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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Teetering Charlotte Law School Seeks To Toss Class Actions

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):, Teetering Charlotte Law School Seeks to Toss Class Actions:

The Charlotte School of Law has fired back in court against students and recent graduates who allege they should have been informed sooner of the school’s shaky accreditation status that prompted the federal government to pull their access to student loans late last year.

The school, which in November was formally reprimanded by the accrediting body of the American Bar Association for substandard admissions practices, has now moved to dismiss all three federal class actions brought by Charlotte Law students. Those suits were filed after the U.S. Department of Education’s in December decided to stop issuing loans to Charlotte Law students, a situation that has decimated Charlotte Law’s enrollment and pushed the school to the brink of collapse.

The three motions to dismiss, which are similar, but differ depending on the specific claims alleged in each class action, argue that Charlotte was bound to keep its preliminary accreditation results confidential under ABA rules, and that any harm to students was inflicted by the Education Department instead. The school alleges that each class action fails to state a valid claim, in part because their breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims are actually claims of educational malpractice, which North Carolina law doesn’t recognize.

“[Charlotte School of Law] 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 loan programs,” reads the motion to dismiss in Barchiesi v. Charlotte School of Law, the first response to be filed by the school.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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So to sum up Charlotte’s arguments:

“DOE, the previous administration made a terrible, unjust decision. We were the victims of a vicious campaign against for-profit schools. We here at Charlotte School of Law provide access to the legal profession for so many students. We are a great law school. Give us back access to student loans.”

“Judge, the plaintiffs were not harmed here. They had access to our graduate employment rates and admissions data that the ABA requires every school to make annually. They knew we are a for-profit institution, with questionable admissions practices, atrocious bar exam passage rates, and abysmal graduate employment rates.”

I just feel terrible for the 105 graduates from Charlotte Law School who were still looking for employment as of March. Their dreams of becoming a lawyer have turned into a nightmare.

Posted by: anon JD/MD | Apr 27, 2017 1:29:11 PM