Dueling motions in the long-brewing Boise State-Big City Coffee case

Attorneys on both sides of the long-running Boise State University-Big City Coffee lawsuit tried to score a few points in court Friday.

The hearing was punctuated by motions and countermotions, and some pointed exchanges between the competing attorneys, Erin Banks Rusby of Boise Dev reported Friday.

The 2021 lawsuit stems from the closure of a Big City Coffee shop on the Boise State campus the preceding year. Big City originally sought $10 million from Boise State, saying it was pushed off campus due to its vocal support of law enforcement. District Judge Cynthia Yee-Wallace dismissed the university and President Marlene Tromp from the lawsuit in 2022.

Back before Yee-Wallace Friday, attorneys for Boise State argued for an outright dismissal of the case, Rusby reported. Several past and current administrators remain in the case as defendants, but Keely Duke, Boise State’s attorney, said these employees should be exempt from a lawsuit, since they were acting in their roles as university officials.

Michael Roe, an attorney representing Big City owner Sarah Jo Fendley, said Tromp should again be named in the suit. Roe argued that Tromp was heavily involved in the matter, before and after a pivotal Oct. 22, 2020 meeting to discuss the Big City contract, Rusby reported.

Another pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 12. A 10-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 28.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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