Dong v. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University

236 Cal. Rptr. 912 (1987)

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Dong v. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University

California Court of Appeal
236 Cal. Rptr. 912 (1987)

Facts

Eugene Dong (plaintiff) was a professor and researcher in the School of Medicine at Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford) (defendant). Dong suspected that one of his colleagues, Zoltan Lucas (defendant), had committed fraud in his academic research, and Dong reported it to Stanford authorities. After a lengthy internal investigation, Stanford compiled a report (the Feign report) with its findings. The Feign report did not reach a definitive conclusion with respect to whether academic fraud had occurred. Dong requested the Feign report for his own purposes, namely his investigation into academic fraud generally, but Stanford refused to grant him access. Lucas eventually left Stanford, and Dong reported the allegations to federal authorities. Dong filed suit against Lucas, Stanford, and its board of trustees (the board) (defendant), alleging libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Dong argued that the principle of academic freedom mandated that he be given access to the Feign report. A trial court dismissed Dong’s suit, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brauer, J.)

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