One year ago, on another Friday the 13th, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School had filed a defamation suit against Kurzon LLP, whose lawyers had started a series of class-actions against law schools for misrepresenting employment data. Though Kurzon LLP’s actions have made the legal world sit up and take note, career offices in law schools scrambling to save their reputations, and the ABA launching measures for greater transparency, the little law firm was sued for defamation by Cooley Law School.
Now, one year after the filing of that defamation suit by Cooley Law against it, Kurzon has filed its own complaint in New York County, N.Y. Supreme Court, on another Friday the 13th, seeking as much as $74,000 in damages. The ABA Journal, “Above the Law” blog, and the National Law Journal covered the news as soon as the complaint was filed for it is of great interest to the legal community.
Apparently, Kurzon LLP’s action is based upon alleged defamation made in a public statement by the Dean of Cooley Law School, Don LeDuc, when Cooley Law School filed its defamation suit against Kurzon.
On the day Cooley Law had filed its defamation suit against the little three-partner law firm in New York for “unethically soliciting former and present Cooley students to join in a class action lawsuit,” the Dean had issued an email to students mentioning, “the law firm defendants falsely state that we are fraudulently hiding a preposterous 41% student loan default rate and fraudulently reporting and misrepresenting our post-graduation employment and salary numbers ….”
When Cooley Law filed its defamation suit against Kurzon LLP, one of the partners at Kurzon LLP, Anziska, had said in an interview with Bloomberg Law that Cooley’s lawsuit was “one of the most ridiculous, absurd lawsuits filed in recent memory,” and that Kurzon LLP “fully intend to countersue both Thomas Cooley and their lawyers for abusing the legal system.” (Hat tip to “Above the Law” for unearthing this nugget of information).
Kurzon LLP made a press release following the filing of its retaliatory defamation suit that, “Cooley sued the Firm in July 2011 as part of an effort to stifle attorney David Anziska’s investigation of Cooley’s post-graduate employment statistics. Thereafter, in a misguided effort to prevent the filing of a class action lawsuit against it, Cooley made false and defamatory statements to the public about the Firm through its Dean and President.”
As reported by the National Law Journal, Cooley has sought communications between Kurzon and University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos who runs the blog “Inside The Law School Scam.” Cooley Law School is also pursuing another defamation suit against anonymous critics who commented on a blog called the “Thomas M. Cooley Scam.” However, Cooley’s defamation suit against Kurzon LLP has become lengthy with both sides slugging it out over questions of fact and law.