Hello everyone and welcome to this Ethics Alert which will discuss recent Florida Supreme Court opinion which removed the topics of juvenile delinquency and dependency from Florida Bar Examination Part A effective immediately. The case is In Re: Amendments to the Supreme Court Rules Relating to Admissions to the Bar, Case No. SC19-2018 and the January 23, 2020 opinion is here: https://www.floridasupremecourt.org/content/download/569082/6430364/file/sc19-2018.pdf
In a per curiam opinion (without briefing or argument) dated January 23, 2020, the Supreme Court revised Rule 4-22 of the Supreme Court Rules Relating to Admissions to the Bar. The opinion states that the Court took action after an informal discussion last summer between the justices, the 12 Florida law school deans, and the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.
According to the Court’s opinion:
We remove these two subject areas because we agree with the law school deans that these subjects test specialized knowledge falling outside the general competency that the General Bar Examination is intended to test. Rule 4-21 of the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar provides that the purpose of the General Bar Examination is to ‘test the applicant’s ability to reason logically, to analyze accurately the problem presented, and to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of law and their application’. We believe that amending rule 4-22 to eliminate these two subject areas will increase the validity of the Florida Bar Examination by allowing law school graduates to engage in more thoughtful analysis of core legal subjects instead of memorizing highly technical rules and information for a limited period of time.
These amendments shall take effect immediately upon the release of this opinion and will apply prospectively, beginning with the first 2020 examination. Because the amendments were not published for comment prior to their adoption, interested persons shall have seventy-five days from the date of this opinion in which to file comments with the Court.
The opinion also states: “Because the amendments were not published for comment prior to their adoption, interested persons shall have seventy-five days from the date of this opinion in which to file comments with the Court. In a footnote, the opinion states that comments must be filed via the E-Filing Portal on or before April 7, 2020.
Bottom line: After informal discussions, the Court decided to remove the topics of juvenile delinquency and dependency from the Florida Bar Examination; however, the law school deans had also requested removal of Article 3 (negotiable instruments) and Article 9 (secured transactions) of the Uniform Commercial. We will see if those topics are removed in the future and law students need to be aware that those topics will remain fair game on the Bar Examination.
Be careful out there.
Disclaimer: this e-mail is not an advertisement, does not contain any legal advice, and does not create an attorney/client relationship and the comments herein should not be relied upon by anyone who reads it.
Joseph A. Corsmeier, Esquire
Law Office of Joseph A. Corsmeier, P.A.
2999 Alt. 19, Suite A
Palm Harbor, Florida 34683
Office (727) 799-1688
Fax (727) 799-1670