I am not an ethicist. Thus, unlike the New York Times column, I do not purport to know the answers. I will post my own as well as those submitted. From time to time I may say what I think but this Blog is primarily for the contributions of others.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It Could have Happened


Dear Law School Ethicist:

A few days ago, I reported to my teacher that he was so mean in class that a foreign student fled the class in tears.  He seemed to feel bad about it. Without my permission, he approached the student and asked her what was the matter. She reported that he was not upset and that she had allergies. Now the teacher has let me know in subtle ways that I've caused a stir when it was unnecessary. I explained to him that even though it did not happen, it COULD have happened. I mean you never really know. He says there is a big difference. I say he is insensitive and narrow minded. Who is right? Thanks.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toilet Paper on My Shoe

Dear Law School Ethicist:

There is a guy at my law school I don't speak to because, among other things, he makes fun of Harvard people and I am a Harvard man and proud of it. When we cross paths, he says "hello" or some inane thing like "why not speak to me." I just stare into space and completely ignore him.  The other day as we crossed paths he said, "There is toilet paper stuck to your shoe." I again ignored him and went to class where I discovered there was toilet paper stuck to my shoe -- about 7 feet of it. It would have been embarrassing but being from Harvard I know not to blush.  Here's the problem, if something like this happens again -- he tells me there is bird poop on my shoulder or that my zipper is down -- and I check have I, by acknowledging him, broken my resolve to ignore him. Can I ignore him and act on what he says at the same time?

Thanks, Chadworth Hunnington III

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ethical Student Punished?

Dear Law School Ethicist:

I have a 3.39 GPA. If I had a 3.40 I would qualify for honors. Today I asked my first year contracts teacher to raise my grade from a  B to a B+ in his class. He asked why and I told the truth -- I need the extra points for honors. He said no. I feel like I am being punished for telling the truth. Is this fair?  I thought law school was all about ethics and that students should be awarded for telling the truth. What's with this guy?


Monday, April 7, 2014

Did I Earn an A?

Dear Law School Ethicist;

As a first year student I fell head over heels in love with Civil Procedure and, by the way, my professor. We had intimate relations. He was not married, nor am I. After a couple of months we realized we should not be involved.

My final grade was A. That would be fine because I studied hard and, after all, got some private tutoring. The problem is that I left half the test blank. I suspect the A was awarded because of some sense of gratitude or kindness.

If I do not go to the Dean and tell him the whole story and petition for my grade to be reduced to a B or C, have I violated the honor code? Thanks in advance for your answer.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Underwear Confessions

Dear Law School Ethicist:

This will seem odd and I do not mean to be provocative but I have to ask this. On my way to teach in the morning I often stop at the gym to work out. Last Tuesday, after working out and showering I realized I had forgotten to pack my underwear. It was to late to go back home and there are no clothing stores. I am pretty modest and did not like the idea but I had to teach with no underwear on.

Here is my question. The whole time teaching I was uncomfortable because it just did not feel right. Suppose the students suspected I was not wearing underwear? They might suspect me of being some kind of wierdo. Now when  I think about it I wonder if it would  have been better if I had just announced at the beginning of class "Today I am teaching without underwear. We are all adults so I intend to teach in my normal fashion."
What do you think?

Now keeping extra underwear at my office.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

To Post or Not to Post

OK, Mr. Law School Smarty Pants:

Here is a real question. At my school, and I think most others, we have to advertise when we fill a faculty position. So we do. Sometimes, however, we know who we are going to hire but we announce the opening anyway. This produces applications from who never had a chance. This worries me but if we do not list the openings we may be breaking the law and we sure don't want to do that. Is it ethical for us to keep listing these jobs?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hot Ham and Cheese Cheating??

Dear Law School Ethicist:

This has been bothering me for some time. I was having a hard time in Financial Papers class and I spoke to my teacher.She said that if I would bring her a hot ham and cheese sandwich from Subway each day for lunch I would get and A in the classl She paid for the sandwich so it seemed fine to me and I really wanted an A. A hot ham and cheese (6 inch) cost  $5.34 including tax.  A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that I could get almost exactly the same sandwich for $4.50 and a different sub shop.  My teacher cannot tell the difference and I keep the 84 cents extra.  Am I cheating by not  telling her that I am only paying $4.50 for the sandwich?