November 2, 2008
Quest For Bar Exam Data Continues
The November 2008 edition of the California Bar Journal reports that UCLA Professor Richard Sander has filed suit in his quest for information concerning bar examination passing/failing demographics:
Professor Richard Sander has taken his quest for bar exam data to San Francis-co superior court following denial by the California Supreme Court to hear his case.
Lawyers for Sander, an economist and law professor at UCLA, filed suit Oct. 3, seeking State Bar records for use in evaluating law school admission policies. Sander, who has published reports concluding that affirmative action hurts minority law school students, seeks data about bar exam takers on race, college and law school grades, LSAT scores and exam results. He withdrew an earlier request to retrieve gender information.
The suit argues that the records are public and that bar concerns about students’ privacy have been addressed.
State Bar President Holly Fujie said the State Bar stands by its earlier decision to reject Sander’s request. “After careful review of the new petition, the bar sees no reason to change its position that the scope of the release signed by applicants does not give the bar legal grounds for providing the requested information to Professor Sander,” Fujie said. “The bar has no legal right to release this information to him.”
Disbarment For Possession Of Child Pornography
The permanent resignation of an attorney convicted of possession of child pornography was accepted by the Louisiana Supreme Court. According to a press release from the United States Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Louisiana:
According to documents filed in federal court, on May 14, 2007, FBI agents executed federal search warrants on [the attorney]’s home and law office. During these searches, FBI agents recovered computers and computer related media that contained over 600 images depicting the sexual victimization of prepubescent children (less than 12 years of age). In interviews with FBI agents, [the attorney] admitted that he had subscribed to Internet child pornography websites and had attempted to access a child pornography website as recently as April 2007.
In a comment to our recent post on the disbarment of an attorney who had set fire to his home and severely injured his own disabled child, Alan raised the question of when discipline should be imposed for criminal conduct unrelated to the practice of law. The comment brings to mind a bar case that I prosecuted where the attorney had been been convicted of repreted sex abuse of a child in his care. At the board argument, I was asked whether I thought that the conduct adversely reflected on fitness to practice. I did. Because the lawyer was a well-regarded associate at a major law firm, my answer was not favorably received. The D.C. Court of Appeals nonetheless thought the crime involved moral turpitude and imposed disbarment. (Mike Frisch)