Attorney Gary Lincenberg was featured in a Law360 article about his successful defense of the highly esteemed former Chair of the Political Science Department at UCLA, Michael Lofchie, in connection with the University’s hiring of his wife as a program assistant for a four-week study abroad program. Prosecutors said Lofchie was “financially interested” in the University’s contract to hire his wife. A California appeals court ruled he may not be criminally prosecuted, finding that the University improperly interfered in the academic hiring of the University.
Fellow UCLA Professor, Richard Anderson, of the political science department had objected to the hiring of Lofchie’s wife even though he himself had arranged for his teaching partner’s wife to be hired for a similar position. When the University rejected Anderson’s objection as specious, Anderson took the matter to the Los Angeles District Attorney with a false story, the DA filed a felony violation of Section 1090 against Lofchie. Mr. Lincenberg represented Lofchie in the case and moved to dismiss, arguing that the DA’s meddling in the academic hiring decisions of the university was an unconstitutional infringement in the internal affairs of the university. The lower court granted the motion. Mr. Lincenberg then successfully defended the dismissal on appeal, convincing a three judge panel to reject the DA’s argument.