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Man still fighting dismissal of bar exam suit

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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.

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  • 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...

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    1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

    2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

    3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

    4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

    5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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