Posted Jul 13, 2012 08:37 pm CDT
A dueling defamation suit is the latest salvo fired in a hard-fought litigation battle between a Michigan law school and a New York plaintiffs law firm pursuing class-action claims that reported employment and student loan statistics paint a too-rosy picture of legal degree-earners’ future success.
Partner Jeff Kurzon of the Kurzon law firm filed a defamation suit Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court against Thomas M. Cooley Law School, essentially in response to a mirror-image defamation suit filed a year ago by Cooley against Kurzon in Michigan, according to the National Law Journal.
At issue is whether Cooley’s president, Don LeDuc, damaged the reputation of Kurzon and his law firm in public comments made at the time the Cooley suit was filed.
In a statement at that time, LeDuc said: “We believe these particular defendants have crossed the line both legally and ethically, calling us criminals who deceive our students and steal their tuition money, and ascribing to us fraudulent student loan activities and default rates that, if true, would cause either the Department of Education or the Department of Justice to shut us down immediately.”
Such comments damaged his law firm’s reputation, Kurzon tells the legal publication.
James Thelen, who serves as general counsel for Cooley, declined to comment because the law school hasn’t yet seen the suit, the NLJ reports.
Hat tip: Above the Law.
ABAJournal.com (July 2011): “Cooley Sues Law Firm and Bloggers, Says Law School Falsely Accused of Misstating Grads’ Success”
ABAJournal.com (Aug. 2011): “Grads Sue New York Law School and Cooley Law, Saying They Inflated Job and Salary Stats”
ABAJournal.com (Oct. 2011): “Law Firms Announce Plans to Sue 15 More Law Schools over Job Stats”