Law Schools

Law firm's defamation suit against Cooley Law School is dismissed on jurisdictional grounds

Corrected and updated: A federal judge has dismissed a law firm’s dueling defamation suit against Thomas M. Cooley Law School, filed after Cooley accused firm partners of defamation.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain of Manhattan dismissed the suit filed by the law firm Kurzon LLP, saying she had no jurisdiction over the Michigan law school, the National Law Journal reports. Name partner Jeffrey Kurzon is among the plaintiffs’ lawyers who unsuccessfully sued Cooley over alleged misrepresentations in its employment statistics.

Cooley had filed the first defamation suit, claiming that Kurzon and his then-partners defamed the school in a blog post accusing the school of manipulating employment data. When announcing the suit, Cooley president and dean Don LeDuc alleged that the lawyers “crossed the line both legally and ethically.” Cooley’s defamation suit was dismissed in September; it lost its appeal on Wednesday.

Kurzon LLP’s suit claimed defamation as a result of LeDuc’s announcement. The law firm maintained that the New York court had jurisdiction because Cooley recruits students in New York and it complies with New York requirements that allow its graduates to take the bar exam there.

Corrected on July 2 to state that the Kurzon law firm filed the defamation suit against Cooley, and updated to state that Cooley lost its defamation appeal on Wednesday.

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