News Roundup

Florida Coastal law student sues school for allegedly toughening graduation standard

A law student at Florida Coastal School of Law claims in a lawsuit that the school made it more difficult to graduate after she enrolled there. The suit by the “Jane Doe” student alleges breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. The suit says Jane Doe was on track to graduate until she was forced to enroll in a bar exam prep course that was intended to “weed out” students and “artificially inflate” the school’s bar passage rate. Jane Doe says she needed a 60% score to pass the course, a requirement that was not applied consistently. The ultimate aim was to avoid sanctions by the ABA, according to the suit. The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar had informed the school in 2017 that it was “significantly out of compliance” with several accreditation standards. In May, the section found that the school had demonstrated compliance with the standards. (The Jacksonville Daily Record)

Federal judge tosses suit against Southern Poverty Law Center over hate group label

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has tossed a RICO lawsuit claiming that the Southern Poverty Law Center tried to financially destroy the Center for Immigration Studies by labeling it a hate group. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the suit tried to “shoehorn” a defamation claim into a RICO framework. (The Associated Press)

Judge says Jeffrey Epstein’s death bars ruling in suit to rescind nonprosecution deal

A federal judge in Florida has ruled that sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide has left him without jurisdiction to rescind a federal nonprosecution deal with the billionaire financier. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra also said Epstein’s death prevents him from rescinding deal protections for potential co-conspirators. Marra had ruled in February that federal prosecutors violated federal law when they failed to notify Epstein’s underage victims about the 2007 deal, which provided that federal charges would be dropped if Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges. Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to two state prostitution charges and served 13 months in jail. He was indicted in July on federal sex-trafficking charges; federal prosecutors continue to investigate whether he had help finding his victims. (The New York Times)

Jurors find Miami swingers club is liable for using models’ photos without permission

Jurors in Miami found Monday that the Miami Velvet swingers club was liable for $892,500 for using models’ photos to promote sex parties without their permission. The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Lawrence Silverman of Akerman, said he thinks the verdict is the largest amount ever awarded in suits by groups of models over misappropriated images. The trial was held to set damages; the models had won a summary judgment in July 2017 on their claims of false advertising and false endorsement. (Law360, the Miami Herald)