Former UC Berkeley School of Law dean drops racial discrimination lawsuit against university

Sujit Choudhry

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Former UC Berkeley School of Law dean Sujit Choudhry, who resigned from his position after a campus employee sued him for sexual harassment, dropped his racial discrimination suit against the university Tuesday.

UC President Janet Napolitano called for a second disciplinary hearing after the original disciplinary actions were criticized for being too lenient.

In September, Choudhry filed a lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents and other related parties, alleging that the university had racially discriminated against him in its disciplinary proceedings and attempted to deprive him of his reputation and career.

Choudhry filed a motion to stop the campus from pursuing disciplinary proceedings against him, but that motion was denied by a United States district judge Nov. 11.

Choudhry was sued for sexual harassment in March by his executive assistant Tyann Sorrell. She accused the former law school dean of giving her unwanted hugs and kisses, and Choudhry was subsequently docked 10 percent of his salary one year.

Choudhry resigned as dean and currently remains a tenured law professor but is not assigned to teach any classes this semester.

Sorrell returned to campus Nov. 11 to work as an executive assistant in the office of the Berkeley Law dean. Sorrell said, however, she can only work three days a week because of her ongoing medical treatment as necessitated by Choudhry’s alleged misconduct, adding that her part-time pay is insufficient because she is being forced to use her sick and vacation days in order to accommodate this schedule.

Sujit Choudhry’s lawyer, William Taylor, would not comment on litigation or litigation strategies. Taylor said, however, this instance is a “dismissal without prejudice,” which does not prevent Choudhry from taking action in another court at a different time.

Anderson Lanham is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AndersonLanham.