Appeals Court Grants New Trial to Professor in Iowa Bias Suit

July 16, 2014

Citing procedural reasons, a federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered a lower court to grant a new trial to a Teresa R. Wagner, who has waged a multiyear legal campaign to show that the University of Iowa discriminated against her because of her conservative political views. A jury in 2012 rejected one of Wagner's claims and deadlocked over another, and last year a federal court refused to give her a new trial.

But in its ruling Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit embraced Wagner's assertion that the lower court judge, in refusing to grant Wagner's request for a new trial, had failed to recognize that the magistrate judge in her 2012 trial lacked the authority to accept the split verdict against Wagner after he had earlier declared a mistrial.

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