SAVANNAH, Ga. (Legal Newsline) – Third-year law school students of Savannah Law School allege the school failed to remain financially viable and is American Bar Association accreditation was placed in danger of revocation.
Tianna M. Bias, Maria L. Laurato and Denethris L. Barnes, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, filed a complaint on April 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Savannah Division against Savannah Law School LLC, John Marshall Law School, JMLS 1422 LLC, et al. alleging negligence, conversion, breach of contract and other counts.
According to the complaint, Savannah Law School was founded in 2011 and operated out of the former Warren A. Candler Hospital on Drayton Street. The suit states it was recognized as an approved branch of Atlanta's John Marshall Law School in December 2014.
The suit states on Oct. 12, 2017, the American Bar Association told Atlanta's John Marshall Law School that "the school was significantly out of compliance with ABA standards.” The suit states Savannah Law School advised its students "of the ABA’s determination with respect to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, but suggested that it should not be of immediate concern to them."
On March 22, Savannah Law School allegedly "notified its faculty and students that it had sold the Drayton Street property and that it would cease operations at the end of the Spring 2018 semester," the suit states.
As a result, "the value of law degrees that have been, or will be, issued by the school have been diminished, the expectations of plaintiffs and the class of receiving their full legal education from the downtown location have been dashed, and current and prospective students who have paid tuition or deposits have lost the benefit from such payments," the suit states.
The plaintiffs hold the defendants responsible because they allegedly breached their duties to ensure the school remained ABA-accredited and financially sound.
The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek compensation for the damages, award of punitive damages, recover attorney’s fees and all costs of litigation, and such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper. They are represented by Jeremy S. McKenzie, C. Dorian Britt and R. Paul Hart III of Karsman, McKenzie & Hart in Savannah, Georgia.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Savannah Division case number 4:18-cv-00088-WTM-GRS