Former FAMU law student files lawsuit
The FAMU College of Law failed to follow its own rules and procedures when it academically dismissed a former law student in July, and also failed to comply with American Bar Association accreditation standards, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday by a former first-year student.
Clayton Hallford also alleges in the suit that a former FAMU law professor, Wallace Rudolph, used multiple-choice questions from a commercially available test-prep guide to develop a final exam for a Torts II class that Hallford took in the spring. Since the exam was open book, "some students who had these supplements with them had these answers readily available and simply copied them on to their scantrons," says the suit, which was filed in Orange County Circuit Court. Hallford says he did not have the guide.
Nonetheless, Hallford initially earned a B in the class, enough to maintain a cumulative GPA that was slightly higher than the minimum 2.0, the suit says. But when interim law Dean Ruth Witherspoon decided to "throw out" the multiple-choice portion of the final exam, Hallford's grade dropped to a D, and his cumulative GPA fell below 2.0, the suit says. Hallford is seeking to have his grade restored to a B, and to be readmitted to the law school as a second-year student in good standing.
His attorney, David Maxwell of Orlando, told The Gradebook last month that he was preparing a suit on behalf of several students. He could not be immediately reached for comment this morning. FAMU officials did not immediately respond to e-mails from The Gradebook. To see the suit, click here.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter