Cooley Law School Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Internet Foes
Yesterday, Cooley Law School President Don Leduc announced defamation lawsuits against a New York City law firm and several John Doe bloggers. The lawsuits are splashed all over the law school's website.
The complaint against the bloggers (apparently a disparate group of highly dissatisfied former students) alleges the unknown defendants published false statements that Cooley law school representatives were committing fraud and other criminal acts in order to induce prospective students to attend the law school; that the business purpose of the school is to create, then transfer "securities" out of the robust stream of student loans coming into the school; and that the law school is under investigation by an undercover government task force for Title IV violations.
The complaint against the law firm alleges that Kurzon Strauss, a small New York City law firm, published false information relative to the law school's post-graduation employment rate and the school's student loan default rate in an apparent effort to attract litigants for a planned class action law suit against Cooley and other law schools. This complaint sets out a series of business torts including defamation, interference with the law school's business relations, breach of contract, and "false light".
There is no doubt Cooley is taking this litigation seriously, hiring Michigan's premire "biglaw" firm: Miller Canfield. The complaints were filed in the Ingham County Circuit Court on the basis Cooley's business injuries occurred in Lansing, MI, where the school is located.
Cooley apparently operates under the ancient Hollywood adage, "there is no such thing as bad publicity." This blog wryly noted when Cooley purchased the rights to name a minor league baseball park (the former Oldsmobile Stadium; now known as Cooley Law School Stadium) and when the school's website shamelessly touted itself as the #2 law school in the country; second only to Harvard Law School.
These marketing gaffs come straight from the top of the law school's administration. They do not advance the legitimate goals of Michigan's fifth law school, nor do they serve the interests of the legions of Cooley law graduates that have passed bar exams across the nation at historically higher than average rates.
Stay tuned for interesting developments on this one. After Miller Canfield has earned about a half million in fees to conduct plenty of discovery, one of the sides will be filing dispositive motions sometime in 2013.