[UPDATE] Oral argument audio added here 16-3932
For those of you who have been following the years of battles for parents and educators’ first amendment rights, know that my appeal is moving forward.
The judge in federal court made some decisions that did not fully allow my case to go before the jury. More details about that here. Attorney Bryan Glass and I filed an appeal earlier this year. A copy of that is linked here. The city responded to that appeal and we had a chance to respond back and counter their arguments. Now, the Court of Appeals has asked both sides to come forward in one final push to either issue a new trial, give us summary judgment and award a win for our side or dismiss our appeal. If that were to happen, then we move even higher up to the Supreme Court of United States of America. I’m not tired yet.
If you don’t have time to look through the entire appeal, here are the 6 points we are arguing:
1. Did the District Court err upon finding that Mr. Portelos’s speech at a United Federation of Teachers union meeting on January 26, 2012, and subsequent email to school union members, did not constitute protected speech under the First Amendment?
2. Did the District Court err by precluding the jury from considering testimony about the timing of Mr. Portelos’s anonymous complaint about Principal Hill’s timecard fraud on January 26, 2012, and testimony about her acknowledgement of Mr. Portelos’s speech on February 14, 2012, and through text messages given by Mr. Portelos to Principal Hill on January 30, 2012, which severely prejudiced Mr. Portelos’s retaliation theory before the jury?
3. Did the District Court err in granting partial summary judgment to the Defendants-Appellees by deeming all of Mr. Portelos’s School Leadership Team (SLT) related speech not constitutionally protected as a matter of law under the First Amendment and precluding the jury from considering any of this speech as a basis for retaliatory acts against Mr. Portelos?
4. Did the District Court err by precluding evidence before the jury of many other instances of speech by Mr. Portelos, including blog posts and media interviews, as not protected by the First Amendment?
5. Did the District Court err by dismissing Appellee New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) from the case just before closing arguments?
6. Did the District Court err by dismissing Appellee City of New York as a Defendant as part of the District Court’s decision on Defendants’ motion for summary judgment in precluding facts regarding the status of investigative cases by the New York City Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) from coming into evidence at trial before the jury?
Here is the audio from the oral argument posted on the court’s website: 16-3932
” You don’t lose until you stop fighting.” Francesco Portelos