Paul L. Caron

Monday, June 15, 2020

4th Circuit Affirms Class Action Settlement With Defunct Charlotte Law School Paying $2.65 Million To Its 2,500 Former Students, 4th Circuit Affirms Charlotte Law School's Deal to Pay Former Students $2.65M:

Charlotte Logo (2016)The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed a $2.65 million class action settlement between the now-closed Charlotte School of Law and former students—some of whom appealed the deal because they said it was not enough.

It would have taken more than $100 million to even refund a year of tuition for all the students who were unable to complete their law degrees, their attorneys argued. But those who brokered the agreement said they pulled in every dollar on the table.

On Thursday, a panel of three judges affirmed U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen of the Western District of North Carolina in approving the agreement. U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston Jr. of the Eastern District of Virginia wrote the opinion, sitting in at the Fourth Circuit. Alson was joined by Fourth Circuit Judges J. Harvey Wilkinson III and Barbara Milano Keenan.

“Defendants funded the settlement with $2,650,000.00, which was derived from the following two sources: a $2,500,000.00 portion of an insurance policy and a $150,000.00 institutional contribution. After a meticulous review, the district court ultimately approved the limited fund settlement,” Alston said. ...

The class covers any students who attended Charlotte Law between September of 2013 and August 2017—or about 2,500 students, according to the initial settlement motion filed in September.

The settlement would need to be $105 million just to refund the entire class for one year of tuition, attorneys opposing it said in pleadings. It’s unclear how much each class member will receive.

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