FAMU law student loses lawsuit
The lawsuit filed in October by a FAMU law student who claimed the law school skirted its own rules when it academically dismissed him is over. Orange County Circuit Judge Thomas W. Turner dismissed Clayton Hallford's suit today, prompting this written response from new law dean LeRoy Pernell: "FAMU is proud to have honored its obligation to the people of Florida by successfully defending against and defeating this baseless lawsuit."
Hallford's claim, which drew support from many current and former students, involved an allegedly botched exam in a Torts II class, which resulted in his GPA dropping below the minimum 2.0 (see St. Petersburg Times story here). Hallford sought to be readmitted to the school in good standing. He declined comment when reached by The Gradebook this evening.
Richard E. Mitchell, the attorney representing FAMU, said the school intends to recover attorney's fees and costs from Hallford, which he estimated in the $15,000 to $20,000 range. "It's time for Mr. Hallford to pay the fiddler," said Mitchell, with the firm of GrayRobinson. "We believe his entire story was a fairy tale."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter