Navigating Legal Remedies and Protecting Professional Futures By Keshab Raj Seadie, Esq.
The situation involving the invalidation of USMLE scores in Nepal due to cheating raises several legal and remedial avenues for affected doctors, including potential federal litigation and the pursuit of injunctive relief. Here are the options in detail:
Due Process Challenges: Affected individuals may challenge the USMLE's decision on the grounds that it violates their right to due process. This could involve arguing that they were not given a fair opportunity to contest the accusations before the scores were invalidated.
Defamation Claims: If individuals believe that the public manner in which the USMLE program has handled the score invalidations has unjustly harmed their reputation, they may consider filing defamation lawsuits, provided they can prove that false statements were made and that those statements caused damage to their reputation.
Breach of Contract: Examinees might argue that by registering for the USMLE, they entered into a contractual relationship with the examination body, which was breached by the invalidation of their scores without proper justification or evidence of their individual misconduct.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Preliminary Injunctions: Affected individuals could seek a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction to halt the invalidation of their scores until a full hearing can be conducted. This would be a preliminary step, aimed at preventing immediate harm to the examinees' careers and reputations.
Permanent Injunction: After a full hearing, if the court finds in favor of the examinees, it might issue a permanent injunction against the USMLE program, prohibiting them from invalidating scores without clear evidence of cheating on an individual basis.
Arbitration and Mediation: Before pursuing litigation, affected individuals might explore arbitration or mediation if the USMLE program offers these options as part of their dispute resolution process. This could provide a less adversarial and more cost-effective way to resolve the dispute.
Class Action Suit: If a large number of affected individuals have similar claims, they might consider filing a class action lawsuit. This could provide a more efficient way to address common issues and potentially lead to a settlement or judgment that benefits all members of the class.
It's important for affected individuals to consult with legal professionals who specialize in educational law and professional licensing to explore these options fully and understand the potential outcomes and challenges associated with each course of action.