Harvard grad loses suit against school

It was a BAD week for trying to prove that it is defamation when your law school reprimands you for plagiarism, after a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled that Harvard Law School did not defame 2009 graduate Megon Walker after it formally reprimanded her and placed a mark on her permanent transcript.

In her third year, Walker submitted an article to the Journal of Law and Technology. After finding 23 instances of plagiarism, the journal’s editors notified the Dean of Students Ellen Cosgrove. Walker was still able to graduate but received a formal letter of reprimand from the law school’s administrative board, which remains on her permanent transcript, according to the Memorandum of Decision.

Walker sued the school and its affiliates in 2012 for breech of contract and defamation, arguing that the law school’s actions were not in compliance with its student handbook and the permanent mark on her transcript was defamatory, leading to years of unemployment. Judge Rya Zobel granted summary judgment on Dec. 30, finding no evidence of breech of contract or defamation.