Juweid lawsuit judge: Mason deposition can wait


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University of Iowa President Sally Mason will not have to attend a deposition earlier than former radiology Professor Malik Juweid, a judge ruled Monday.

Juweid sued Mason, the UI, as well as several other people and entities in May 2011, claiming officials retaliated against him for speaking out in his department against discrimination of Arab-Americans and the medical mistreatment of children.

Juweid had requested Mason be deposed in the case “as soon as possible” so he could use her statements in his appeal of a state Board of Regents decision to fire the former professor. But during Monday’s heated hearing — for which Juweid appeared via telephone from outside the country — 6th District Judge Patrick Grady granted Mason’s protective order, meaning her deposition can take place later.

“I have bent over backwards to accommodate Dr. Juweid’s circumstances, and frankly, it bothers me that [Juweid and his attorney are] unwilling to make the same accommodations especially because of the difficulty we’ve had getting his presence here in the United States,” Grady said. “I’m not going to compel Dr. Masons’ deposition prior to Juweid’s, but it needs to be done that same week.”

Juweid was fired from the university on Aug. 24 after a panel report found he “did not work within the bounds of that required collegiality.”

Iowa Assistant Attorney General George Carroll — who is representing Mason — expressed his concerns about Juweid attending his own deposition, currently scheduled for Oct. 26 in Des Moines.

“I’m not confident that Juweid is going to appear for his deposition, and if he does not appear, President Mason and I would have spent time preparing for a deposition and she will be deposed for a record that may not need to be made,” Carroll said. “We have to be assured that Dr. Juweid will be deposed, and as far as I’m concerned, President Mason can go that day or the day after.”

Carroll said officials would quickly determine a time and date for Mason’s deposition.

Juweid’s attorney, Rockne Cole, maintains Carroll’s representation of Mason at the same time the state Board of Regents were hearing the professor’s case was a conflict of interest.

“I have significant concerns about Mr. Carroll presenting an administrative appeal against his own client,” Cole said. “We have significant concerns about conflicts interests that have developed in this case or the administrative tribunal about Mr. Carroll representing his client and at the same time appearing in front of her in an advocacy role.”

At the beginning of the hearing, Grady stopped Juweid from speaking, calling his timing of his interjection “inappropriate.”

But at the end of the proceeding — when Juweid attempted to speak again — the interaction grew more tense, and Grady rebuffed Juweid’s attempt to state his opinion.

Cole later told The Daily Iowan he did not want to speak about the coarse nature of the hearing, but he said Juweid was a “passionate believer” and called him “one of the most interesting and passionate clients I’ve worked with.”

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