Thursday, November 19, 2009

Student who filed suit over his legal writing grade loses

Brother Mitch Rubinstein over at the Adjunct Law Prof blog sent me this link to a story he's been following about a New York Law School student who sued his school because he believed his legal writing course should be graded pass/fail since that's how they do it at Yale.  He was upset because he had gotten a "C" for his legal writing course.

Here's the skinny from Professor Rubinstein:

Keefe v. New York Law School, ___Misc. 3d___(N.Y. Co. Nov. 17, 2009), is an interesting case. A transfer student to New York Law School from Hofstra Law School was unhappy with being placed in Legal Writing II. As I understand it,his argument was that New York Law School breached an implied contract because it did not provide him with "the right program for every student" as indicated on the law school's web site. Out of the blue he argued that legal writing should be graded pass/fail because that is the way it is done at Yale Law School. The court did not have any trouble dismissing the case and finding that no implied contract existed. As the court stated

"As a general rule, judicial review of grading disputes would inappropriately involve the courts in the very core of academic and educational decision making. Moreover, to so involve the courts in assessing the propriety of particular grades would promote litigation by countless unsuccessful students and thus undermine the credibility of the academic determinations of educational institutions. We conclude, therefore, that, in the absence of demonstrated bad faith, arbitrariness, capriciousness, irrationality or a constitutional or statutory violation, a student's challenge to a particular grade or other academic determination relating to a genuine substantive evaluation of the student's academic capabilities is beyond the scope of judicial review.

Plaintiff is requesting this Court to intrude upon an area to which New York Courts have strongly refused to intervene. Here, Plaintiff has shown no evidence of "bad faith, arbitrariness, capriciousness, irrationality or a constitutional or statutory violation." id.NYLS clearly communicated through the student handbook that NYLS utilizes a letter grading system under which all of its students are evaluated. This Court declines to interfere with this quintessential function of an educational institution."

Good luck passing the character and fitness test after this stunt. 

You can read the rest of the story, including Brother R's personal observations about the case and the student involved, at his blog right here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)


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