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I. FEDERAL LOCAL RULES BAR ADMISSION DISCRIMINATION CHALLENGE

See attached Petition for Certiorari filed in the United States Supreme Court 9-15-17

Cert_Petition_Final_Printed_(00017694).PDF

II. NAAMJP IS FILING A PETITION IN THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT TO ADOPT RECIPROCAL ADMISSION IN CALIFORNIA FOR OUT OF STATE ATTORNEYS IN GOOD STANDING The California Experienced Attorneys’ Bar Exam Fails to Meet Testing Standards
  1. Dr. Norman is one of the experts writing a chapter in the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, supra. Dr. Norman writes:

    “Study after study has shown that it is almost impossible to get judges to agree on scores for essay answers."

  2. The sacred cow — the popularly held belief that the California bar exam for experienced sister-state attorneys is the gold standard — is a myth proved false under examination. Five nationally respected testing experts, including experts from the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the California State Bar’s own testing expert, have concluded similar 100% subjective high-stakes licensing tests are not valid or reliable measuring devices. There are standard statistical indices for the reliability of test scores. The most basic of these is the standard error of measurement. A reliability coefficient can be defined in terms of the average magnitude of the standard error. Indisputable evidence proves this licensing test, exam after exam, has a standard measurement error greater than 52%, and sometimes a 60% error rate, when the industry standard is preferably a 10% error rate. These 100% subjective tests fail to meet well established testing Standards. Moreover, these test results are inadmissible in federal court under Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993) and the Federal Rules of Evidence 700 series. There is no cause and effect nexus between practice in the U.S. District Courts and this licensing test.
  3. There are other fundamental deficiencies in giving subjective entry level licensing tests to experienced attorneys. Knowledge and skill acquired after licensing from self-development and experience cannot be tested for several reasons. First, there is the matter of jurisdiction. No State bar exam tests many exclusive areas of federal practice such as patents, intellectual property, copyrights, trademarks, bankruptcy, immigration, admiralty, and federal taxation. Second, one cannot be an expert without experience. It is well known that “practice makes perfect.” There is a biological basis for this truth: Neurons that fire together wire together. Synaptic connections become stronger with use. The more you do something the better you get at it. Third, the cognitive science of Expertise and Expert Performance proves after licensing, acquired knowledge is often subconscious, intuitive and cannot be tested. Cognitive science illustrates there is an enormous difference between those new to a profession and experienced experts. That difference is intuitive pattern recognition formed by experience. Dr. Norman writes:

    “Studies of expertise in many other domains — chess, computer programming, physics — show substantially the same thing. Experts become experts by amassing a huge body of both formal and experiential knowledge.” Id. at 20.


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