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Federal Judge Agrees with Law School to call a Cheater a Cheat
Thomas Cooley Law School was right to dismiss Amit Ghoshal for cheating, a federal judge ruled. Ghoshal, who attended Cooley in 2006 at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, campus, sued his school in 2010 for being first suspended, and then being dropped, and is now seeking over $75,000 in damages. The school, in turn. countersued for $16,551 in unpaid tuition.
The trouble began in 2006, when Ghoshal attempted to transfer to the University of Tulsa College of Law where he could also care for his sick mother. When he was given his bluebooks to help in the “grade appeal process,” the school grew suspicious that he had change an answer instead of, reviewing it. This put his transfer on hold. Ghoshal accused Cooley of deliberately sabotaging his transfer.
After he was charged on June 3, 2008, of cheating and lying and thus breaking the school’s honor code, Ghoshal chose not to be suspended for one-term as punishment, but to instead request a school-board hearing, upon which the three persons on the panel unanimously agreed that he was guilty, and that he should be dismissed.
Ghoshal didn’t appear at his Feb. 15 court date or even pay his attorney’s Silver & Van Essen, who were forced to drop him.
“I don’t know what, exactly, he was doing,” said former attorney Lee Silver. “But we had to withdraw from the case.”
The judge ruled against Ghoshal, saying “As detailed in the plaintiff’s complaint, the determination to dismiss plaintiff from law school was made only after an investigation, an evidentiary hearing, and several levels of review and reconsideration,” and he decided that it would be unreasonable to call the school’s actions “arbitrary and capricious.”
Though the countersuit was dropped, that was due to a technicality, and Cooley may still pursue the tuition Ghoshal owed. “The court dismissed our counterclaim for unpaid tuition not because the claim lacked merit, but because the court no longer had federal diversity jurisdiction over the case once Mr. Ghoshal’ claims were dismissed.”