Las Cruces, is “The City of the Crosses,” the second largest city in New Mexico and the home of New Mexico State University (NSMU), founded in 1888, New Mexico’s only land grant university. New Mexico State University began as an agricultural college and now it is a comprehensive institution dedicated to teaching, research, and service at the graduate and undergraduate level. The university also has an extensive international student population from countries in Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The Total enrollment for NMSU main campus and branch campuses is 26,391. Minority enrollment at the main campus is more than 48 percent (41.4 percent Hispanic, 2.9 percent American Indian, 2.7 percent African-American and 1.3 percent Asian-American).
Obviously, NMSU and Las Cruces have a long and proud history of ethnic traditions; and one would never, ever think that this university – the only research-extensive, land-grant, USA-Mexico border institution classified as Hispanic serving by the federal government – would become a battlefield of racial discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. But it has, because of the actions and racist attitudes of a very small group of former NMSU faculty and regents – a place where five plaintiffs, Drs. Yelena Bird, Robert Buckingham, John Moraros, Satya Rao and Freedom Cheteni, received anonymous hate letters calling them the “N”-word or “N”-lover and warning them to leave NMSU “or else.” Other racist comments included threats to oust these Bird and Moraros from the university because “the academy is not the place for your kind of people” and that “few wetbacks and n*****s have your kind of education.” This blatant discrimination against four faculty members and one graduate student has resulted in many major changes at the University: The university president resident is gone; the president of the Board of Regents, too; as well as two other regents and a former associate dean.
Today, The Insider Exclusive goes behind the headlines concerning this incredible story of racism and retaliation at one of America’s and the Southwest’s most prestigious schools as Christopher Moody and and Julie Fritsch, at the firm at Moody & Warner, P.C., fight for social justice for Drs. Yelena Bird, Robert Buckingham, John Moraros, Satya Rao and Freedom Cheteni.
Christopher Moody is a founder of the employment and labor law firm of Moody & Warner, P.C. He has been practicing employment and labor law since 1983 and represents management in labor relations matters, including collective bargaining, unfair labor practice cases, representation proceedings and grievance arbitrations. Christopher is a frequent presenter on employment law topics. He is a graduate of Duke University School of Law and is licensed to practice law in New Mexico, Colorado, and California. He accepts cases in those states and in other states throughout the United States, where he is able to participate in cases by associating with attorneys admitted to practice in the relevant state.
Julie K. Fritsch is an associate attorney at Moody & Warner, PC. She is a 2003 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School. She holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame where she received the Notre Dame Scholar Award. After graduating from law school, Julie clerked for three years with United States Magistrate Judge Leslie C. Smith in Las Cruces, NM. She regularly volunteers to mentor current law students and has been active in assisting with mock trial programs, both at the law school and high school levels, in conjunction with the Center for Civic Values.
Moody & Warner, P.C. provides thoughtful and aggressive representation in all areas of labor and employment law. The firm has had significant success representing classes of employees, large groups of employees who work or worked for the same employer, who are victims of discrimination on the basis of race, sex or other prohibited bases, or who have been improperly denied overtime or minimum wage compensation. Moody & Warner also represents individual employees and small groups of employees who are victims or discrimination, wrongful termination or improper pay practices. Moody & Warner represents clients around the nation. The firm’s attorneys are licensed in California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma and represent clients in other states by associating with attorneys in those states.
You can contact Christopher Moody, and Whitney Warner at 505-944-0033, or www.nmlaborlaw.com