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