For one teacher at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, losing his appeal shuts the school house door to his return to the classroom. Three years ago, while serving as a juror on a criminal case, courtroom security arrested him for carrying packets of heroin into court. However, his attorney has not ruled out the possibility of his client turning to the New York Court of Appeals, the highest judicial authority, for another attempt at reversing the ruling.
The Brooklyn teacher was fired after it was discovered that he had 20 bags of heroin in his backpack when he showed up for his jury duty stubt. Recently, the judicial appeals panel ruled that the former instructor should never be permitted to teach.
In 2013, a lower court affirmed the former teacher's position that he had been unfairly forced out of the classroom. While the city advanced its appeal to the Manhattan Supreme Court, he was not reinstated to his former job.
A panel of five appellate judges agreed with the city's argument that his termination was "not irrational or against public policy" given the discovery of him in "public possession of heroin." The former teacher's attorney noted that the man's teaching record was "outstanding."
Sometimes, it can appear that a case up for appeal is destined to be denied. However, there may be several angles that an attorney experienced in the appellate process can pursue that could result in either an outright reversal or the withholding of a lower court's original favorable ruling.
When something as substantial as your career or reputation hangs in the balance, pursuing all available options may be your only option.
Source: New York Post, "Junkie high school teacher who brought heroin to court loses appeal," Julia Marsh, Sep. 29, 2015