Monday, August 12, 2002
State Bar Leaders Move to Limit Failed Applicants’ Access to Exams
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The State Bar Board of Governors acted quickly Friday to amend the law that permits people who flunk the bar exam a chance to see what they missed, after the administrators of the Multistate Bar Exam said they would no longer turn over their used exam booklets.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners, which conducts the day-long multiple choice portion of the three-day California bar exam, recently informed the state Committee of Bar Examiners that the Multistate questions and answers will not be released.
That means the committee would be found in violation of Business & Professions Code Sec. 6065 when a person who fails the test is denied the chance to see the Multistate portion.
State Bar President Karen Nobumoto told Board of Governors members in an agenda memo Thursday that failed applicants could try to enforce the law by suing the committee when results come out this November.
“Though we cannot anticipate the outcome of such a suit, most of the possible outcomes are not good,” Nobumoto said.
The board action came in an emergency session conducted by conference call.
The State Bar has already signed off on proposed legislation to amend the State Bar Act to allow for an independent Conference of Delegates, to update board election provisions and to make technical changes to the law. Those changes are part of Senate Bill 1897, by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles.
State Bar staff worked with the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Judicial Council to limit the application of Sec. 6065—for one year—to only papers in the physical possession of the Committee of Bar Examiners.
“The one-year sunset, which is a condition of the agreement, provides inventive and sufficient time for the Bar and others to seek to get the National Conference of Bar examiners to change its position,” Nobumoto said in her memo.
Approval by the Board of Governors will allow the bill to be amended on an emergency basis. In its current form without the amendment, the bill already has passed the Assembly and is due to return to the Senate.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company