Following the filing of the breach of contract lawsuit against me in Iowa, and months of fruitless correspondence (and frivolous delays) between my attorney in New Mexico and Devon Roberts’ attorney in Iowa, I called the court to ask that they either dismiss the case or set it for trial. The case was finally set for trial on April 30, 2009, and the Magistrate, in her discretion, allowed me to testify by telephone.
At the eleventh hour, after over a year of discussion between attorneys, with no productive outcome, and 24 hours before trial was to begin, Devon Roberts contacted my Iowa attorney and asked that I sign a settlement agreement in the matter, in return for which she would “stop offering assistance to my students if I would agree never to sue her in the future.” She also claimed (through her attorney) that others were standing by, and IF DEVON WON, they would also file lawsuits against me.
I did not agree “never to sue Devon Roberts in the future.” The issue resolved in this lawsuit was only the claim of breach of contract. Other associated issues have not been litigated.
The trial in this matter was conducted on April 30, 2009. At the time of trial, I was represented by an Iowa attorney, James Kalkhoff. Devon Roberts appeared Pro Se, her attorney, Patrick Wegman, not being present.
During the trial in this matter, my attorney asked the following questions of Devon Roberts, to which she did not make an audible response: (From my personal notes from my telephonic participation in the proceedings, as I do not have a transcript of the trial testimony.)
1) “Why did you wait so long to file this lawsuit, if your training with Ms. Barrett was so inadequate?” (No response.)
2) “You have started your own training program, after claiming to have completed a scoping training program in only two months. How is it that you are able to function as a trainer if the instruction you received from Ms. Barrett was so lacking?” (No response.)
3) You came to Ms. Barrett’s program with prior education and experience which included a college degree and a claim to have been in charge of literacy programs in the past. You claim that Ms. Barrett failed to teach you English. Where in this contract does it say that Ms. Barrett agrees to teach you basic English?” (No response.)
4) “You have a degree in early childhood education from the University of Iowa; is that correct?” (To which Devon replied in the affirmative.)
“If you were hired as a third grade teacher, and your school declined to renew your contract because they were not satisfied with your performance, would you then be able to turn around and sue the University of Iowa?” (No response.)
Proceedings were adjourned at this point.
I did not file a countersuit in this matter. My concern was not monetary gain, but simply to protect my professional standing and negate the claims of Ms. Roberts. I merely defended the claims in Devon Roberts’ breach of contract lawsuit. Had I filed a countersuit, I would have had a money judgment against Ms. Roberts, owing to the fact that the court found against Devon Roberts and in my favor.
Follow this link to the tab entitled “Findings of the Court” to view the official record of the Magistrate’s decision in this matter: