Trials & Litigation

Law Student Who Sued School re Grade Needs to Study Up on Contract Law, Appeals Court Says


A law student who sued his school over a C in his legal writing course not only got a fair evaluation in that subject but needs to do some more studying on the law of contracts, too, according to an appeals court ruling today.

Timothy Keefe, who represented himself pro se in his appeal of a trial court’s dismissal of his lawsuit against New York Law School, failed to show that there was any contractual basis for the pass-fail grade he sought in the legal writing class, the state supreme court’s appellate division held in its written opinion.

The trial court “properly dismissed the complaint as there is no indication that defendant ever promised that it would utilize a pass/fail grading system,” the opinion states.

“In fact, the remedy plaintiff seeks is contradicted by the documentary evidence, as defendant communicated through its student handbook that it utilizes a letter grading system under which all students are evaluated. Accordingly, plaintiff’s breach of implied contract claim fails, as does his claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”

The law school was represented on appeal by Nixon Peabody.

Hat tip: Above the Law.

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