In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, May 15, in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (Charlotte Division), Charlotte School of Law (CSL) alleges that the American Bar Association (ABA) acted arbitrarily and capriciously in its dealings with CSL, failed to meet statutory and other standards for fairness and due process, and rendered decisions against CSL despite noting CSL’s “strong commitment to academic success.”CSL is represented by former Solicitor General of the United States Paul D. Clement.
“The complaint filed today in federal court alleges that the ABA’s actions against CSL violated the due process required of those wielding accreditation power and caused CSL to be excluded from the Title IV federal loan program, making it impossible for CSL to continue to operate as a law school,” said Kirkland & Ellis’s Clement.
In November 2016, the ABA took the unprecedented step of placing CSL on probation without providing any explanation for its decision. Moreover, in a complete departure from precedent, the ABA imposed the sanction of probation without a recommendation from the Accreditation Committee. This, and other decisions made by the ABA in disregard of the most basic requirements of due process, caused the Department of Education to terminate CSL’s participation in the Title IV program. This meant that students could no longer obtain federal financial assistance to attend CSL and made it impossible for CSL to continue to operate as a law school.
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