Opening brief filed in first phase of California Bar lawsuit

We have filed our opening brief in the public records lawsuit over our request for anonymized admissions data held by the California State Bar. The brief argues that the public has a constitutional and common law right of access to the Bar’s non-discretionary files, and that such a right is consistent with the Bar’s past practices of releasing similar information. Through discovery for this suit, we have learned that the Bar had cooperated with a research study performed by the Law School Admissions Council that sought to understand the causes of racial disparities in bar examination outcomes. LSAC requested and received bar exam scores in identified form on over 5,000 LSAC study subjects who had not provided consent to the release of their information. Although the State Bar and LSAC ensured that the bar scores would be adequately secured, the Bar’s cooperative attitude with LSAC’s request for personally identifiable bar exam information is so at odds with the Bar’s treatment of our request for anonymous data that the suspicion the Bar has succumbed to inappropriate political pressures is unavoidable.

Click here to read the opening brief.