This topic is a very difficult and thought-provoking topic indeed. I will admit, I found it difficult at first to prove my opinion that suing is sometimes biblical. I hope you find my argument below compelling and convincing.
Frederick is in a tough spot. On the one hand, he knows these professors and he trusted them. On the other hand, those same trusted mentors completely betrayed him by stealing his idea. When Frederick comes to me, I, after doing research, can confidently tell him that before turning to the extreme measure of suing, first confront the professors about what they did. Matthew 18:15-16 (NIV) instructs us to first go to the person and speak with them privately. If they do not respond well, the next step is to bring other people. In today’s cultural context, I feel that this could be the equivalent of bringing in a lawyer and potentially suing. Regarding lawyers, Szto (2001) says, “If there is a principle of justice involved, she may litigate, but she should avoid being a tool of malice and bitterness” (p. 45).
There is, of course, the chance that Frederick’s professors will retaliate against him and take out their frustration in his academics. Unfortunately for the professors, they are taking a big risk in stealing Frederick’s ideas, and this risk could result in a hefty downfall.
Also, some may make the argument that it is unbiblical to sue a friend, however, I would argue that a professor-student relationship should not be considered a “friendship.”
Frederick’s faith can greatly influence his decision. The God that we serve is a gracious and merciful God. God calls us to mirror His character.
I also believe that God calls us to be good stewards of what He has given us. In Frederick’s case, he was given an idea. By first attempting to resolve the situation without involving the courts and going to the professors, he is following the words in Matthew 18. If the professors do not relent, it would be taking care of what he was given for Frederick to take the case to court.
Note: that replies must be posted on different days. At least 1 of your replies must be to a person who has reached the conclusion opposite of your own thread. 100 word count and I've included Instructions for DB2 in attachment