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Charlotte School of Law Files for Dismissal of Three Class Action Lawsuits
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Charlotte School of Law

Summary: Charlotte School of Law filed three motions to dismiss class action lawsuits brought by current and former students.

The Charlotte School of Law has had a rough last few years, building up to a devastating announcement in November. The law school lost its access to federal student loans, ripping the ability for students to pay for their education with safer, lower interest loans. Now the students are lashing out at the school for not informing them about their accreditation status issues.

  
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The school was formally punished by the accrediting body of the American Bar Association in November. Charlotte School of Law is fighting back against the students and recent graduates who are suing them in court. The school has moved to dismiss three federal class actions brought by students.

The three motions to dismiss differ based on the specific claims of each class action. They argue that the school had to keep its preliminary accreditation status private per ABA rules and the Education Department is thus responsible for any harm inflicted on the students. They also argue that the class actions failed to provide a valid claim because the complaints fall under educational malpractice, which North Carolina does not recognize.

Charlotte Law saw a drop in their enrollment, placing them in danger of collapse. Their Barchiesi v. Charlotte School of Law motion read, “We had no reason to expect that the ABA’s limited findings of noncompliance would result in severe consequences for enrolled students, much less that the [Education Department] inexplicably would use interim findings within an ongoing accreditation process to deny recertification to participate in federal student loans programs.”

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The red flags into the school’s problems began in July of last year when the ABA’s accreditation committee told the school they were out of compliance with law school standards. They warned that remedial action must happen, including telling their students of their probation status. However, the ABA’s council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar stayed the probation and public disclosure until November. After being publicly reprimanded for their admissions practices the school could then inform students of their status. Not even a month later, the Education Department took away their federal loan eligibility because of the ABA’s reprimand.

The first class action, Krebs v. Charlotte School of Law, was filed the day after the Education Department’s announcement. This class action pointed out that Charlotte had been experiencing accreditation problems since 2014 but had not disclosed their problems. They allege that Charlotte did not disclose this information in an attempt to keep students at their school.



Charlotte Law has countered the arguments that the school was deceptive in its practices that they have remained fully accredited by the ABA the entire time and even if they hadn’t, the students that had graduated or were enrolled at the time would still be eligible for all the benefits of a law degree from a fully accredited law school. The other complaints about the school not being honest in their enrollment were responded to in the Barchiesi motion, “This is the type of information that prospective law students use to determine whether to attend an institution – not technical documents exchanged between a school and the ABA that are part of an ongoing process designed to enhance school quality and designated by the ABA as confidential.”

Charlotte Law is also facing legal action from North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who has opened an investigation into whether the school violated consumer protection laws.

Do you think Charlotte School of Law is in the wrong? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about Charlotte School of Law, read these articles:

Photo: wscotv.com

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