Contact: Eliot Disner
For Immediate Release
Another Lawsuit Accuses West Publishing Company’s BAR/BRI
Of Illegal, Anticompetitive Violations of Federal Antitrust Laws
Los Angeles, CA, Aug. 8 -- Two
California law students have filed a lawsuit charging West Publishing
Company’s BAR/BRI with engaging in numerous illegal and anticompetitive
activities by which BAR/BRI unlawfully attained a national monopoly of the bar
The lawsuit says that BAR/BRI on multiple occasions burglarized the
offices of a competitor, illegally agreed to divide markets, illegally put
competitors out of business, illegally colluded with other companies, secretly
paid Kaplan, Inc., $750,000 a year to stay out of the bar review business,
illegally paid off law school officials in exchange for preferential treatment,
and, as a result, overcharges law students.
The lawsuit, which seeks
injunctive relief, instead of money damages, is similar to an earlier lawsuit in
which BAR/BRI and its co-defendant denied any wrongdoing, but agreed nonetheless
to pay $49 million to settle. That lawsuit, however, dealt little with the
future of the bar review business.
The two law students are
represented by the Disner Law Corporation and its principal Eliot G. Disner,
working with Los Angeles-based law firm Harris & Ruble.
Disner, one of the nation’s pre-eminent antitrust experts, was the
attorney who successfully brought the first lawsuit.
Also working with Disner on the
lawsuit is Stan Chess, the President of LawTV, Inc., and a New York attorney.
Chess, who was formerly President of BAR/BRI and later Chairman and CEO
of West Publishing’s legal education division, initiated the first lawsuit
against BAR/BRI and worked with Disner and Disner’s prior law firm
McGuireWoods in winning the $49 million settlement.
Of the new lawsuit, Disner said,
“We are gratified that nine years of BAR/BRI customers are getting something
back, but that does not help the tens of thousands of new students each year who
will continue to pay too much until BAR/BRI is required to stop interfering and
restraining new competition. History has shown us that just a second competitor
in this market can cause prices to drop as much as 50 percent. At a minimum,
that is what this case seeks to accomplish.”
The new lawsuit is Brian Schall and Anand L.
Daniell v. West Publishing Corp., dba BAR/BRI, No. CV07-_______(C.D. Calif.).
The case that was settled for $49 million is Ryan Rodriguez v. West
Publishing Corp. , No. 05cv3222 (C.D. Calif.).
Many class members have objected
to the Rodriguez settlement as being
too low and some have said they are considering appealing the judge’s
acceptance of the settlement. Disner’s
complaint there had sought $300 million, which, under federal law, would have
been tripled, along with injunctive relief.
Both Disner and Chess have sided with the objecting class members.
The West Publishing Co. and its BAR/BRI subsidiary are owned by the Thomson Corp., a Canadian company.