ILNews

Man still fighting dismissal of bar exam suit

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The man who sued the Indiana Supreme Court and state Board of Law Examiners because he wants to take the bar exam without going to law school wants a federal judge to reopen his case, arguing that he has no other legal recourse available and the court’s refusal to allow relief is contrary to established precedent.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has dismissed the federal suit with prejudice, but plaintiff Clarence K. Carter filed a request this week that it be reopened. His case centers on claims that state justices and the BLE have violated his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection to sit for the bar exam in Indiana, even though he hasn’t attended law school. Administrative Rule 13 doesn’t allow for that, and Carter alleges the requirement arbitrarily excludes him from the chance to qualify to practice law in this state as a result of law school admittance denials. The case is Carter v. Chief Justice and Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court, et al., No. 1:10-CV-0328.

Judge Pratt had dismissed the case nearly two months ago for failure to state a claim that warrants relief, but Carter raised questions about whether that dismissal was with or without prejudice. The court’s Rule 41 dictates that a dismissal is with prejudice unless the court specifies otherwise, but regardless of that rule Carter alleges that “extraordinary circumstances” exist in this case and that requires the judge to re-open his suit. Judge Pratt had also denied other motions he filed in February.

Specifically, Carter alleges the court’s basis for denying a request for relief is in direct conflict with the practice and conformity of the 7th Circuit. He cites Chaundhry v. Nucor Steel-Indiana, 546 F. 3d 832 (7th Cir. 2008), which held that “terminating a case on the same day the court grants a motion to dismiss a complaint is somewhat unorthodox.” That denied him the right to amend his complaint, Carter says. He also alleges the District Court incorrectly calculated days for timely filings. The previous judgments should be vacated and the case opened again so that he can amend his complaint, his new motion states.

No appeals have been filed as of today in this case with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the court docket.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Updates?
    Clarence- what your doing here is of great importance to lovers of liberty everywhere. Any updates?
  • Let them test...
    I say let them test. I would like to do it as well. If one can pass the test, perhaps it should be an automatic pass to go to law school. Then again maybe law school is not needed at that point. Perhaps a stint at a law firm or or court would work to polish the practical procedures.
    Remember that not all law school graduates got "A"s. There were the bottom of the class folks as well. Are they better than the self taught? Not necessarily. Let the law schools compete for the cream. Allowing home-schooled and self-taught in addition to "reading the law" would add some competition to the profession.
    The market will do the rest. The market will punish the poor performers with zero business. The court will sanction incompetent practioners.
    I suspect that these non-ABA school attorneys would have a specific specialty in mind and they may even excel at it.

    I'd like to bet that I can pass the test. As a top of the class student and a life studier, my interest level has piqued to the point that I would really like to pursue this. The only way for me would be to take the bar and then study more.
    Again, let him take it. If he can pass, how does that bode for the many who can not? Perhaps it is an embarassment for the schools with low passing ratios?

    Accept the challenge. Some people are able to do it and do it well.
  • Let Me Do It
    Thank you for comment. I am holding my own in this complex litigation. So I am sure I can hold down a successful practice. If the bar exam is designed to weed-out incompetent individual then let's see if I am a weed. Although, the case is not about taking bar it is about law school is not attainable by reasonable study due to arbitrary admission practice to get into law school, which have nothing to do with being competent to practice law. After the bachelor degree and LSAT the admission process goes into a world of arbitrariness, which makes the graduation requirement unconstitutional. Read-Dent v. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114 (1889)
  • Let Him Do It!
    Having gone through almost my entire law school career, interned in multiple law offices and government entities and seen numerous practicing attorneys in Indiana, I say let him take the test. Law school in no way prepares you to practice - who knows, maybe he will go on to do amazing things in the area of law. If one can study on his own and pass the bar exam, who is to stop him?

    All the attorneys practicing now don't remember everything from law school anyway - I dare someone to explain the Rule Against Perpetuities right now...

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Indiana State Bar Association

    Indianapolis Bar Association

    Evansville Bar Association

    Allen County Bar Association

    Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

    facebook
    ADVERTISEMENT
    Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
    1. Oh my lordy Therapist Oniha of the winexbackspell@gmail.com I GOT Briggs BACK. Im so excited, It only took 2days for him to come home. bless divinity and bless god. i must be dreaming as i never thoughts he would be back to me after all this time. I am so much shock and just cant believe my eyes. thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart,he always kiss and hug me now at all times,am so happy my heart is back to me with your help Therapist Oniha.

    2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

    3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

    4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

    5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

    ADVERTISEMENT