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BRAY v. GEORGETOWN UNIV.

March 5, 1996

LAURACK BRAY, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SPORKIN

 This matter comes before the Court on defendant's motion for summary judgment. The case arose when plaintiff applied for a position as a career counselor at Georgetown University Law Center ("GULC"), but was not called in for an interview and did not get the job. Plaintiff, Laurack Bray, brought this case against Georgetown University, alleging racial discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. ยง 1981 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. *fn1" Defendant responds that plaintiff has not established a prima facie case of racial discrimination, and has been unable to refute defendant's legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for its challenged conduct.

 BACKGROUND

 In the spring of 1992, GULC advertised to fill a position as a career counselor in the Office of Career Services. The vacancy was created when the incumbent counselor, a female African-American named Lee Cook, was promoted. GULC asked Ms. Cook to organize the search to fill the vacancy created by her departure. Ms. Cook prepared an announcement which read in part as follows:

 
The Georgetown University Law Center is seeking a Career Counselor for its Office of Career Services. This counselor will coordinate the Office's programs for minority affairs, foreign students and students interested in pursuing masters degrees in law. The successful candidate will be interested in, and committed to, helping students and alumni identify and achieve their career goals. Candidates must be able to interact with a highly diverse student body.
 
Required Qualifications: Masters Degree in Counseling (or related field) or Juris Doctor. A minimum of three years of experience in law school or other professional school administration, law practice or counseling is preferred.

 GULC sent the announcement to the National Association for Law Placement and to the career centers at many of the nation's leading law schools, including Howard University, plaintiff's alma mater. In response to the announcement, GULC received 42 applications, three of which were selected for interviews. One of the selectees was an African-American female who had worked as an attorney for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and had volunteered at Harvard to improve relations between members of the Black Law Students' Association ("BLSA") and foreign students pursuing graduate law degrees. She was also fluent in French and Haitian Creole. The second finalist was an Hispanic male who had worked as an employment recruiter at the Bank of Boston and as a pre-law adviser in Syracuse University's ("SU") career placement office. He served as founder and chairperson of the Latin American Law Students Association and was fluent in Spanish. The third selectee was an Asian-Hispanic male who had worked as an attorney in a large Washington law firm. He also had served as a member of the International Law Society while in law school, and had knowledge of French and Sinhala.

 Plaintiff's resume indicated he met the minimum requirements of having a J.D. and a number of years experience in private law practice. In contrast to the resumes of the three finalists, Bray's resume did not show the same breadth of experience relevant to providing career counseling to minority students. Bray's resume did not indicate that he had ever been employed by a government agency, a large law firm, or any other corporate or institutional employer of the type which typically recruited at Georgetown. Nor did Bray's resume indicate that he had any career counseling experience, had worked with foreign students, or spoke or understood any foreign languages.

 SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARDS

 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleadings are not enough to prevent issuance of summary judgment. The adverse party's response to the summary judgment motion must "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56(e).

 The Supreme Court set forth the governing standards for issuance of summary judgment in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). In Celotex, the Supreme Court recognized the vital need for summary judgment motions to the fair and efficient functioning of the justice system:

 
Summary judgment procedure is properly regarded not as a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather as an integral part of the Federal Rules as a whole, which are designed "to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action." Fed. Rule Civ. Pro. 1...
 
Rule 56 must be construed with due regard not only for the rights of persons asserting claims and defenses that are adequately based in fact to have those claims and defenses tried to a jury, but also for the rights of persons opposing such claims and defenses to demonstrate in the manner provided by ...

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