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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Feb. 28, 201904:10 AM EST

The Marbut Report: Florida Coastal dismisses lawsuit against ABA

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After site visit by American Bar Association, law school says the legal action is no longer necessary.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Florida Coastal School of Law on Wednesday dismissed its lawsuit against the American Bar Association alleging that the ABA failed to provide due process as it reviews the school’s compliance with admission and academic standards.

The lawsuit was filed in May in federal court in Jacksonville after Florida Coastal was notified by the ABA that the school was out of compliance with admission standards required for accreditation and the ability to prepare students to enter the legal profession as attorneys.

Florida Coastal Dean Scott DeVito said the ABA sent two representatives to the school last week for a site visit.

They reviewed the school’s records related to incoming credentials, first-time pass rate on The Florida Bar licensing examination and career placement data.

The representatives also met faculty members and students, DeVito said.

“Based on our interactions with the fact finders and the Section on Legal Education, we believe the ABA regulatory process is moving forward in a productive way,” he said.

“In this context, Florida Coastal and InfiLaw (the holding company that owns the school) have decided that our lawsuit against the ABA is no longer necessary to protect the interests of our students, alumni, faculty and staff, and we are dismissing the lawsuit,” he said.

The fact finders will draft a report on the site visit that will be submitted to the ABA. Florida Coastal will receive a copy of the report in March and will have 30 days to respond.

DeVito will appear before the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar when it meets May 16-18 in Chicago.

“The individual council members can ask any questions they feel are needed to make their decision,” he said.

“We now have more confidence in the process after both the fact-finder visit and recent interactions with the Section on Legal Education.”

Action from the Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section’s “Cashing in for a Cause” charity poker tournament.

Attorneys place their bets for charity

Nearly 80 players and spectators attended the Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section’s “Cashing in for a Cause” charity poker tournament last Thursday at bestbet Jacksonville.

Sponsorships, registration fees and donations will benefit the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund to provide financial and emotional support to families facing childhood cancer.

Read more in next Thursday’s the Bar Bulletin.

Lawyers on move

• Jimerson Birr hired Austin Hamilton to add to the firm’s business litigation and construction practice groups. Hamilton received his J.D. in 2012 from Florida Coastal School of Law, where he was on the Florida Coastal Law Review.

Logan McEwen joined Marks Gray in Jacksonville focusing on commercial litigation, intellectual property and real estate.

Amanda Barbour, Mac Griffin and Karin Oko joined Holland & Knight in Jacksonville. Barbour focuses on corporate and real estate transactions. Griffin practices real estate, construction and insurance-related litigation. Oko focuses on corporate law and commercial and general civil litigation.

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