U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker on Monday dismissed on summary judgment a lawsuit filed by Cooley Law School against the Kurzon Strauss law firm and bloggers who claimed the school's graduate employment information was misleading. Cooley has successfully defended the school against those claims in federal court. See "Federal Lawsuit Against Cooley Law School Dismissed," "Cooley Law School Sues Law Firm, Bloggers for Defamation," "The Mirror Image Defamation Suit Against Cooley Law School," and "Court of Appeals Rules On Anonymity In Cooley Defamation Case."
Judge Jonker found that Cooley was at least a limited public figure for purposes of defamation and could not show the requisite clear and convincing proof of actual malice. According to the ABA Journal, Cooley has said it will appeal.
Judge Jonker's opinion (PDF) itself wades into the ongoing debate about law school employment statistics:
[T]he statement that 'Cooley grossly inflates its graduates’ reported mean salaries' may not merely be protected hyperbole, but actually substantially true. "MacDonald v. Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 880 F. Supp. 2d 785, 794 (W.D. Mich. 2012) (finding that the average starting salary for all graduates specified in Cooley’s 2010 Employment Report 'does not represent the average starting salary for ‘all’ graduates; nor does it even represent the graduates’ average starting salary for whom Cooley knew the employment status. Standing alone, the representation is objectively untrue.'); MacDonald v. Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 724 F.3d 654 (6th Cir. 2013) ('We agree with the district court that this statistic is "objectively untrue.”').