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Bar Review Under Fire
L.A. Daily Journal

         LOS ANGELES - A proposed class action filed in Los Angeles federal court Friday claims 300,000 lawyers and law students have been ripped off by the popular BAR/BRI bar review courses.

        The suit alleges co-defendants BAR/BRI and test-preparation giant Kaplan agreed to "a per se illegal market division."

        Under the alleged pact, BAR/BRI backed out of the LSAT preparation business and Kaplan agreed not to enter the bar-review course market.

        "Without substantial competition, BAR/BRI's net prices per student then increased substantially in most states," the complaint alleges. "Beginning in 1997, and continuing to this date, Kaplan and BAR/BRI have concealed their conspiracy to divide the market."

        The scheme forced students to pay "in excess of $1,000 above a competitive price" per BAR/BRI course, according to the complaint. The proposed class seeks $300 million in damages for alleged antitrust violations.

        Representatives of the defendants could not be reached late Friday.

        In a prepared statement, plaintiffs' attorney Eliot G. Disner of Santa Monica's Van Etten Suzumoto & Beckett said the goal of the suit is to break up BAR/BRI "so that future law school grads will have a choice, and will pay reasonable prices, rather than prices that are illegally inflated."

        "It's tough enough to become a lawyer these days," Disner added. "The cost of the bar review course should not make it any tougher."
        - John Ryan

The Complaint
(PDF file)