A federal judge has thrown out a Texas tax attorney’s lawsuit against his alma mater, Georgetown University Law Center, that claimed the school unlawfully banned him from a job fair after concerns arose over discrepancies on his resume.
Judge Barbara Lynn of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed John Anthony Castro’s suit Tuesday on the grounds that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the law school in Washington, D.C. “Defendants’ only alleged contact with Texas is that Castro, a Texas resident, placed a phone call, on an unidentified date, to Georgetown University’s Career Services Office,” Lynn wrote in her opinion. “This single contact is not evidence that Defendants purposefully directed any activities to Texas.”
Castro, who is Hispanic, sued the law school in March claiming that Georgetown’s decision to bar him from its tax hiring fair constituted racial discrimination and retaliation.
Castro’s attorney, Joshua Milam, did not immediately respond to request for comment Thursday. A Georgetown Law spokeswoman reached Thursday declined to comment.
Castro’s dispute with the school dates back to his days as a student in Georgetown’s tax LL.M. program during the 2012-13 academic year, according to his complaint. (Castro obtained his J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law.) Prior to Georgetown’s spring hiring fair for tax LL.M. students, administrators raised concerns about discrepancies in Castro’s resume and barred him from attending the fair as a student.
“Undeterred by the University’s decision, Castro reached out directly to employers who would be attending and sought to arrange interviews with them at the job fair,” according to the school’s April 17 motion to dismiss. “When the University found out, it also became aware of another misrepresentation Castro had made: he claimed to have been a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, when in fact he had only briefly attended a prep school for students not yet academically qualified to attend West Point.”
In his complaint, Castro claims that he, in fact, was accepted to West Point and attended the prepatory program. He had not intended to mislead anyone, he said, about his record of military service. He alleged that associate dean Nan Hunter sought to have him expelled but that an independent review concluded he should not be kicked out of the program.
The law school’s motion said that the matter was referred to the university’s ethics counsel, which concluded that Castro should not be disciplined.
Two years after leaving Georgetown, Castro sought to attend the same spring hiring event for tax LL.M. students from which he had been earlier barred, now in the role of employer seeking talent for his firm, Castro & Co. But Hunter excluded him from the event, according to both Castro’s complaint and the school’s motion to dismiss.
“Castro is a clearly Hispanic individual and Defendant’s concerted actions continually targeting Castro are in clear violation of Castro’s Constitutional rights, and Castro is being denied equal protection because of his race through Defendant’s conspiratorial actions,” reads his complaint.
The school’s motion to dismiss argued that its 2015 denial of Castro’s participation in the hiring fair falls outside of the statute of limitations and that the Texas court has no jurisdiction over the Washington-based matter.
Lynn focused her opinion on the later argument, ultimately dismissing the case.