Sunday, October 13, 2013

Touro Brings Class-Action Against Diploma Mill Law School

The pot called the kettle black, but it was okay because the pot was more of a dark gray.  There's 50 shades, people, and law schools are quite familiar with all of them.

Yes, Touro College has brought a lawsuit against Novus University for turning out phony law degrees.  Yours truly has located a copy of the complaint on New York's online system.  Obviously, this school was really scamming people, as apposed to "scamming" people, like the law schools allegedly do.

Scambloggers, pay attention now.

Touro purportedly has standing to bring this because it's claiming it relied on false representations regarding accreditation made to third parties and as a result erroneously accepted cash cash cash, er, students, into its LLM program.  On behalf of the class (of all law schools similarly situated), Touro alleges that Novus claimed it was a legitimate foreign law school instead of an on-line school that didn't even have a faculty (the horror!!!).

The degrees, Touro says, are worthless.  Obviously!  This damages Touro, who only "admits students in accordance with its mission of educating future attorney [sic - is there one per class?] who will be qualified, competent, and ethical."  Novus, on the other hand, is a California corporation that allegedly set up in the Marshall Islands and represented itself as being international when it was not.  Both Texas and Oregon have deemed the degrees illegal/unauthorized, whereas Touro is legal in both.  Do you see the difference, scambloggers?!
Novus does not apprise the consumer of these facts, and in instead [sic], refers to its degress as "prestigious." [par. 60]
Novus's business model in [sic] predicated entirely upon falsehoods, misstatements, half-truths, and hyperbole.  [par. 64]
As opposed to mostly predicated on falsehoods, misstatements, half-truths, and hyperbole.

Touro claims that Novvus claims accreditation under Marshall Islands law when it states that it confers degrees on the "power of the Novus University of the Marshall Islands."  More representations that put Touro's panties in a bunch:
"Some of the best minds of our nation have law degress that did not require an LSAT, and you will rank among them with your own JD degree."  [par. 73(i).]
"[A]s the Internet becomes more and more prevalent in education the likelihood of expanding ABA approval to worthy online programs increases." [par. 73(iii).]
Novus communicates on its website that a Novus degree "qualifies you to be the authority on a number of different topics."
Obviously, these are statements of fact and not mere puffery or opinion.  Touro also takes issue issue with the conspicuousness of whatever disclaimers Novus actually made:
On the Novus website, in a section requiring multiple links to access, (hereinafter the "Buried Section"), Defendant makes mention of the ABA, the process to be licensed to practice law, and provides a lengthy "terms of service" provision.  (par. 80).
The so-called Buried Section also discloses that states generally require ABA accreditation and that the ABA does not approve online schools.

Touro wound up involved in "frivolous" litigation with people it had admitted into its prestigious LLM programs on the basis of having a Novus degree.  They use the word "hoodwinked"  (par. 129) and conclude that it is a "diploma mill" under federal law.  (par. 131).

My favorite line in the entire thing:
Any Juris Doctor degrees awarded by Novus are illusory and hollow. light of the fact that Touro did not enroll in the program and the complaint does not make many affirmative allegations about the instruction itself.  I mean, I always thought learning the law gave you powerful versatility regardless of whether you were licensed in anything.

Touro's general counsel apparently did all this and signed it.  The law school that charges 22k for a semester is apparently representing itself pro se.  I suppose with such an obvious case, there's no need to hire outside counsel.


1.  Touro obviously has standing to bring a declaratory judgment action against another for making representations addressed to a third party that the third party made subsequently to Touro.

2.  Touro obviously was duped by disclaimer information that's clearly available on the school's website and would, in the absence of such information, be common fucking sense.

3.  Touro obviously was duped by puffery regarding the abilities and prospects of graduates of this other school.

4.  Touro obviously did everything it could to ensure educational and institutional integrity in verifying the qualifications of all its applicants before placing them on the cash conveyor belt.

5.  Touro obviously has done nothing hypocritical at all.

When I speak to the Zen of scamming others, it's shit like this that has me bowing down and weeping while clutching my diploma.  People have alleged that Touro pumps out nearly-worthless degrees and was not conspicuous enough in telling graduates that they would most likely be unemployed and deeply in debt.  So what do you do?  Make some lemonade, motherfuckers.  Find a law school that's even worse as-in it basically takes students money conducts "classes" over email/phone (with no faculty, the horror!!!) and SUE SUE SUE.  

That's a real scam law school.

By comparison, Touro is obviously a prestigious, upstanding institution that would never, ever bilk its students in any way.


  1. R.U. Kid Ink Me?

    Just watch.. The courts will uphold the suit and find in favor of Touro to protect the integrity of the "profession".. I mean.. scam.

    The cartel of scamming schools will be protected. The students whom they scam? To hell with them.


      In a decision issued September 17, the Supreme Court of the State of New York handed Novus University a complete legal victory over Touro Law School, dismissing in its entirety Touro’s lawsuit against Novus which falsely alleged that degrees conferred by Novus University Law School were in some way not valid or worthless. The court ruled that “Touro failed to set forth a justiciable controversy” and “dismissed [Touro’s] complaint in its entirety,” and with prejudice.

      Touro filed suit against Novus in October 2013. The Supreme Court of New York’s decision now fully resolves the action in Novus’ favor.

