Friday, November 30, 2007

Editorial On South Carolina Bar Controversy

An editorial in Tuesday's edition of takes the South Carolina Supreme Court to task for its conduct in the recent controversy over the decision to admit 20 applicants who had been notified that they had failed the bar exam. The editorial accepts the court's explanation as proof that the decision was not made in order to benefit well-connected applicants:

"after the results had been posted, an examiner wrapping up his work discovered he had transposed the numbers in one person’s grade, changing a failing score to a passing score; that the court decided the only fair thing to do was to throw out that section so everybody who failed it received the same benefit as the inadvertent lawyer.

... we find the explanation entirely believable, because it is so completely in keeping with the cultural tradition that runs deep through our state and, apparently, our court — a tradition of bending the rules so as not to offend, of smoothing things over, of not adhering to the highest standards. It is a tradition that holds us back, in countless ways...

...By choosing the worst possible option, the court has failed in its role as a gatekeeper for the legal profession. And since most of the 20 lawyers who shouldn’t be lawyers haven’t been overtly identified, the decision casts a shadow over the competence of every lawyer sworn in this month." (Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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