The state’s Seventh Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments this morning in the legal battle between Texas Tech and former head football coach Mike Leach.
The case is one of four appeals originating from Lubbock trial courts that will be argued before the three-judge panel at Lubbock Christian University.
The Leach hearing is the second case on a morning docket that starts at 9:30 a.m.
Tech is appealing 99th District Judge Bill Sowder’s ruling allowing Leach’s breach of contract suit to proceed against the university.
Tech initially offered a broad “sovereign immunity” position, claiming that as a state agency, it is immune from being sued for its actions.
Leach’s lead attorney, Ted Liggett, told reporters Wednesday he’s expecting a relatively quick decision from the appeals court, perhaps as early as the end of the year.
“We’re optimistic, cautiously confident,” Liggett said.
He said Leach will not be attending the hearing.
Sowder accepted Tech’s argument in dismissing Leach’s claims against Tech Chancellor Kent Hance, President Guy Bailey and Athletic Director Gerald Myers and other officials, but ruled the breach of contract suit could proceed against the university.
“We are looking forward to the hearing. We believe that, after reading the briefs and hearing the oral arguments, the Court of Appeals will agree that the case should be dismissed in its entirety,” said Dicky Grigg, lead attorney for Tech.
As part of the proceeding, Leach’s legal team is also appealing Sowder’s decision to reject several of the fired Tech coach’s claims, including violations of the state’s whistle-blower law.
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