In an opinion today, Judge Failla dismissed entirely a case brought by a bar exam company referred to as “LBE” that specializes in students with LL.M. degrees. LBE accused the industry leader, Barbi, of colluding with law schools nationwide to harm its business, but LBE’s own complaint — 78 pages long and with 63 exhibits — actually showed that LBE’s problems were of its own making:
The animating force behind this lawsuit is LBE’s belief that Defendants have conspired to make Barbri the country’s leading — and only — bar review company. But shorn of its internal contradictions and conclusory assertions, the First Amended Complaint does not plausibly support that belief.
Instead, the First Amended Complaint depicts a commercial dispute between two bar review providers: Barbri and LBE. And the First Amended Complaint explains why LBE has lost ground in that dispute. Between 2010 and 2016, foreign LL.M. students from coast to coast complained about the quality of LBE’s courses and the company’s business practices. When those complaints reached the administrations of the New York Law Schools and the Non-New York Law Schools, academic administrators intervened. LBE, in turn, saw its tabling privileges vanish — not because of any collusion between Barbri and the ten law schools named as defendants in this case, but because of the independent (and, it appears, justified) actions of the New York Law Schools and the Non-New York Law Schools.
In short, LBE has not alleged a single cognizable federal cause of action: Its antitrust, civil RICO, and copyright claims all fail.