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New parties move to intervene in bar exam suit

Twenty-three people who applied to take the California bar exam between 1972 and 2007 filed a motion last month to join a lawsuit in support of the State Bar’s refusal to turn over bar records for use in evaluating law school admission policies.

The proposed intervenors want to protect the privacy of the information sought in the suit filed against the bar by UCLA Professor Richard Sander and others.

“If the information demanded by the petitioners is disclosed, proposed intervenors’ rights will be violated and they will suffer serious and irreparable harm,” the motion said. “Proposed intervenors’ interests are not represented in this case, and their rights are at stake.”

Sander, who has published reports concluding that affirmative action hurts minority law school students, seeks data about bar exam applicants on race, college and law school grades, LSAT scores and exam results.

The bar has argued it has no legal right to release such information without the consent of the bar exam applicants and that applicants were assured that the information was confidential and would be used only by the bar to assure the exam’s testing validity.

The proposed intervenors argue that they provided such information only because they were promised it would be used for internal purposes and not released to anyone outside the bar.

“The State Bar is legally and morally bound to keep it confidential,” the motion said.

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