Cooley Law School announced today that it has filed two lawsuits asserting defamation and other legal claims against a NYC law firm and four anonymous Internet bloggers. The school said that the lawsuits are aimed at protecting the school's reputation, as well as the reputation of its students and alumni. "With ethics and professionalism at the core of our law school's values, we cannot – and will not – sit back and let anyone circulate defamatory statements about Cooley or the choices our students and alumni made to seek their law degree here," said Brent Danielson, Chair of Cooley's Board of Directors and a retired District Court Judge.
The first lawsuit filed in Ingham County circuit court asserts that the law firm of Kurzon Strauss LLP and two lawyers in that firm, David Anziska and Jesse Strauss, defamed Cooley by falsely claiming on Internet websites, social media, and email that Cooley has defrauded students by misrepresenting its graduate employment placement rates, average starting salary figures, and student loan default rates. The other lawsuit claims that four anonymous Internet bloggers defamed the law school in a series of Internet statements on several websites recently.
Charles Toy, associate dean of Career and Professional Development at Cooley (and immediate past president of the State Bar of Michigan) said,"Cooley has consistently and truthfully reported job placement and salary figures in the manner required by the American Bar Association (ABA), our accrediting agency, and by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), a national jobs-reporting clearinghouse." Cooley's reported job placement rates have ranged from the current 76% up to 82% in 2006, with a similar range reported back to 2000.
In a statement provided to the ABA Journal, David Anziska, said: "This is one of the most ridiculous, absurd lawsuits in recent memory. Suffice it to say, not only will we defend ourselves vigorously but we fully intend to countersue both Thomas Cooley and their lawyers at Miller Canfield for abusing the legal process with this blatantly idiotic lawsuit."