University of Hawaii Law Professor’s Lawsuit Against School Administrators Alleges Free-Speech Violation


U of Hawaii Law Professor’s Suit Against School, Administrators Alleges Free-Speech Violations

A professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law has filed a lawsuit against the school, Provost Michael Bruno and Dean Camille Nelson, alleging First and Fourteenth Amendment rights violations.

Written by: Christine Charnosky on September 13, 2023.

Original article from:

Fujiwara & Rosenbaum, LLLC Representing U of Hawaii Law Professor in Free-Speech Violation Lawsuit

In a significant case involving the University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law, Professor Kenneth L. Lawson has filed a lawsuit alleging First and Fourteenth Amendment rights violations against the school, Provost Michael Bruno, Dean Camille Nelson, and several faculty members. Lawson, also the co-director of the Hawaii Innocence Project, has been known for his forthright stance on various issues, including bringing to light concerns about the school’s Black History program.

The lawsuit stems from Lawson’s allegations that the university retaliated against him for expressing concerns about the lack of Black representation during a Black History event. As a consequence, he claims he was unfairly banned from the campus and deprived of the use of the law school’s communication channels.

Lawson initially filed his case pro se, but Joseph T. Rosenbaum has since come forward to represent him. Mr. Rosenbaum shared his insights on the matter with, stating:

“We believe this is an egregious violation of the First Amendment. The fact that the university chose to behave in this fashion is shocking.”

He further remarked,

“A lack of African Americans on a panel discussing civil rights as it relates to African Americans is totally offensive. This is clear retaliation for him speaking out against a matter of public concern.”

The case holds significance in the realms of free speech, academic freedom, and the rights of educators to express concerns without facing unjust retaliation. A status conference on the matter is scheduled for September 28.

Joseph T. Rosenbaum and our team at Fujiwara & Rosenbaum, LLLC are committed to upholding the rights of individuals and ensuring that their voices are not stifled, especially in matters of public concern. We will continue to advocate passionately on behalf of Professor Lawson as this case unfolds.

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