Nance’s discrimination suit moves forward
By Jane Beathard
London native Mark Landes will defend London City Schools against an age discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit lodged by former athletic director Terry Nance in February.Landes, now with the Columbus law firm of Isaac, Brant, Ledman & Teetor, provided a notice of appearance during Tuesday’s status hearing on the lawsuit in Madison County Common Pleas Court. Landes replaced associate attorney Jessica K. Philemond. The firm specializes in labor law.
Landes and attorney Ron Parsons, who is representing Nance, met with Judge Don Fraser for about an hour to establish a timeline in the lawsuit.
Fraser, who is the common pleas judge of Union County, was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the case after Judge Robert D. Nichols declined to preside over the issue, citing friendships with both Nance and London City Schools Superintendent Steve Allen. Allen is a defendant in the lawsuit.
Landes indicated he may soon file paperwork to remove Allen from liability in the case, noting current Ohio case law protects the superintendent. Landes said he will also request that a jury hear the issue. Fraser set that jury trial for May 9-11, 2012.
Parsons and Landes agreed much of the lawsuit hinges on Nance’s written resignation, filed on March 10, 2010, as well as upcoming depositions by the former athletic director, former London High School Principal Tim Keib, Allen and other key players involved in the resignation decision.
Landes said he intends to question only Nance. That deposition is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 26.
Parsons declined to disclose his full witness list on Tuesday. Dates for those depositions are not yet established.
Other key dates in the case set by Fraser on Tuesday are:
Jan. 20, 2012 — Deadline for completed discovery (both sides)
Feb. 17, 2012 — Deadline for motions on the depositions (both sides)
March 9, 2012 — Deadline for replies to the deposition motions
March 27, 2012 — Mediation prior to trial
May 3, 2012 — Pre-trial hearing
May 9-11, 2012 — Jury trial
Nance’s lawsuit against the London district asks for back wages, damages for age discrimination and compensation for attorney fees and court costs.