Thomas Cooley Law School Loses Its Defamation Lawsuit Against Critic Who Claimed It Inflated Graduate Salaries, Because It's True

from the truth-as-an-absolute-defense dept

We’ve written a few times about Thomas M. Cooley law school — basically the world’s biggest joke of a law school. It is considered to be the absolute bottom of the barrel when it comes to law schools, and since the rankings that everyone relies on would basically say that, Cooley has opted-out of the rankings process by (1) not providing the necessary info to US News and (2) creating its own ranking system that, stunningly, puts itself in 2nd place, right after Harvard (well, last we looked in 2011). How could this be? Well, Cooley’s own rankings added in a variety of wholly meaningless stats and gave them equal weight to things like GPA, LSAT scores, bar passage rate, etc. It added things like “total volumes in library,” “total applications” and my personal favorite: “total law school square footage.” Because, you know, bigger is better.

Anyway, after a law firm posted a comment on a message board about possibly suing Cooley for inflating graduate employment and salary data, Cooley sued for defamation (it also sued some students for disparaging the school). It took some time, but a judge has ruled in favor of the law firm Cooley sued, Kurzon Strauss, pointing out that the lawyer who posted the comments had fairly good reason to believe the statements were true, and in some case, the claims were true. The court goes through each claim to highlight why they fail as defamation claims, such as this one:

The statement that “Cooley grossly inflates its graduates’ reported mean salaries” may not merely be protected hyperbole, but actually substantially true.

So, nice going Cooley. Not only did you make your terrible reputation even worse with bogus censorious lawsuits, you then lost the case (badly) and had a judge flat out confirm that you “grossly inflate” the starting salaries of graduates. Cooley graduates must be so proud of their alma mater.

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Comments on “Thomas Cooley Law School Loses Its Defamation Lawsuit Against Critic Who Claimed It Inflated Graduate Salaries, Because It's True”

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Anonymous Coward says:

The US News rankings aren’t that reliable either for a few reasons.

1) They rank colleges & universities higher for spending more money, it doesn’t matter how they spend the money. This only encourages colleges and universities to keep raising their tuition so that they have more money to spend.

2) About 25% of US News rankings are how professors at other colleges and universities rank other colleges and universities they don’t work at. The #1 thing they use to rank other colleges and universities reputation? Last year’s rankings by US News on colleges and universities, hence the rankings are somewhat a self fulfilling prophecy.

US News rankings ARE easily more credible though then Cooley’s own made up ranking system.

CooleyGrad says:

Author and all other posters may want to work on your reading skills a bit because apparently some of you can’t even read an opinion and comprehend what the court’s rationale/basis was. I guess they didn’t teach that at your prestigious school.

Just to help you all out, Summary disposition was not granted because truth was the defense. Summary disposition was granted because there was no actual malice, a required element because Cooley is a public figure. It said nothing about truth being a defense.

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