"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

To consumers of legal services: when you are told by the government that you must choose your court representative from licensed professionals because they are better trained, you may be duped. The list of law professors working for a bar-prep monopolist.

Yesterday, I wrote about a class action against the bar-prep course BarBri, owned by West Publications Corp.

The federal lawsuit (the complaint is included in full here), as it was in the previous blog, contained allegations as to how BarBri uses law school professors to promote its monopoly:

I obtained names of professors who teach for BarBri from BarBri's own online advertisements, and then grouped them by states and by schools.

Here are the lists.

From BarBri advertisements of faculty, here and here, I counted 

  • 54 professors from 
  • 18 jurisdictions and 
  • 38 law schools:

The 18 jurisdictions where BarBri hired law professors for its bar-prep courses (let's note that BarBri did not hire professors evenly from all 50 states):

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Delaware
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Illinois
  7. Maryland
  8. Massachusets 
  9. Minnesota
  10. New  York
  11. New Jersey
  12. North Carolina
  13. Ohio
  14. Pennsylvania
  15. Texas
  16. Virginia
  17. Washington
  18. Washington, D.C.

The 38 law schools, with states and numbers of professors from that school involved in teaching for BarBri:

Loyola Law SchoolCalifornia2
University of Califronia, Irvine School of LawCalifornia1
Pepperdine University School of LawCalifornia1
University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)California1
University of Southern California Law SchoolCalifornia1
University of Connecticut Law SchoolConnecticut1
Yale Law SchoolConnecticut1
Widener University School of LawDelaware1
Florida International Univeristy College of LawFlorida1
University of Miami School of LawFlorida1
Emory School of LawGeorgia4
Northwestern University School of LawIllinois1
University of Illinois College of LawIllinois1
University of Baltimore School of LawMaryland1
Boston University School of LawMassachussetts 1
Harvard Law SchoolMassachussetts 1
Seton Hall University School of LawNew Jersey2
Brooklyn Law SchoolNew York1
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Yeshiva UniversityNew York1
Columbia Law SchoolNew York2
Cornell Law SchoolNew York1
Fordham School of LawNew York2
University of North Carolina School of LawNorth Carolina1
Duke University School of LawNorth Carolina2
Ohio State University Moritz College of LawOhio2
University of Pennsylvania School of LawPennsylvania1
University of Texas School of LawTexas1
University of Houston Law CenterTexas2
SMU Dedman School of LawTexas1
South Texas College of LawTexas1
University of Texas School of LawTexas1
George Mason School of Law Virginia1
Univeristy of Richmond School of LawVirginia1
Seattle University School of LawWashington1
University of Washington School of LawWashington1
University of Washington School of LawWashington 1
Catholic University of America Columbus School of LawWashington, D.C.1
George Washington University School of LawWashington, D.C.3

The list of 54 professors teaching for BarBri, as advertised by BarBri today:

Brian, RobertAssociate Clinical Professor of Law, Loyola Law School

Chemerinsky, ErwinDean, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Levenson, Laurie

Loyola School of LawCalifornia
Pushaw, RobertPepperdine University School of Law

Talley, EricUniversity of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)

Altman, ScottUniversity of Southern California Law School

Lahav, AlexandraUniversity of Connecticut Law School

Harrison, Robert

Yale Law SchoolConnecticut
Scheuer, LukeWidener University School of Law (DE)

Carbot, ChristopherAssociate Director of Recruitment Adjunct Professor of Legal Skills and Values, Florida International University College of Law

Stotzky, IrwinUniversity of Miami School of Law

Satz, AniAssociate Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

Andieh, Robert

Emory School of LawGeorgia
Freer, Richard D.

Emory School of LawGeorgia
Holbrook, TimEmory University School of Law

Redish, MartinNorthwestern University School of Law

Bilz, KenwortheyUniversity of Illinois College of Law

Sloan, AmyAssociate Dean for Academic Affairs & Professor of Law, Univeristy of Baltimore School of Law

Lawson, GaryBoston University School of Law

Goldberg, John

Harvard Law SchoolMassachusetts 
Klass, AlexandraUniversity of Minnesota Law School

Sebok, AnthonyBenjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Yeshiva University

New  York
Ponsa, ChristinaColumbia University School of Law

New  York
Cornwell, KipSeton Hall University School of Law

New Jersey
Franzese, PaulaSeton Hall University School of Law

New Jersey
Reiss, DavidAssociate Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

New York
Rossi, FaustCornell Law SchoolNew York
Kraus, Jody
David E. Kaufman & Leopold C. Glass 
Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University School of Law
New York
Neustadt, Frederick

Fordham School of LawNew York
Flaherty, MartinFordham University School of Law

New York
Arlen, JenniferNorma Z. Paige Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

New York
Kennedy, JosephAssociate Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law

North Carolina
Metzloff, ThomasDuke University School of Law

North Carolina
Salzman, JamesSamuel Fox Mordecai Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law

North Carolina
Cole, SarahOhio State University Moritz College of Law

Dressler, JoshuaProfessor & Frank R. 
Strong Chair in Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Robinson, PaulUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Law

Williams, SeanAssistant Professor of Law, University of Texas School of Law

Tilton-McCarthy, LisaAssociate Professor, University of Houston Law Center

Forrester, JulieSMU Dedman School of Law

Ryan, MeghanSMU Dedman School of Law

Rensberger, JeffreySouth Texas College of Law

Moll, DouglasUniversity of Houston Law Center

Johanson, StanleyUniversity of Texas School of Law

Alvare, HelenGeorge Mason School of Law

Epstein, PaulUniveristy of Richmond School of Law

Ramasastry, AnitaD. Wayne & Anne Gittinger Professor of Law Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law

Ahrens, DeborahSeattle University School of Law

Said, ZahrUniversity of Washington School of Law

Scordato, MarinCatholic University of America and Columbus School of Law

Washington, D.C.
Schooner, HeidiCatholic University of America—Columbus School of Law

Washington, D.C.
Schaffner, JoanGeorge Washington University Law SchoolWashington, D.C.

