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SCOTUS declines bar exam denial case

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

“Attorney files suit against JLAP” IL Dec. 23, 2009 – Jan. 5, 2010

The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to take a case filed by a Fort Wayne man – who’s an attorney in Kansas – on claims that the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and officials running the admittance process here denied him the right to sit for the bar exam.


The SCOTUS denied certiorari March 29 in the case of Bryan J. Brown v. In. Board of Law Examiners, No. 09-969. Brown had filed a writ of certiorari in February, appealing a decision of the Indiana Supreme Court late last year to not review a final determination by the state’s Board of Law Examiners.

This case is separate from the ongoing federal case of Brown v. Dr. Elizabeth Bowman, Terry Harrell, et al., No. 1:09-CV-346, which remains pending in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, though they both stem from the same BLE action in refusing to allow Brown to take the state’s bar exam after a JLAP review.

Brown was admitted to practice in Kansas in 1996, and his suit says that an Indiana law license would allow him use the legal system on behalf of pro-life and other traditional Christian causes through the Arch Angel Institute he created about two years ago. But after being referred to JLAP, he wasn’t able to take the bar exam and he asked the state’s highest court to review that decision. The justices denied that request in November, and his lawsuit followed in December.

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