The Right Coast
December 05, 2005
Bar Prep Litigation Purgatory
By Maimon Schwarzschild
You probably shouldn't be surprised that bar exam prep courses can be very profitable, and -- what with law students and lawyers being involved -- that they readily turn litigious. The Sunday New York Times has a quietly hilarious story about the BAR/BRI company, and the latest antitrust litigation against it.
This is not [the plaintiff's] first run at BAR/BRI. An enthusiastic talker with wavy white hair and a breezy delivery, he filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company once before, in May 1992. He represented American Professional Testing Service Inc., which offered a bar review course in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida, and had plans to expand into other states.The Times story has lots of quotes from Stan Chess, who used to be a senior salaryman at BAR/BRI, before quitting to work on his own account, only to be sued (of course) by BAR/BRI. I well remember Chess from my own bar course experience, a year or two after BAR/BRI was founded: a comically enthusiastic salesman type, more or less from Central Casting, who turned up at the course site, trying to placate the discontented -- no easy task. A year or two later I heard wry stories about the first lawsuits against him (or rather, against BAR/BRI) by unhappy and litigious customers.
All concerned have my sympathy. There have to be easier ways to earn a living: ways that are sure to be less fraught with lawsuits, anyhow.