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Law student set to sue over bar exam oversight

A disabled law graduate is taking the bar association to court so that she may sit the bar exams.

user iconThe New Lawyer 28 July 2009 The Bar
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Sarah Granda, a paralysed law school graduate in the United States is going to court to try to force the State Bar of California to allow her to take the bar exam, reports ABC News.

Granda said a "ridiculous snafu" is preventing her from taking the exam now. The state agency, which covers all of Granda's expenses, paid her registration fee using a cheque instead of a credit card, however, the bar association only accepts credit card payments.


Paralysed from the neck down, Granda, 29, hopes the California Supreme Court will force the California State Bar to allow her to take the bar exam.

"To have it kind of fall through is more than just upsetting," said Granda, who has spent countless hours preparing for the bar exam. "Itjust seems to be such an incredible oversight."

The appeal comes just days after a federal court said it did not have the jurisdiction to force the Californian State Bar Association to lether take the test, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger weighed in on the case, throwing his support behind the UC Davis law school graduate.

In a statement, Schwarzenegger urged the state bar to overturn its decision and allow Granda to sit for the test.

"It is outrageous that someone who has overcome so much in life is penalised by a bureaucratic error," he said.

The federal court said it was "incredibly sympathetic to plaintiff's position," and recommended Granda file an emergency application with the state supreme court.

The state is covering Granda's fees because she is disabled. She receives $870 a month in state disability payments, and does not own a credit card.

"We are sympathetic to her case," said Diane Curtis, spokeswoman for the California bar, "but our hands are tied by statute."

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