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Eighth Circuit

EMPLOYMENT, CIVIL RIGHTS - The Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the University of Missouri-Rolla and a professor who were sued by an Iranian Ph.D. candidate who claimed he was fired as a teacher's assistant for complaining about a grade he received in chemistry.

The plaintiff claimed that the missing content in an email account that had been canceled by the defendants amounted to spoliation of evidence, but the circuit held that the defendants offered credible evidence that it had taken the appropriate steps to back up the account onto CDs and offered alternatives as to what might have happened to the missing emails. Also, summary judgment on plaintiff's retaliation claim was proper because his activities as a student were not protected under Title VII. Bakhtiari v. Lutz

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