Most ridiculous lawsuits USA: Former TSU law students take grade dispute to court

Houston and Texas

Karla Ford and Jonathan Chan expected to be spending this year studying legal briefs and litigation as second-year law students at Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Instead, last spring, both students were dismissed after getting a D grade in their Contracts II course.

Now, the two are suing the school and their former professor, saying their final grade was "arbitrary and capricious."

In the lawsuit, filed Feb. 2 in U.S. District Court, Ford and Chan say the low grade brought their aspiring legal careers to a sudden halt.

"When you believe that you are doing fairly well and you get a grade you feel you don't deserve, it's devastating," said Ford, 27, who has bachelor's and master's degrees in administration of justice from TSU. "There is a lot of embarrassment and shame. It took a toll."

Chan, 26, said he was also stunned by the low grade, and recoiled at the thought of telling his family.

"Coming from an Asian family, failing is a tough thing to bring up," said Chan, who has a bachelor's degree in administration and marketing from the University of Houston. "The only words I can think of are shameful and disgraceful."

In the lawsuit, Ford and Chan contend that the grades given by the instructor, Shelley Smith, were "not based upon their performance on the examinations, but in order to 'curve them out' of law school."

Under law school policy, first-year students must maintain a 2.0 GPA, or C average, to stay in the program ...

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