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LOS ANGELES �� Is the third time a charm? Eliot Disner, the lawyer who objected to a $49 million class action settlement last year in an antitrust case he filed against the makers of the BAR/BRI bar review preparatory course, has filed a third suit to break up an alleged monopoly and reimburse students for the inflated prices they paid. Disner, of the Disner Law Corp. in Los Angeles, originally sued West Publishing Corp., a division of Thomson Co., and Kaplan Inc., which provides preparatory courses for the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT), in 2005, claiming they conspired to monopolize the market for bar review courses. Last year, the defendants paid $49 million to settle the case, which involved a potential class of 300,000 students who claimed to be overcharged about $1,000 for the course. Under the settlement, each class member was expected to receive about $125. But Disner, who was ousted from his former firm, McGuireWoods, after objecting to the settlement, filed a second suit months later for an injunction to split up West Publishing, rather than seek damages. He filed that suit, along with co-counsel Alan Harris, a partner at Los Angeles-based Harris & Ruble, on behalf of two California law students who expected to take the state’s bar exam in 2010. That suit was dismissed in December. “We’re pleased the judge agreed that the case was without merit,” said John Shaughnessy, a Thomson spokesman. He declined to comment on the third suit, which was filed on Feb. 6. That case, which also includes co-counsel Harris, was filed by two law school graduates who alleged they overpaid for their BAR/BRI courses, as well as three law students who expect to take the bar exam in 2008 or 2009. Stephen Stetson v. West Publishing Corp., No. 2:08-cv-00810 (C.D. Calif.). Disner said the new lawsuit involves a new class of people who took the BAR/BRI course as of fall 2006. “Also, there’s a class of students who want the company broken up and divided in two, so there’s competition which will bring prices down,” he said. But according to court filings, the suit makes claims similar to the second one, alleging that BAR/BRI’s monopoly over full-service bar review courses has contributed to the steady decline of bar passage rates, and that West Publishing struck deals or made threats to reduce the number of competitors in the market. The suit also claims that students have paid about $1,000 in excess of the competing price for the courses. The suit was filed against West Publishing and Kaplan and seeks certification of two classes: one class of individuals who have paid for a BAR/BRI course since July 1, 2006, and another of law students who anticipate purchasing the course. The potential class could be more than 120,000.

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