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NY Judge Appears Skeptical of Fraud Claim Against Brooklyn Law School over Jobs Data

Posted Aug 22, 2012 7:49 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New York judge appeared skeptical of fraud claims against Brooklyn Law School during a hearing Tuesday on a motion to dismiss.

Judge David Schmidt of Kings County, N.Y., had “pointed questions” for lawyers on both sides, but seemed “deeply skeptical” of plaintiffs’ claims that the school’s jobs data amounted to fraud, the New York Law Journal reports.

Plaintiffs are targeting Brooklyn Law School data showing that 91.3 percent of the class of 2009 was employed nine months after graduation, the story explains. The plaintiffs allege the school committed fraud by omission by failing to differentiate how many of those jobs were full-time, and how many require or prefer a JD. The case is one of 14 class actions filed against law schools over job figures.

"Where is the basis for a fraud argument?" Schmidt asked the lawyer for the plaintiffs. "You have generalized industry statistics. Where do you see that they have deceived the public?"

The plaintiffs cited a recent decision by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals directing a federal judge to reconsider a deceptive marking claim against doctors who advertised a “success rate” of greater than 90 percent for treating pancreatic cancer. The rate represented the percentage of patients whose tumors shrunk or remained the same size, rather than the percentage who were cured.

Schmidt called the decision, Gotlin v. Lederman, a "completely different case in my book."

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