Cynthia A. Augello

Cynthia A. Augello

Cullen and Dykman LLP

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Facebook Post Lands Teacher in Hot Water

On January 18, 2015, two South Hills High School teachers were arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with students at the beach. According to the Orange County Sherriff’s Department, one of the teachers, Melody...more

2/9/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Facebook First Amendment Protected Activity Public Schools Sexual Abuse Teachers

When Being Ethical Pays Off – Countrywide Whistleblower Gets $56.7 Million Payout

A former executive at mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, is about to become an extremely wealthy man. Edward O’Donnell is set to collect $57.6 million from Bank of America, for his role in exposing fraudulent activity...more

1/6/2015 - C-Suite Executives Countrywide False Claims Act Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Mortgage Fraud Mortgage-Backed Securities Mortgages Popular Settlements Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Accomodating Employee Odor Sensitivivity Makes Scents for Employers

Employers should be aware that the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA” or the “Act”) may cover an employee’s sensitivity to odors and related allergies. Failure to accommodate odor sensitivity could result in significant...more

11/14/2014 - ADA Employer Liability Issues Reasonable Accommodation Settlement

Three Local School Districts Cancel Football Seasons Due to Hazing Allegations

Bullying is one of the fastest growing issues affecting schools across the country today. In the last month, three local high schools have taken a somewhat unprecedented approach in an effort to tackle problems of hazing in...more

11/7/2014 - Athletes Bullying Hazing School Districts Students

Former OSU Band Director Files Title IX Lawsuit After Being Terminated By University

Over the past year, an exceptional number of colleges and universities have been accused (by both complainants and alleged wrongdoers) of mishandling complaints of sexual assault and sexual harassment in violation of Title...more

10/16/2014 - Colleges Hiring & Firing Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Termination Title IX Universities

English Teacher’s Blog Post Ruled As Unprotected Speech

A Pennsylvania District Court dismissed teacher Natalie Munroe’s violation of free speech claim against the Central Bucks School District. Ms. Munroe accused the School District and some administrators for violating her free...more

8/12/2014 - Blogs First Amendment Hiring & Firing School Districts Teachers

Fifth Circuit Upholds the Use of Race in Admissions at the University of Texas

For a second time, the Fifth Circuit dismissed Abigail Fisher’s claim against the University of Texas at Austin (the “University”), holding that the University’s admissions policy, including the use of race as a factor,...more

7/30/2014 - College Admissions Colleges Diversity Equal Protection Fisher v University of Texas Race Universities

Facebook: What Exactly are We Sharing When We Update Our Statuses?

Facebook’s newest feature may have you thinking twice about your status updates. However it’s not what you write that you should worry about, but rather where you write it. The social media giant has unveiled the latest...more

7/15/2014 - Facebook Internet Streaming Mobile Apps Popular Privacy Concerns Social Networks

Second Circuit Rules New York City’s Prohibition of Religious Services in School Facilities Constitutional

Recently, in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York[1], the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled that...more

7/14/2014 - Public Schools Religion

Think Before You Tweet

In November, 2013, a 20 year old woman, Kayla Mendoza, allegedly drove between 84 and 96 miles per hour the wrong way down a Florida highway. Her car allegedly collided with the car of Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio,...more

7/14/2014 - Car Accident Evidence Twitter

Bullying: Slowly But Surely, the Law Recognizes an Age-Old Problem

How far is too far when it comes to protecting your child from an alleged school bully? A mother in Santa Rosa, California may very well have pushed the limits of good parenting in attempts to protect her daughter earlier...more

7/11/2014 - Bullying First Amendment Public Schools

Onionhead: Do Firings Over a Non-Religious Practice Violate Title VII?

A Syosset, New York company is being charged with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act after employees claimed they were fired for not participating in the belief system of the employer. It appears to be a clear...more

7/10/2014 - Discrimination EEOC Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Onionhead Religious Discrimination Title VII

Noteworthy Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Regarding E-Discovery

The proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rules”) we have all been waiting for have finally been approved by the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (“Standing Committee”). Before these...more

7/10/2014 - Data Collection Discovery Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 37 Safe Harbors

N.J. Court Rules: Texters Can Be Found Liable For Texting And Driving From Their Living Room—The Implications For E-discovery

Locals were stunned when a New Jersey Appeals Court held “that a person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text...more

10/17/2013 - Car Accident Distracted Driving Texting

Girl Banned From Football Because Of Her Gender

Title IX requires that schools receiving public funding must allocate those funds equally between male and female educational programs such as extracurricular sports. Since its passage over 40 years ago, Title IX has mandated...more

9/30/2013 - Gender Discrimination Public Schools Sex Discrimination Sports Title IX

When Cleaning Up Your Facebook Can Lead To Dirty Consequences

In preparation for trial, a lawyer might advise a client to dress or act a certain way in order to improve his or her appearance in the court room. For instance, a lawyer might advise a client to appear in court wearing...more

9/20/2013 - Evidence Facebook Legal Ethics Social Media

Committee Proposes “Specificity Requirement” To Federal Rule Of Civil Procedure 34 (b)

What kind of impact can be expected from the “Proportionality Discovery Proposals?” These Proportionality Discovery Proposals refer to the proposed amendments to the Federal Rules designed to balance the benefits of...more

8/5/2013 - Discovery Proportionality Proposed Regulation

Chicago School Closings Update

The injunction hearing regarding the closings of around 50 Chicago Public Schools began Tuesday July 16 and continued through Friday July 19, 2013. ...more

7/31/2013 - Department of Education Education Budget Education Reform Public Schools

Hitler A Part Of The Justice League?

As part of a long-standing tradition, freshman art students at Thailand’s premier Chulalongkorn University designed a mural for the graduating class....more

7/29/2013 - Artists First Amendment Student Speech Students Universities

Math Test Equals Strip Search? It Just Doesn’t Add Up

Recently in Quebec, a high-school staff stripped searched a class of twenty eight sophomores before a math exam. ...more

7/19/2013 - Canada Fourth Amendment Public Schools Strip Searches Students Warrantless Searches

Chicago School Closings Unlawful?

With summer coming to an end, parents and children alike often worry about the upcoming school year: new teachers, new classrooms, a whole new experience....more

7/18/2013 - Deadlines Disability Public Schools Students Teachers Unions

Higher Insurance Premiums For Smokers And The Obese

The perils of smoking and obesity have long been the topic of conversation in doctors’ offices and between nagging family members. However, employers are jumping on the bandwagon by imposing higher health insurance premiums...more

4/9/2013 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Healthcare Obesity Penalties Premiums Smokers

Dodgeball Eliminated From New Hampshire School

Do you recall your childhood days of playing dodgeball during gym class? Leaping to the left and right, diving to the ground, trying to escape elimination while dodgeballs streak past and constantly plotting your next attack....more

4/9/2013 - Bullying Human Targetting Public Schools School Safety Sports

Electronic Discovery: Avoiding Disaster: 2013 Zubulake Updates

It is always a good idea to Shepardize or Keycite important cases, especially when the case involves the ever evolving area of e-discovery. We find ourselves always checking the cases in our CLE entitled “Electronic...more

4/9/2013 - Discovery Document Productions Electronically Stored Information Evidence Record Preservation Sanctions Spoliation Zubulake

Litigants: Are You Abiding By The New ABA Rules Regarding Legal Technology?

On August 6, 2012, the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) House of Delegates voted to amend the comment to its Model Rule of Professional Conduct (“MRPC”) Rule 1.1, which governs lawyer competence. In amending Rule 1.1 the...more

3/29/2013 - ABA Legal Ethics Technology

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