Editorial: Settlement the best option in Kashmiri suit

    Sometimes justice is hard to attain, but it certainly looks like any semblance of justice will be absent from the final outcome of the Kashmiri professional-student fee lawsuit.

    The class action suit, which alleges that the University of California’s fee increases violated a contract with its professional students, will mean higher fees, no matter how its decided.

    For the university, the worst-case scenario is losing the case outright — something that’s quite likely, considering the statements the presiding judge has made in recent rulings. However, documents presented to the UC Board of Regents indicate that a victory by the students involved in the suit, the last of whom will graduate next year, means that the Board will likely raise fees for other students enrolled in its professional schools to offset its loss.

    On the other hand, the best-case scenario for the university is a victory occurring months down the road, coming as a result of the protracted legal process. Of course, by that time, most of the affected students will have graduated, and the university has admitted it will have little luck getting them to pay the judgment. Ironically, this will once again mean higher fees for all of the other students attending UC professional schools.

    Under both options, the result will be a transfer of funds from younger students to pay the debts of their older colleagues, with the university itself untouched — and that’s certainly not justice.

    Instead of spending more money on its lawyers, the university should settle the suit now — an option the plaintiffs said they would be amenable to — before the affected class graduates.

    Though far from real justice, a settlement represents the best solution for UC campuses and their students.

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