Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

ABA Wins Early Round Against Florida Coastal Law In Accreditation Lawsuit

Florida Coastal (2017), ABA Wins Early Round Against Florida Coastal Law in Accreditation Suit:

In denying Florida Coastal School of Law a preliminary injunction, a federal judge ruled on Monday that the "proverbial cat is out of the bag" when it comes to the school's accreditation shortcomings.

Florida Coastal School of Law must continue to disclose its accreditation shortcomings on its website, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The Jacksonville school had sought a preliminary injunction blocking an American Bar Association-imposed requirement that it publicly disclose that it was found out of compliance with several accreditation standards this spring. But Judge Brian Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida thwarted the law school’s efforts, finding that the accreditation dispute is not ripe for judicial review because the school has not yet exhausted the ABA’s internal appeals process.

He also found that since information about Florida Coastal’s accreditation problems has already been posted on the school’s website for several months, removing it now would not undo any potential harm to the law school.

“The Court finds that Coastal has not shown irreparable harm where it is forced to disclose the outcome of the ABA’s determination, especially where this determination is an exercise in transparency, and students—potential and current—are told of both the ABA’s decision and Coastal’s appeal,” reads Davis’ opinion. “Moreover, the harm Coastal may suffer is too speculative.”

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