Paul L. Caron

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Report On California Bar's Blunder In Releasing Topics To Be Covered On The July Exam

Following up on my previous post, Five Days Before The Bar Exam, California Bar Inadvertently Released The Topics Covered On The Exam:  The Recorder, Report Reveals Frantic Scramble After California Bar Exam Blunder:

California State Bar (2014)Inadvertent human error led California’s state bar to erroneously disclose essay topics on the July 2019 bar exam six days before the test’s administration, a report commissioned by the California Supreme Court concluded.

A 19-page report [Report of the Investigation of the State Bar of California's Pre-Examination Disclosure of July 2019 Bar Exam Topics] prepared by Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni found that a bar staffer, pressured to finish work before having to proctor the two-day exam in July, mistakenly included a list of topics in an email inviting 16 law school deans to observe a test grading session later that summer. The report redacts the names of those bar staffers directly involved with the erroneous release.

Beyond the initial disclosure, the report found the bar’s harried response reflected an agency ill-prepared to handle an administrative emergency and unclear on expectations from the California Supreme Court. Bar leaders did not consult with Supreme Court justices before deciding to provide the exam topics to every applicant registered to take the test, investigators found. ...

In response to the events, the bar has changed various forms and practices to ensure that information about exam topics is not sent to law school deans until after the test is over. Bar officials have also said they will provide additional staff training before the February 2020 bar exam on the testing process and the confidentiality of related materials.

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