Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: cause of action against school?  (Read 2475 times)

shimra

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: cause of action against school?
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2007, 06:32:15 PM »

- Umass guy

For there to be any cause of action the following would need to be true: The school guaranteed in writing and always allowed EVERY part-time student admission into the full-time program, without exception, at the discretion of the student.

Wouldn't guaranteeing in writing be enough?  Why did you include the "always allowed" part?  For that matter, if they guaranteed it for students of 2.75 GPA, why would you conclude that they had to allow everybody regardless of GPA, at the discretion of the student?  Your analysis makes no sense. 

snobord99

  • Guest
Re: cause of action against school?
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2007, 06:41:21 PM »
Hmm, I'm bored from outlining crim so I'll give it a go. Keep in mind my memory sucks and I've yet to really study for contracts yet.

I would say, at the very least, this is an uphill fight. First, you say that they had this policy when you went it just wasn't enforced. If the policy was in place, I'm not sure that their having not enforced it much up until that point would be enough for you to defeat the fact that policy was in fact there. I mean, if it was there, then you probably can show that the school intended to not allow people to transfer at will. It would also be hard to prove that students decided on the PT program with the intent to transfer. The school certainly didn't have the intention of allowing everyone who wants to transfer to the FT program to transfer and reasonable applicants should know that, otherwise what's the point of them differentiating between PT or FT applicants? On top of that I don't think the courts would allow such transfers since this could potentially lead to overcrowding of FT classes since such a ruling would basically allow anyone who wants to transfer to transfer (at least those who enrolled prior to the actual change).

It seems that the only difference between then and now is that they've decided to start enforcing a policy which was already in place so unless they told you in writing (or even orally) that you would be able to transfer at will, then I doubt this is a case that can be won on a reliance basis since the policy was in place.

Ok, yea, so I'm totally going to fail my contracts final, whatever  :P.

squarre

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: cause of action against school?
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2007, 11:11:04 PM »

- Umass guy

For there to be any cause of action the following would need to be true: The school guaranteed in writing and always allowed EVERY part-time student admission into the full-time program, without exception, at the discretion of the student.

Wouldn't guaranteeing in writing be enough?  Why did you include the "always allowed" part?  For that matter, if they guaranteed it for students of 2.75 GPA, why would you conclude that they had to allow everybody regardless of GPA, at the discretion of the student?  Your analysis makes no sense. 

The main reason for my statement is that I don't think a contract would ever be created in this situation - consideration would be a huge problem. Therefore, the reason I gave both parts and included the always is because I think some reliance would need to be shown.  If there was ever anyone not accepted at any GPA level a student could potentially be denied admission to the full-time program.   

Next, I don't think a guarantee would work unless someone could prove that their main reason for attending a particular school was because of the opportunity to transfer to the full-time program.  This would be difficult in the situation of a part-time student because the choice of a part-time program generally has something to do with other things like job or family that won't allow a full-time course of study.  While someone could claim that the reason they went to this part-time program was ability to go full-time, it would be difficult to win this argument unless there was  another part-time program in the immediate area to which the individual was accepted or could prove they would have been accepted.  Travel isn't likely to be a possibility for most who take the part-time route.

For what it is worth - A lot of the analysis here is applying 1L casebook law to a real life situation.  Professors will tell you as you go through law school that a lot of the causes of action don't ever work in real life - remember the case in the book are there for a reason and a lot of times the reason is that the case is one of few ever decided that way.

Ronald Hyatt

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 295
  • Hedgehog
    • View Profile
Re: cause of action against school?
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2007, 03:14:43 AM »


However, I am sure "NotReally" is some sort of legal genius who gets off on attemtping to demean people on a law school message board. Nice try pal. 

It would seem to depend on first and formost on any materials you signed to complete the contract and get into the school.  Did the school mention the opportunity to transfer in the contract or other writings would be my first question?  Some schools tend to advertise the fact that you can transfer when you join the night class.  Did they make representations as to what GPA would be required, either in writing or orally before you joined?

Finally, it would depend on what sort of parole evidence rule your state has.  If your a strict parole evidence jurisdiction, your going to have an extremly hard time of it if the gpa requirenment to transfer isn't in the contract.  If you have a weaker parole evidence rule, you have more of a case as to bringing in oral discussions or evidence as to non enforcement of a contract provision. 

Also, what's the customary practice in academia is probably also relevant, whether schools generally switch requirenments in the middle of a semester. 

