I attend a private law school in California. Per our student handbook, the school's policy is that students have the "right" to review their graded exams. When I went to pick mine up, I was told that all of one class's exams had been "lost," but apparently I'm the only student who doesn't like his grade enough to want to review my answers.
This class's professor has disliked me ever since I requested to the head of the department that the prof. use more overhead projections, because he speaks English poorly & I had difficulty understanding him. The prof. later confronted me in person & said "I heard you don't like me," then walked away.
The Dean agrees losing the exams is improper, but refuses to change my low grade to a Pass because I haven't proven actual bias. Is this negligence?I don't really want to sue at all, but I feel that the school's decision is unfair & I've appealed within its administration as far as I can. I want a legal basis to threaten to sue unless the school changes my grade to a Pass. The fault is entirely the professor's, yet the Dean said that a law professor is entitled to a presumption of fairness & integrity. But how much of a presumption does a professor deserve, when he flatly admits to losing an entire class's final exams? Even if I had a copy of my exam, & another teacher of the same subject re-graded it & said I deserved an A+, I understand that a teacher is entitled to a lot of discretion in grading. But here, the discretion is not only absolute, but also left in the hands of someone irresponsible enough to lose the entire class's exams, which count for the entire grade for the class. And I'm being denied my right to review, against the school's own written policy.
The professor's loss of the actual exams is a significant lapse but the problem for you is the issue of whether the lapse is legally actionable and, if so, what constitutes the appropriate legal remedy for the lapse.
The Dean, speaking for the school, has concluded that the appropriate remedy is not a revision of the grade. There is no certainty that a court would disagree with the Dean and specify a remedy more satisfactory to you here. And, regrettable as it is, there is no clear-cut basis for suit against the school or even the professor, on these facts. With these uncertainties in mind, it may be that this matter does not merit your investment of several thousand dollars and more than a year of your time and effort in attempting to state and maintain a lawsuit on these facts.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline