NOTE: Publication for public comment is not, and shall not, be construed as a
recommendation or approval by the Board of Trustees of the materials published
Proposed Amendments to Admissions Rules re Open/Closed Meetings of the Committee of Bar Examiners
Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the State Bar of California became subject to the California Public Records Act and beginning April 1, 2016, the State Bar will be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. Pertinent parts relative to the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) follow:
Effective Jan. 1, 2016
§ 6026.11. Conformance with California Public Records Act.
The State Bar is subject to the California Public Records Act … and all public records and writings of the State Bar are subject to the California Public Records Act.
§ 6060.25. Confidentiality of information provided by applicant to the State Bar for admission and license to practice law.
Notwithstanding any other law, any identifying information submitted by an applicant to the State Bar for admission and a license to practice law and all State Bar admission records, including, but not limited to, bar examination scores, law school grade point average (GPA), undergraduate GPA, Law School Admission Test scores, race or ethnicity, and any information contained within the State Bar Admissions database or any file or other data created by the State Bar with information submitted by the applicant that may identify an individual applicant, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed pursuant to any state law, including, but not limited to, the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
Effective April 1, 2016
§ 6026.7. Open meeting requirements; conformance with Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.
(a) The State Bar is subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) and all meetings of the State Bar are subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act shall not apply to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission or the Committee of Bar Examiners.
(c) This provision shall become operative on April 1, 2016.
The new laws supersede the Board of Trustees’ (Board) Open/Closed Meeting Rules and the Board has adopted implementing rules to conform its meeting and the meeting of most other State Bar committees and boards to the new law. Because the CBE’s meetings are exempt from the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, and in recognition of the new provisions in the law concerning the confidentiality of certain information maintained by the CBE, the CBE adopted in principle, subject to a period of public comment and approval of the Board, open/closed meeting rules concerning its own meetings.
Title 6, Division 2, Chapter 2 of the Rules of the State Bar of California contained the requirements concerning meetings of State Bar committees. The CBE conducted its meetings in accordance with those rules and it would be appropriate to incorporate the relevant portions of those rules into the Admissions Rules.
Attached are the proposed amendments in the form of a new Rule 4.11 of the Admissions Rules, which incorporates much, but not all, of the language from the Chapter 2 discussed above and includes some new provisions.
The new rule specifies that the following matters will be discussed during the CBE’s closed sessions:
(1) pending or prospective litigation;
(2) matters designated confidential by the CBE’s charge, the State Bar Rules, or otherwise by law;
(3) matters related to the moral character, competence, or physical or mental health of an individual;
(4) allegations of criminal or professional misconduct;
(5) applications, petitions, requests, investigations, opinions, complaints, recommendations, or reports regarding matters delegated to the CBE by law or the Board;
(6) proposals, negotiations, or discussions related to contractual, labor, business, or legislative matters;
(7) matters related to the development, administration, or grading of an examination;
(8) matters related to laws school regulated by the CBE that involve individual students or information related to a law school’s operations that is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable by others, and by which another law school or others could obtain an advantage over the law school; and
(9) matters relating to internal management of the CBE.
Attachment A: Proposed Amendments to Title 4, Division 1 of the Rules
Committee of Bar Examiners
April 20, 2016