Skip to main content

Law professor files discrimination suit against William Mitchell


A St. Paul law professor is claiming William Mitchell College of Law and its dean discriminated against him because of his mental illness.

Minnesota Public Radio reports Peter Erlinder, a well-known professor and activist, filed a lawsuit in federal court that alleges he was banned from campus in 2012 because the college claimed he posed a threat to Dean Eric S. Janus.

Erlinder suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being held in a Rwandan prison for three weeks in 2010.

Citing medical experts' opinions, Erlinder's attorney, Peter Nickitas, says his client is not a threat.

"He brought certifications from two health care providers, his psychologist and psychiatrist that he’s capable of being a professor and he is not dangerous to anybody and never was,” Nickitas told the Star Tribune.

The college's attorneys responded to the lawsuit, describing Erlinder's behavior as “erratic, disruptive, and intimidating" and said the professor had sent unprofessional emails to fellow employees that threatened retaliation after he was escorted off campus, the Star Tribune reports.

Erlinder taught at William Mitchell for 30 years before being placed on a leave of absence in January 2012.

The New York Times reported Erlinder visited in Rwanda to represent Victoire Ingabire, a leading opposition politician who was trying to run for president but was charged with supporting genocide ideology. Erlinder was also charged for allegedly denying the country's genocide, but was later released on bail.

The professor has since denied the claim.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

unsplash football helmet ground

Judge upholds star QBs suspension for state championship game

Sam Backer, of Chatfield Senior High, won't be allowed to play in Friday's title game.

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 5-0 with win over Jacksonville

The Gophers are establishing momentum early in the season.