The State Bar of California, Office of Admissions has reportedly sent out notices of alleged bar exam misconduct to applicants who took the October 2020 California Bar Exam. These notices are required under Chapter 6 of the Admission Rules and are required to be sent to bar exam takers when “conduct that violates the security or administration” of a bar exam is reported. The Chapter 6 notice officially notifies the applicant the type of misconduct reported and allows an applicant the option of submitting a statement regarding the incident no later than 10 days following the date of the notice. However, the Chapter 6 Notice is only the beginning of the process.
Within 30 days of the date of the Chapter 6 Notice, the State Bar will notify the applicant if he or she will be sanctioned for an “undisputed conduct violation” or a “conduct violation for which specific sanction has not been established by examination rules or guidelines.” If the State Bar determines that the conduct is an “undisputed violation” then the applicant is not entitled to a hearing and once the sanction is final, it may reflect negatively on that applicant’s moral character determination or other issues/delays with admission to the practice of law in California. However, because online bar exam conduct violations have not been subject to Chapter 6 violations before, it is not clear whether the alleged misconduct will be deemed to be “conduct violation for which specific sanction has not been established by examination rules or guidelines,” effectively allowing applicants the right to a hearing.
Don’t face a Chapter 6 Notice alone. As a former State Bar prosecutor, I am able to provide guidance, direction and counsel that can make the difference. I know the Office of Admissions playbook and can assist applicants to ensure that they submit their best possible response to the Chapter 6 violation notice. The outcome of the Chapter 6 violation matter will significantly impact the applicant’s chance for admission to the practice of law. Don’t be penny-wise, nickel-foolish with your professional future!