Cooley sues lawyers, bloggers for defamation

From this morning’s Lansing State Journal comes word that Cooley Law School has sued two lawyers, a law firm and four anonymous bloggers for defamation.

The school is suing New York lawyers David Anziska and Jesse Strauss for more than $25,000 in damages and a retraction of all defamatory statements posted on the Internet.

The suit, filed in Ingham County Circuit Court, also names the New York law firm that Strauss founded – and where Anziska works – as a co-defendant.

Strauss said he intended to countersue Cooley for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

“This is one of the most ridiculous, absurd lawsuits filed in recent memory,” Strauss said. “This suit is nothing more than a naked attempt at intimidation.”

In a separate suit, the school seeks identical damages from four anonymous bloggers.

James Thelen, Cooley’s associate dean for legal affairs and general counsel, said the school hopes to establish the bloggers’ identities during the lawsuit’s discovery process.

Cooley’s suit charges that:

Anziska and Strauss made defamatory comments online against the school as a way to “troll” for plaintiffs for a “baseless purported class- action lawsuit” against Cooley. The false claims included stating the school inflated salary and employment information of its graduates and that four out of 10 Cooley students are defaulting on loans[.]

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Bobb sued for libel by DPS board member

Detroit Public Schools board member Anthony Adams is suing DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert C. Bobb for libel. The suit claims that Adams was defamed when Bobb said that he refused to testify at a DPS hearing, creating a false impression that Adams “was involved in involved in "questionable" DPS real estate transactions when he served as DPS general counsel from January 2003 to June 2005.”

Adams said he never refused to testify, just that he would only testify if certain conditions were met.

Biggest issue: As general counsel of Detroit Public Schools, is Adams a public figure? It makes a huge difference.