by Paul Alan Levy
One of the worst things that can happen to libel plaintiffs is to lose the suit in a way that confirms the veracity of the charges made publicly against it. This is what recently happened to Thomas Cooley law School. Past articles here have discussed its efforts to identify a former student who created the "Thomas Cooley Law School Scam" blog; but this week, a federal judge unceremoniously dumped the school's law suit against a law firm that made similar accusations. Part of the reasoning was that the law school is a public figure, and part was that the accusations were non-actionable hyperbole. But the court also dismissed the claim that "Cooley grossly inflates its graduates' mean reported salaries" was defamatory based on the doctrine of substantial truth.