J. Wyndal Gordon, an attorney who is representing two Howard University in their lawsuit against Alpha Kappa Alpha, appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
In a lawsuit filed on Feb. 28 in federal court, Howard students Laurin Compton and Lauren Cofield allege the sorority’s Alpha chapter barred them from entry due to their familial status. The young women happen to be “legacies,” meaning their mothers are members of the sorority.
Gordon explained to the TJMS crew that the “case is really about broken promises, breach of contract and AKA respecting the rights of its membership.”
Compton and Cofield, he said, are “victims caught in the crossfire between a larger battle between the AKA and its betrayed membership.”
“Under current law a voluntary member organization creates a legally enforceable contract between the organization and its membership,” he said. “The daughters have an enforceable right under the intended third party beneficiary doctrine of contract law. Now AKA is not just an organization, it’s a corporation, a multimillion-dollar corporation. It can sue and be sued. So they’re bound by the same laws as any other multi-million dollar corporation of its time.”
The Sorority, founded Jan. 15, 1908, issued the following statement:
Despite the plaintiff’s disappointments and complaints, AKA did not violate the legacy clause in its constitution and by-laws because that is not a guarantee of membership to a particular chapter, but simply provides for priority process.
The TJMS crew asked Gordon if monetary compensation was included in the suit.
Gordon replied his clients are seeking “justice,” and will seek money as a means to achieving it.
Gordon revealed he and his clients have “demanded over $75,000” to “meet the minimum threshold of Federal Court.”
“But again the jury makes those decisions, not us,” he added.
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