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Press Release:



THE DISNER LAW CORPORATION

2029 Century Park East, 19th Floor

Los Angeles, California 90067-2901

 

Eliot G. Disner

A Professional Corporation

Direct Dial:  (310) 286-0600

Facsimile:  (310) 282-2585

E-mail: edisner@disnerlaw.com

Website: www.disnerlaw.com

 

 

 

                                                                        February 6, 2008

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eliot Disner at (310) 286-0600

or edisner@disnerlaw.com

 

LAW STUDENTS AND RECENT GRADUATES FILE
ANTITRUST CLASS ACTION AGAINST WEST PUBLISHING CORP. dba BAR/BRI AND KAPLAN, INC.
SEEKING DAMAGES AND BAR/BRIíS BREAK UP

 

            A new antitrust class action lawsuit against West Publishing Corporation, dba BAR/BRI, and Kaplan, Inc. was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, Case No. CV 08-810 RSW (ex).  The lawsuit accuses the two companies of illegally dividing the highly lucrative LSAT and bar exam test preparation businesses. According to the complaint, executives of BAR/BRI and Kaplan secretly agreed to a per se illegal market division, which, in part, involved BAR/BRI  annually paying to Kaplan substantial sums to keep it out of the lucrative bar review course market.

The Complaint further alleges that BAR/BRI has engaged for decades in an overall scheme to monopolize the relevant market, by committing a litany of antitrust violations.  According to the Complaint, BAR/BRI interfered with and prevented competitorsí entry or expansion in the relevant market by buying them out, threatening them, spreading false rumors about them, and even breaking into their offics to steal competitively significant records.  The Complaint also states that BAR/BRI has engaged in the continuing practice of tearing down, otherwise removing, or preventing the posting of, the signs, placards and related promotional materials of local bar review course competitors at various law schools.  Without substantial competition, BAR/BRIís net price per student increased steadily over the years throughout the U.S.

Class Representatives Stephen Stetson, Shane LaVigne, Christina Brown-Roberts, Valentin Karpenko, and Jake Fathy are suing on behalf of about 80,000 law students and 40,000 recent BAR/BRI customers to recover injunctive relief and damages.  The lawsuit proposes two classes:  Class A consists of individuals who have paid for a BAR/BRI course since July 1, 2006 or will do so prior to the time any injunctive relief is fully implemented by the Court.  Class B consists of law students who have not yet paid in full for a BAR/BRI course, but will have little choice but to purchase such a course when they graduate from law school, as soon as in 2008. Stetson and LaVigne are designated the representatives of Class A, and Brown-Roberts, Karpenko, and Fathy are designated the representatives of Class B.

Representing the plaintiffs are The Disner Law Corporation and Harris & Ruble, both of Los Angeles, California.  The lead attorney is antitrust trial lawyer Eliot G. Disner. Mr. Disner was also lead attorney in the federal case Rodriguez v. West Publishing Corp CDCAL Case  No. 05-3222R. In that case Westís BAR/BRI and co-defendant Kaplan jointly agreed to pay $49 million to a class of some 300,000 BAR/BRI course students who also overpaid due to the anticompetitive practices of the two companies.

The Disner Law Corporation is a law firm comprised of attorneys with over a century of combined experience in antitrust, unfair competition, intellectual property, complex business litigation, contracts, securities, land use, and the First Amendment.  Harris & Ruble specializes in class actions and complex commercial litigation.

 

                                                                       

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