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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Second Law School Represented By Kirkland & Ellis Sues ABA Alleging Arbitrary Enforcement Of Accreditation Standards

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on last week's post, Florida Coastal Law School Sues ABA; Kirkland & Ellis Alleges Arbitrary Enforcement Of Accreditation Standards:  Press Release, Charlotte School of Law Files Suit Against American Bar Association:

In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (Charlotte Division), Charlotte School of Law (CSL) alleges that the American Bar Association (ABA) acted arbitrarily and capriciously in its dealings with CSL, failed to meet statutory and other standards for fairness and due process, and rendered decisions against CSL despite noting CSL's "strong commitment to academic success."

CSL is represented by former Solicitor General of the United States Paul D. Clement, former Assistant Attorney General of the United States Viet D. Dinh, and H. Christopher Bartolomucci, all of the Washington office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, a worldwide law firm of nearly 2,000 lawyers.

"The complaint filed today in federal court alleges that the ABA's actions against CSL violated the due process required of those wielding accreditation power and caused CSL to be excluded from the Title IV federal loan program, making it impossible for CSL to continue to operate as a law school," said Kirkland & Ellis' Clement.

In November 2016, the ABA took the unprecedented step of placing CSL on probation without providing any explanation for its decision. Moreover, in a complete departure from precedent, the ABA imposed the sanction of probation without a recommendation from the Accreditation Committee. This, and other decisions made by the ABA in disregard of the most basic requirements of due process, caused the Department of Education to terminate CSL's participation in the Title IV program. This meant that students could no longer obtain federal financial assistance to attend CSL and made it impossible for CSL to continue to operate as a law school.

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Governing is tough, ABA. If you permit regulatory capture, you get wishy washy rules and inconsistent enforcement. You become an impotent regulator. This is what you’ve wrought and I don’t see it improving until you adopt clear, objective rules and enforce them like a fascist.

Posted by: Anon | May 16, 2018 5:19:32 AM

If they prevail, damages will exceed $100 million.

Posted by: Beau Baez | May 16, 2018 6:03:51 AM

So the ABA is being sued by Charlotte Law School for finding it out of compliance and by an ex-student and ex-professor for finding Charlotte Law School accredited in the first place.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | May 16, 2018 8:54:54 AM