Law Student Claims Discrimination Against Unskilled Typists

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I've been meaning to post this for a while—it's not new, but worth having in the Hall of Pleading Shame. Late last year, Adrian Zachariasewycz (or, as his complaint states in paragraph 1, "hereinafter Adrian Zack"), after not being hired by the law firm where he had been a summer associate, sued that firm, his law school (Michigan), and a bunch of employees of both entities, alleging that they had all conspired to deny him employment.

Not surprisingly, the conspiracy allegations are especially vague. Plaintiff does allege that he "believe[s] there is some nexus between the actions" of everybody that is named or not named in the complaint (see para. 33), which I think means among other things that all of you reading this now, and everyone you know or don't know, are alleged to be participants in the Conspiracy Against Adrian Zack.

The heart of the complaint, however, is Zack's allegation that Michigan Law School implemented, as part of the conspiracy, a "system of course examination and grading [that] disadvantaged students that could not type at a sufficient speed to produce the volume of text required to produce competitive examination responses." This diabolical scheme resulted, in certain exams, in "borderline failing grades by virtue of the low volume of prose Mr. Zack could type in the time allotted as compared with other students."

I make a lot of suggestions in my legal writing seminars, but "try to generate a higher volume of prose" is not one of them.

It is not clear whether Zack is claiming to have an actual disability, but he does charge the law school with failing to make an accommodation for bad typists "that would allow them to complete on a level playing field with their manually more dextrous peers with better-developed keyboarding skills." Among the relief sought in the complaint in addition to money, is an injunction preventing defendants from (among other things) "voluntarily disclosing the existence of this action," which of course Zack had already done himself by filing the complaint (not under seal).

Ironically, Zack's complaint has been typed reasonably well, by a person or persons unknown.  Perhaps he tapped it out one painful stroke at a time, during the two-and-a-half years that he has been trying unsuccessfully to find a job.

Link: Zachariasewycz v. Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP., et al. (complaint filed Nov. 28, 2006).