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Student Loses Suit Claiming Unaccredited Law School Induced Him to Stay

Posted Jul 3, 2008 6:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal appeals court has tossed a lawsuit by a former student who claims the Southern New England School of Law fraudulently induced him to stay by promising that accreditation was imminent.

The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled plaintiff Joseph Rodi failed to show he relied on statements by two of the school’s acting deans, Legal Blog Watch reports. The court noted Rodi had sought a transfer to an accredited school after Dean David Prentiss tried to talk him out of it.

Rodi graduated in 2000. He cannot take the New Jersey bar exam because of the school’s failure to win accreditation.

Both Prentiss and his predecessor, Francis Larkin, had made statements that the ABA would ultimately accredit the school even though they had private concerns about the prospects, the opinion said. But even if the deans had made false representations of material facts, no reasonable jury could find Rodi relied on their statements, the court said.

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