Fairfax, LisaGeorge Washington University Law SchoolWashington, D.C.

Schechter, RogerGeorge Washington University Law SchoolWashington, D.C.

These are some preliminary statistics.

I will post some more information about the professor, schools and conflicts of interests involved in law school professors of particular schools to teach at BarBri, and analysis of the statistics later on.

The lists above can be used by law students to verify whether their professors support monopolistic grasp of its employer BarBri in assignments of tasks at law school, as alleged in the federal complaint above.

It is obvious that law students, and law graduates, are entitled to see copies of contracts and earnings of professors from BarBri, to see which of the jobs, the law school faculty, or the BarBri faculty, is more lucrative.

It is especially important to see contracts of professors from both jobs if the law school is a state law school, and professors are state employees.

And, in view of information in the federal complaint that BarBri may be squashing competing scholarship, professors who work for BarBri may be participating in that squashing (of competitors' scholarship), to their own benefit.

BarBri boasts in its advertisements that the list of its "faculty" reads like "Who's Who".

Yet, in view of the class action, participation of professors in BarBri can demonstrate the opposite - that BarBri picks professors who are willing to bend to its ways.

Had I been in law school at this time, I would be really interested if what my professor is teaching me is the best available scholarship, or if the best available scholarship was squashed through BarBri methods, as part of the bargain between BarBri and participating professors.

After all, that's what BarBri was alleged to have done before, 

and by settling before trial, BarBri does not allow these issues to be tried and the truth revealed.

The issues are significant.

The federal lawsuit alleges that 

  • law school professors and "student representatives" were "co-opted" to drive competitive and good courses out - like the Bar Secrets that was created by a lawyer and psychologist and produced a 16% higher bar passage rate than BarBri, 
  • student government of law schools engaged in blocking advertisement of competitors;
  • moles hired to discredit competitors;
  • FBI agents hired to break into competitors' databases to obtain competitive materials.
Yes, those are allegations and, since the case settled, we will never know whether the allegations were true or not.

But, the allegations were there, were submitted under oath, and students have a right to ask whether what was alleged was really happening.

Here are some of the allegations - and I encourage my readers to read the entire complaint.

 And here are allegations about the Bar Secrets:

Law students, in my opinion, should be really worried whether 

  • their law professors;
  • student government and
  • the law review student team
are selling them out because they are bought up by BarBri, into accepting a product that is costly, but not better, or maybe worse than the possible competition which was suppressed.

As a disclaimer - I personally did not take BarBri, I took a competitive course that was not mentioned in the lawsuit.  The course came on an iPod, allowed me to re-listen to the course as many times as I wanted, had superior books and materials with it, and cost about 3 times less than BarBri.  Since I am not posting this blog to advertise any bar-prep courses, I do not feel I need to disclose the name of the course I took.

Yet, I remember how my friends from law school were complaining that they are only hearing the lecture once, and that is not enough for thorough understanding, while I could re-listen any number of times, and my materials were very satisfactory and clear.

*   *   *

 Let's not lose the perspective here in all these details.

We are talking about training in the profession that gained monopoly for court representation in this country based specifically on claims of superior training of licensed professionals.

At this time, consumers of legal services are REQUIRED to accept help from the government by having to choose for their court representation - in civil, family, and criminal cases, including death penalty cases - from only government-approved individuals, while the government controls those individuals' livelihoods, and the government actually is on the other side of cases where the most significant loss of constitutional rights may occur.

The government imposes upon the public its "vetted" individuals by the fairy tale of the alleged superior training of those government-vetted individuals.

THIS is how the licensed professionals are trained, in the allegations of law students themselves (all plaintiffs in the class actions were law students and law graduates).

So, when we, as consumers of legal services, are told that we cannot choose a court representative of our choice because the government "helps" us by training an army of such professionals to "protect us" 

- while those same trainees are suing in court to get good training, alleging that the good training is blocked by a monopolist that is buying up their law professors, imposing false advertising, blocking superior training courses and individuals from the market, and employing various tricks worthy of a bad TV crime story 

- we have a problem here, a matter of public concern of constitutional dimensions, and the settlement, which does not reach the issues raised in the lawsuit, will certainly not resolve this problem.

The quality of training of court representative is a serious issue of public concern, and any efforts thwarting provision of the best possible training of those exclusive, monopolistic court representative, undermines our democracy and access to court and justice for every one of us.

Therefore, in the context of this blog article, my question is - are those "star" professors participating in the process of undermining our democracy by financially benefiting and condoning the actions of the monopolist in the training of this country's exclusive court representatives?

My personal opinion is - they are.  They are paid to promote the monopoly, and they do promote the monopoly, and the monopoly of BarBri hurts every one of us.

As I said above, I will provide more information about the professors teaching for BarBri, their potential conflicts of interests and some analysis of the above statistics, a little later.

Stay tuned.

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