In the Fall 2006 semester, Brian Marquis got a C in his “Problems in Social Thought” class at the University of Massachusetts. Apparently attempting to prove he learned more about the problems than about the solutions, he immediately proceeded to file a federal class action lawsuit alleging that the school, its trustees, his professor, and various deans violated his constitutional right to get an A.
In a rare case of speedy resolution, it took the court just four months from the time the lawsuit was served on the defendants for the court to dismiss the case; that might have had something to do with the fact that Marquis was proceeding pro se, and drafted a semi-grammatical complaint with no legitimate causes of action. (For instance, he listed a racial discrimination statute as one of his causes of action, despite being white and failing to allege that race played any role in the matter.)
Still, that hardly means the suit was cost-free; as one of the defendants put it, “It ended up just wasting a lot of people’s time and money.” Moreover, Marquis says that he’s thinking of appealing. But lest you think that Marquis just had sour grapes, he had a good reason for filing the suit:
Marquis – who salts his comments with “strike that” – acknowledged he was alarmed the C might lower his grade point average and make him less attractive to a law school.
The C has rendered his transcript a “dismal record of non-achievement,” his suit said. Marquis, who enrolled at UMass-Amherst in spring 2006, said he has roughly a B-plus average.
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that “Has a history of filing lawsuits against his school and his professors” on his résumé isn’t actually going to make him more attractive to a law school. (Although his 2004 lawsuit against his previous school didn’t keep him from being admitted to the University of Massachusetts.)
(h/t Kerr @ Volokh)