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THE DISNER LAW CORPORATION
2029 Century Park East, 19th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90067-2901
February 6, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Eliot Disner at (310) 286-0600
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