Despite what you may have heard on the grift circuit of FedSoc speakers who have tour dates to discuss how silenced they’ve been, academics tend to have a long leash when it comes to being reprimanded for their behaviors. Amy Wax comes to mind as the “how the hell does she still have a career?” academic par excellence. But there are in fact limits. You can hit people over the head with your goofball opinions all you want, but it is a little harder for administrations to turn a blind eye when their professors are allegedly out there hitting people. From the ABA Journal:
A Syracuse University law and engineering professor has been placed on leave after he was charged with assaulting a woman in the elevator and parking lot of a casino in New York.
The professor, Terry Turnipseed, was charged with menacing, assault and criminal obstruction of breathing in connection with the Feb. 17 incident at the Turning Stone Resort Casino, report Law.com, Syracuse.com and WKTV.
Turnipseed has taught at Syracuse University since July 2004. At the Syracuse University College of Law, he taught estate planning, estate and gift taxation, wills and trusts, and property, according to a bio at the law firm where he had been of counsel, Law.com reports.
I’ve seen some rough cold calls in my time, but this is next level. For what it is worth, I doubt that the process of mounting a case and preparing defenses will be all that difficult given that the alleged offending behavior was caught on film.
Arraignment documents allege that Turnipseed was caught on video grabbing a woman by the throat in the elevator of the TS Steakhouse at the casino, according to reporting by Syracuse.com. The documents also allege that Turnipseed grabbed the woman’s hair and pulled her out of a car in the garage.
Turnipseed was charged based on the video, even though the woman said she didn’t want to press charges. Joel Barkin, the vice president for communications for the Oneida Indian Nation, described the incident as a domestic dispute in an interview with Syracuse.com.
Recently, law schools have been pushing to incorporate mediation classes in their students’ mandatory courses. It may just benefit the staff if they were to have their professors learn a bit or two about conflict resolution as well. Maybe Turnipseed can dedicate some of his free time to that end, what with his being on administrative leave. The Dean of Syracuse, Craig M. Boise, has already released a statement that rapidly distanced the school from Turnipseed’s behavior:
“By now, you are likely aware that college of law professor Terry Turnipseed is facing very troubling allegations. The university and the college of law were first made aware of these allegations on Feb. 22, 2023. That same day, he was placed on administrative leave, which precludes him from being on campus. To be clear: Syracuse University and the college of law vehemently condemn sexual and relationship violence and will not tolerate it on our campus or within our community. This matter is now in the hands of law enforcement and has also been referred to the university’s formal disciplinary and employment process.”
However this plays out, you’re damned sure it will be great fodder for some employment law professor’s final exam.
Law Prof Placed On Leave After He’s Charged With Assaulting Woman At New York Casino [ABA Journal]
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.
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