A fraud lawsuit alleging that Brooklyn Law School misled potential students by misrepresenting its graduate employment and salary data has been dismissed by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice David Schmidt (See Profile). The class action, Bevelacqua v. Brooklyn Law School, 500175/2012, is the third making similar claims against a New York law school to have been thrown out of court. Schmidt held in a decision released yesterday that "the employment data and salary statistics BLS published may have been incomplete, but they were not false." Moreover, the judge said the school had provided "sufficient information that would enable a reasonable person to determine that most graduates were earning modest incomes." Schmidt, a 1982 Brooklyn Law graduate, also wrote that "plaintiffs’ decision to enroll and remain in school, predicated solely, as they allege, on the strength of a bare-bones employment statistic, was unreasonable under the circumstances."
Jesse Strauss, a lawyer for the plaintiffs who is coordinating similar cases against 15 schools nationwide, said he was "disappointed" by the ruling. "We’re deciding whether it’s worth a challenge," he said. "We’re looking at whether we have a shot at bringing it to the Second Department."
In a statement, Brooklyn Law School Dean Nicholas Allard said the school had anticipated the outcome. "Regardless of the obvious weaknesses of the plaintiffs’ case, there is no disputing that recent graduates need help in today’s lingering weak economy," Allard said. "Our focus is to help our students begin long, worthwhile careers."
Manhattan Acting Supreme Court Justice Melvin Schweitzer (See Profile) dismissed an action against New York Law School on March 21, 2012, a ruling that was upheld by the Appellate Division, First Department (NYLJ, Dec. 21, 2012). Acting Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin (See Profile) dismissed a lawsuit against Albany Law School on Jan. 3 (NYLJ, Jan. 7).