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Fraud Lawsuit Against New York Law School Dismissed by Appeals Court
The New York State Court of Appeals refused to hear the case of Gomez-Jimenez v. New York Law School. The case claims that the school enticed students to enroll using fraud, according to The National Law Journal. The vote of the court was 4-1, with Judge Robert Smith dissenting. Judge Jenny Rivera abstained from voting. She was a professor for 15 years at the City University of New York School of Law prior to being appointed to the court.
The law school was sued in 2011 by nine graduates who claim they were enticed to enroll when the school lied about the success of its graduates in the job market. The plaintiffs were asking for $225 million in compensation.
“We’re disappointed that the New York Court of Appeals didn’t take it up,” plaintiffs’ attorney Jesse Strauss said. “But we feel good about our efforts and our work. It didn’t break our way, but we felt like we needed to try.”
Anthony Crowell, the dean at the school, said, “As we have been doing since I started as dean 10 months ago, NYLS will continue to focus on serving its students and alumni well, building its plan for the future and reintroducing itself as New York’s law school.”
On March 21, 2012, New York County Supreme Court Judge Melvin Schweitzer dismissed the action. The judge said that the economic downturn was responsible for the career struggles of the plaintiffs more so than possible fraudulent behavior by the law school.
“We’ll have to talk with our clients in those cases and see if they want to appeal,” Strauss said. “Our secondary goal was to change the way law schools operate and increase transparency, and we’ve done that.”
Other cases similar to this one that have been dismissed include suits filed against DePaul University College of Law; Chicago-Kent College of Law; and The John Marshall Law School. The suit against the Thomas M. Cooley Law School was also dismissed, but it is on appeal.