United States Ninth Circuit

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Brandon v. Maricopa County, 14-16910

In an action brought under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and state law alleging plaintiff was fired from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in retaliation for a statement she made to a local newspaper regarding a case she handled for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, the district court’s judgment in favor of plaintiff following jury verdicts and award the attorneys' fee award are reversed and vacated where: 1) as to the tortious interference with contract claim, no reasonable jury could conclude that County risk management officials improperly interfered with plaintiff's employment contract when they requested reassignment of her risk management cases to other lawyers after she made statements to the newspaper; and 2) as to the jury's First Amendment retaliation verdict, with the legally defined scope of an attorney's duties in mind, it was obvious that plaintiff's comments to the newspaper could not constitute constitutionally protected citizen speech under the principles from Dahlia v. Rodriguez, 735 F.3d 1060, 1074-76 (9th Cir. 2013).

Appellate Information

  • Argued
  • Submitted
  • Decided
  • Published 2017/02/23

Judges

  • BEA

Court

  • United States Ninth Circuit

Counsel


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