SANTA MONICA—On Tuesday, July 28, the Santa Monica firm Barwinners has agreed to a settlement in a case of false advertisement.
Barwinners has agreed to pay $130,000 in fines and restitution after complaints had been filed by former clients who believed that something was not quite right with the advertisements that the firm was putting out.
The Barwinners firm was founded in 1999, and was created to help law students pass the bar exam. The bar exam is a test given in each state in order to determine whether someone is competent enough to practice law in the state in which the exam is taken. The content and format of the exam is different in each state, but usually it is broken down into two parts, both equally grueling. It is offered twice a year and a person can take it plenty of times.
Barwinners had claimed in advertisements that they had an outstanding success rate for those taking the exam. It was said that first time bar takers had a success rate of 94 percent, while repeat bar takers had a success rate between 86 percent and 87 percent. Through the tes,t it was discovered that the success rate of the bar exam starting from last summer was less than 50 percent. The success rate of those that had participated in Barwinners was between 38 and 63 percent.
The price for an online course at Barwinners ranges at about $6,600 and for those who requested private tutoring it cost about $12,000.
The firm admitted to no guilt, but agreed to settle in order to avoid future issues with the law. They agreed to pay $110,000 to go towards refunding the money for those who paid for help and were not satisfied; then there was an extra $20,000 in fines.
Following the investigation of both the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles City District Attorney’s Office, Barwinners has agreed to a permanent court injunction in order to prevent any more false advertisements.