[JURIST] The American Bar Assocation (ABA) [official website] and the US Justice Department [official website] agreed on Friday that the ABA would pay the goverment $185,000 in fees and costs for violating six provisions of a 1996 court order that settled a 1995 government suit against the association [complaint text] for violations of antitrust law. The suit alleged that the ABA had allowed its law school accreditation process to be misused by law school personnel with a direct economic interest in the outcome of accreditation reviews, resulting in anticompetitive conduct. The 1996 order [text] prohibited the ABA from fixing faculty salaries and boycotting state-accredited law schools, among other requirements. Friday's agreement still requires court approval before taking effect.
"The Antitrust Division takes compliance with court decrees very seriously," said Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division. "No one is above the law and those who do not comply with their obligations under court orders must be prepared to face consequences." The ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar [profession website] is the only national accrediting body for American law schools and sets and regulates standards in the area. Read the DOJ press release on the agreement. AP has more.