Bad Law School Grade? Here's an Original Idea: Sue!

By William Peacock, Esq. on June 24, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What would you say if you were a first-year law student in 2011, and you were about to dump multiple additional year's worth of tuition into a degree from an unaccredited school, but your Contracts professor "unilaterally and without notice" changed the syllabus, causing you to get a "D" and flunk out?

You should say, "THANKS!" Instead, Martin Odemena told the Massachusetts School of Law: "I'll see you in court!"

He Writes Like a Lawyer (But Needs a Proofreader)

Thanks to Above the Law, who broke the story, we have the complaint, and it's ... painfully familiar to anyone who has ever practiced for, or against, the typical [excrement-y] ambulance-chaser:

"AND NOW COMES Martin Odemana (Plaintiff), pro se and alleges that Defendants unilaterally and without notice to the Plaintiff switched their contract law class syllabus resulting in a poor grade for the Plaintiff. In addition, as a result of the poor grading, the Defendants gave the Plaintiff a not-good-standing letter. In this Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, Plaintiffs [sic] ask this Honorable Court to declare that the Defendant's [sic] did not give the Plaintiff notice of the switch in their contract law class syllabus and that the Defendant's [sic] unfairly gave the Plaintiff a not-good-standing letter."

Legalese? Check.
Botched apostrophes and pluralization? Of course.
Completely frivolous? Probably.

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

About That Syllabus

Not to play armchair lawyer or anything (really, this is not legal advice), but this would make a good hypo for a contracts final.

Professor issues syllabus. He later orally amends the syllabus in class. Other students take note (and notes) on the amendment, but Odemana missed the note, and apparently, the no-longer-optional quizzes as well. End result: a D. Bummer.

Now, were this a contract (one might argue that this is part of the tuition for a meaningless degree from a diploma mill deal), amendments can't be made orally to contradict the written terms -- parol evidence, statute of frauds, yadda yadda.

Then again, he didn't mention breach of contract in his complaint. He did, however, ask the court to take supplemental jurisdiction over state consumer protection claims without mentioning a federal ... oh hell, why are we even trying?

This is Hilarious

Law school hypos aside, however, is there any way that a court is going to step into a classroom and "[d]eclar[e] that the Defendants should not count the quizzes in the Contract Law grading"? No, no a court won't, especially not a federal court.

One final note: in your complaint, you don't need to outline their entire defense for them (the change was announced in class, other students took notes, etc.) -- they'll probably address that in their response or 12(b)(6). Hopefully, you did a little better in Civil Procedure.

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