use of Social Security Numbers as I.D. Numbers by State Universities January 2001
Campus Safety Act Update November 2000
"Directory Information" and Student Assistants November 2000
Affirmative Action:  An Idea Whose Time Has Passed? November 2000
Alabama Supreme Court Retreats From Immunity July 2000
Investigation of Complaint Not Invasion of Privacy July 2000
Court Upholds Bid Law Award July 2000
University Has Right to Control "Fraternal Warfare" April 2000