NC
"Freedom of speech doesn't protect speech that you like, freedom of speech protects speech that you hate."
http://imdb.com/name/nm0000465/bio

Ronald Hyatt

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 295
  • Hedgehog
    • View Profile
Re: cause of action against school?
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2007, 03:17:55 AM »
I am currently a 1st year part-time student. I entered the part time program with the intention of transferring to full time after the first year. At the beginning of the second semester, my school enacted a policy which requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be able to transfer to full time. Before this year, the "policy" supposedly existed, but it was never enforced. Could there be some sort of claim pursuant to contract law? Perhaps, reliance or mis-representation? Did the school waive their right to hold students to the requirement? Let me know what you think.

- Umass guy
For there to be any cause of action the following would need to be true: The school guaranteed in writing and always allowed EVERY part-time student admission into the full-time program, without exception, at the discretion of the student.

I personally don't feel there is any contract that carries over from year to year between each student and the school - in a general sense.  I am also willing to bet that even if the claim had potential to exist (I don't think it ever would), the law school or university itself has language somewhere that says policies can be changed at the will of the school.

I also think you would have a very hard time showing any damage that results from not being given admission to the full-time program. 

As a practical note I think you would have a next to impossible time of getting anyone to accept your case. 



B
"Freedom of speech doesn't protect speech that you like, freedom of speech protects speech that you hate."
http://imdb.com/name/nm0000465/bio

Ronald Hyatt

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 295
  • Hedgehog
    • View Profile
Re: cause of action against school?
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2007, 03:22:08 AM »
Hmm, I'm bored from outlining crim so I'll give it a go. Keep in mind my memory sucks and I've yet to really study for contracts yet.

I would say, at the very least, this is an uphill fight. First, you say that they had this policy when you went it just wasn't enforced. If the policy was in place, I'm not sure that their having not enforced it much up until that point would be enough for you to defeat the fact that policy was in fact there. I mean, if it was there, then you probably can show that the school intended to not allow people to transfer at will. It would also be hard to prove that students decided on the PT program with the intent to transfer. The school certainly didn't have the intention of allowing everyone who wants to transfer to the FT program to transfer and reasonable applicants should know that, otherwise what's the point of them differentiating between PT or FT applicants? On top of that I don't think the courts would allow such transfers since this could potentially lead to overcrowding of FT classes since such a ruling would basically allow anyone who wants to transfer to transfer (at least those who enrolled prior to the actual change).

It seems that the only difference between then and now is that they've decided to start enforcing a policy which was already in place so unless they told you in writing (or even orally) that you would be able to transfer at will, then I doubt this is a case that can be won on a reliance basis since the policy was in place.

Ok, yea, so I'm totally going to fail my contracts final, whatever  :P.

B-
you lost me with the unnecessary "policy" argument about courts actually giving a flying @#!* whether or not some FT program gets too crowded
"Freedom of speech doesn't protect speech that you like, freedom of speech protects speech that you hate."
http://imdb.com/name/nm0000465/bio

Ronald Hyatt

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 295
  • Hedgehog
    • View Profile
Re: cause of action against school?
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2007, 03:24:26 AM »

- Umass guy

For there to be any cause of action the following would need to be true: The school guaranteed in writing and always allowed EVERY part-time student admission into the full-time program, without exception, at the discretion of the student.

Wouldn't guaranteeing in writing be enough?  Why did you include the "always allowed" part?  For that matter, if they guaranteed it for students of 2.75 GPA, why would you conclude that they had to allow everybody regardless of GPA, at the discretion of the student?  Your analysis makes no sense. 

The main reason for my statement is that I don't think a contract would ever be created in this situation - consideration would be a huge problem. Therefore, the reason I gave both parts and included the always is because I think some reliance would need to be shown.  If there was ever anyone not accepted at any GPA level a student could potentially be denied admission to the full-time program.   

Next, I don't think a guarantee would work unless someone could prove that their main reason for attending a particular school was because of the opportunity to transfer to the full-time program.  This would be difficult in the situation of a part-time student because the choice of a part-time program generally has something to do with other things like job or family that won't allow a full-time course of study.  While someone could claim that the reason they went to this part-time program was ability to go full-time, it would be difficult to win this argument unless there was  another part-time program in the immediate area to which the individual was accepted or could prove they would have been accepted.  Travel isn't likely to be a possibility for most who take the part-time route.

For what it is worth - A lot of the analysis here is applying 1L casebook law to a real life situation.  Professors will tell you as you go through law school that a lot of the causes of action don't ever work in real life - remember the case in the book are there for a reason and a lot of times the reason is that the case is one of few ever decided that way.

A
"Freedom of speech doesn't protect speech that you like, freedom of speech protects speech that you hate."
http://imdb.com/name/nm0000465/bio