      Note the following NY-State Court info for the Touro suit information:

  2. Great find, LSTC!

    Apparently, TTTTouro is suing because another piece of garbage "institution of higher education" is offering even more worthless law degrees than those issued by TTTTouro. This is comedy gold!

    1. Would be comedy gold if it weren't so damn sad...

    2. Yes, of course. Damn sad indeed.

    3. Touro College and its affiliates around the country are an absolute travesty of higher education. Its hilarious they have a non profit status, when they are probably one of the most profitable universities in the world. Their previous President Bernard Lander earned $4 million in his final year, more than the Presidents of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford combined!!!!
      They seem to purchase derelict buildings in fairly bad urban neighborhoods and turn them into "colleges".
      Touro Law school does not even have a ranking in US News, which has the most respected and definitive ranking of American law schools.
      The entire Touro system seems to act more like a corporation than a institution of teaching. I say buyer beware when it comes to Touro.

  3. Maybe Novus will countersue.

  4. "When I speak to the Zen of scamming others, it's shit like this that has me bowing down and weeping while clutching my diploma."


  5. Great reporting on this one.

    I just hope that some day another institution with a post-JD program sues Touro for misrepresenting the "authority" and "prestige" of its JD graduates. I think NYU v. Touro has the makings of an epic and entertaining case. Casebook editors, take note!!

  6. "When I speak to the Zen of scamming others, it's shit like this that has me bowing down and weeping while clutching my diploma."

    Me too. While this makes me want to hit the roof, at the same time I just smile through gritted teeth, shake my head, and say "Damn. That's some of the most impressive shysterism I have seen in some time."

  7. I am touched that law schools are suddenly conscious of the wrongfulness of "hoodwinking" others. Still, it is a shame that these killjoys are closing down a beautiful loophole, a wonderful way to obtain bar admission without student debt.

    1. Do 2 years of college (or get an associate's degree, or obtain five years of "professional" or "administrative" work experience), which entitles you to enroll in online Novus Law. (See para 69 of complaint. Also,

    2. Get your 3-yr online Novus J.D. from the comfort of your living room chair or favorite coffee shop, by taking online courses, after work. (JD tuition: $6,195, but with a 10% discount if you pay in full).

    3. Enroll in a 1-yr LLM program at Touro, or some other horrible ABA-accredited school. An LLM allows a foreign law graduate to sit for the bar in New York and California (and several other states too, I believe).

    4. (optional): Invest $3,500 in a bar prep course. Because whether your law school was an online degree mill, a lower-tier nightmare like Touro, or Harvard, you probably did not learn what you need to learn to pass the bar.

    1. You're right.

      At least coming out of Novus, you won't become a Debt-Leper / Indentured Servant.

      That's what Touro is really pissed about.

      The faculty and staff are getting cut out and as Nando has said so many times, these scam institutions we know as law schools are run for the benefit of faculty and staff.

    2. That's it. Just watch where the money goes, and you can predict what kind of arguments, what protestations of virtue and good intentions, are going to be made.

    3. Yes. Thomas Jefferson school of law(ls) was/is run solely for the benefit of faculty and staff. Some of the biggest retards I've ever met attended that one.

  8. Excellent journalism on your part. You should post updates from the court file when you get them.

    Reading this complaint amazed me. I think this is what it would feel like if Snookie were to sue Kim Kardashian for falsely holding herself out as a talented artist.

    The complaint has numerous typos.

    It also fails to make clear that Touro even suffered any actual damages. I was looking for the paragraph that stated that it wrongfully admitted an applicant that it shouldn't have. I was disappointed.

    Touro does name a lawsuit that was apparently filed against it by some nutter. From what I gather, the guy applied and was rejected by Touro. Why would Novus owe any legal duty whatsoever to Touro, because of this? Touro's general counsel must have gone to law school at... well... Touro.

  9. Excellent post and nice investigation. This blog is really stepping shit up and I likes what I sees.

  10. I find this rather screwed up and sick, one scam institution, Touro, suing another scam institution. The only thing is that Touro tries to mask itself as a legitimate institution of higher learning when in reality it is the most corrupt higher education institution in the United States and probably the world.

  11. I went to Touro "Law" and I regret it every single day of my life. What a waste of time and money. I was so young and soooooo stupid. It doesnt matter how well you do at a school like Touro, it doesnt matter how many cases I win or how great of an Attorney I may or may not be, as long as I do not have the correct letters of marque, the retards from Hofstra will continue to think that they are better than me. Doors will continue to shut upon my arrival. Please everyone, we need to shut this school down before they commit another generation to indentured servitude. Unless of course you like slumming? If not, there's almost no point in attending these toilets. How is it that they are still able to attract students? I am praying for the SUNY system to buy them out. Rant over.

    1. Anyone thinking of entering Touro Law or any other program offered by the Touro College system should think twice about enrolling there. The school got into trouble several years ago over a cash for grades scandal. There have been numerous other issues with Touro such as poorly qualified and often underpaid faculty and staff, poor facilities, low student morale.
      There are a lot of problems these days with higher education and Touro is quite indicative of the sad current state of higher education. It seems as if they are just there to collect financial aid money from enrolled students, but really do not care about students themselves.
      I think many other universities are following a similar model to Touro in expanding programs and enrollment without really adding much, its very sad.

  12. Former U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley to lead Touro University in Nevada, California