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LOS ANGELES — The publishers of the BAR/BRI law review course have agreed to pay $49 million to settle a case brought by a class of nearly 300,000 law students alleging they each were overcharged by about $1,000. West Publishing Corp., the owner of the BAR/BRI, and Kaplan Inc., which makes the preparatory coursework for the Law School Admission Test, agreed to settle claims that they conspired to monopolize the law exam market. Ryan Rodriguez v. West Publishing Corp., No. 05cv3222 (C.D. Calif.). The antitrust case had sought triple the $300 million in damages and applied to all students who took the BAR/BRI course from 1997 to 2006. The parent company of West Publishing, The Thomson Corp., has agreed to pay $36 million as part of the proposed settlement, according to John Shaughnessy, senior director of corporate communications at the legal and regulatory market group of The Thomson Corp. “We are pleased to bring a close to his matter as the alleged actions that formed the basis of the suit occurred years prior to Thomson acquiring the business,” he said in an e-mailed statement. Kaplan agreed to pay nearly $13 million as part of the proposed settlement. Eliot Disner, a partner in the Los Angeles office of McGuireWoods who brought the year-old case, said the proposed settlement, minus attorney fees, comes to $37 million for class members. He estimated that, with 290,000 anticipated class members, each would receive about $125, although that amount could be higher if some members don�t claim their share. “This gives a measure of relief to the injured class,” Disner said, nothing that both companies also agreed to end certain co-marketing agreements that came into question in the case. The proposed settlement has yet to be preliminarily approved by a judge. Disner said he anticipated such approval by early March, with a final settlement to be approved sometime this summer. Class members could potentially receive their settlement checks by September or October, he said.

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