Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Piesco v. Koch

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
12 F.3d 332 (2d Cir. 1993)


Dr. Judith Piesco (plaintiff) was a hiring test administrator for the Department of Personnel (DOP) for the City of New York (City) (defendants). Piesco initially received excellent evaluations from her managers, Juan Ortiz and Nicholas Laporte, Jr. (defendants), and merit raises. However, after the police officer examination was simplified, there was a dispute between Piesco and the DOP. The previous exam’s pass mark was 82; Piesco believed it should be raised to 89. The pass rate was set at 85. Piesco then told a state senate committee investigating the police department that “any moron could pass.” Piesco testified at a hearing that a functionally illiterate person might pass. After Piesco berated Ortiz, a letter of reprimand was placed in her file. Ortiz and Laporte rated Piesco’s performance marginal, both claiming the ratings were unrelated to her statements to the committee. Piesco filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit, alleging she was retaliated against and terminated for exercising her First Amendment rights. The district court initially granted summary judgment to the defendants, but was reversed. The jury concluded Piesco was fired because of her constitutionally protected statements and awarded $1.8 million in damages. The defendants moved for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial. The district judge felt the jury verdict was clearly wrong, but denied the motion based on the statement of a majority of the panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Dunlap-McCuller v. Riese Organization, 980 F.2d 153 (2d Cir. 1992), that a new trial was inappropriate unless a jury verdict was “egregious.” The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kearse, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial