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Stephen Dunne v. The Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
July 3, 2007 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Applicant who failed the MA bar exam sues not only the exam board, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and four justices. Why? Because a question on the exam involved a Lesbian Couple, and therefore "the Massachusetts state government...are purposely-advancing Secular Humanism's homosexual agenda." (link goes to pdf of the complaint full of hilarious claims like this one)
posted by allen.spaulding (101 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
oh my sweet baby jesus.
posted by facetious at 11:38 AM on July 3, 2007


One of my favorite lines is this one: "118. Plaintiff contends that the Massachusetts state government advocating the normalization of homosexual behavior on the Massachusetts Bar Examination is disingenuous considering the fact that homosexuality is neither in born or hereditary in nature. Postulating otherwise is patently false and devoid of scientific validity."
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:39 AM on July 3, 2007


Also, the dormant commerce clause stuff is beyond belief. As far as I'm concerned, this trumps the million dollar pants case in terms of sheer crazy.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:44 AM on July 3, 2007


Postulating otherwise is patently false and devoid of scientific validity

What scientific literature does he cite? Most of what I've read seems to point strongly to a genetic basis for sexuality.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:45 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gay marriage is ruining the institution of lawyering.

Actually, I hope he's right. The world would be a better place with more gay marriage and fewer rightwing nutjob lawyers.
posted by DU at 11:47 AM on July 3, 2007 [5 favorites]


GAY BAR!
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:47 AM on July 3, 2007 [49 favorites]


"...we get a bizarre complaint full of rants about the ‘liberal religion of secular humanism’, about homosexuality being a choice and not inborn, about how the Goodridge decision violates the Supremacy Clause (huh?) and destroys democracy. It's really quite amusing to read. His complaint is not only over the question, but over the Goodridge ruling itself. He claims that the ruling is ‘contrary to the United States constitution and must be preempted to maintain national peace and harmony.’

Dunne claims that the Massachusetts court ruling violates the constitutional guarantee that each state will have a republican form of government. Sorry Stephen, that ridiculous argument was already tried by Mat Staver and Liberty Counsel. It was dismissed and that dismissal upheld all the way to the Supreme Court, which denied cert. It will work no better for you.

He doesn't even seem to recognize the difference between state law and Federal law. The Goodridge ruling was based upon the Massachusetts constitution, not the US constitution. Yet Dunne claims:
'Plaintiff contends that ‘Defendants’ reliance on Goodridge v Dept. of Public Health, an indisputably unconstitutional decision is in contravention to the Supreme Court's decision in Baker v Nelson (holding that a State law barring marriage between persons of the same sex does not violate the equal protection or due process guarantees of the United States Constitution).'
But this is utterly irrelevant. Just because the US Supreme Court said such laws don't violate the US constitution does not mean that a state supreme court can't rule that such a law does violate the state constitution. This isn't exactly advanced con law, folks, this is really basic stuff. If he can't get that right, I'm certainly not surprised that skipping one question was enough to make him fail the bar exam.

This guy is clearly a nut and this lawsuit is about as frivolous as it gets. Not only will the case be dismissed, the ridiculous nature of the suit itself may well cost this guy any chance he had of getting a law license in Massachusetts in the future."*
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


::::bangs head on desk::::

How 'bout this, then:

"118. Plaintiff contends that the Massachusetts state government advocating the normalization of homosexual religious behavior on the Massachusetts Bar Examination is disingenuous considering the fact that homosexuality religious belief is neither in born or hereditary in nature."
posted by rtha at 11:51 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


No damages=no standing.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:52 AM on July 3, 2007


I wonder which court Bush will assign him to.
posted by troybob at 11:54 AM on July 3, 2007 [13 favorites]


"the Massachusetts state government...are purposely-advancing Secular Humanism's homosexual agenda."

Whatever his feelings on the political and legal issues at hand, he ought to have the decency to refrain from outing Secular Humanism's agenda. I mean, the agenda may be a teacher or a deacon in the church.. perhaps even married with children. It may not want to reveal its sexuality publicly We ought to respect its privacy as, I'm sure, it respects ours.
posted by Clay201 at 11:54 AM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Jesus, how do people that stupid graduate from law school? Seriously?
posted by OmieWise at 11:54 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's a damn good thing I support adultery and marijuana, or I'd be three years' of law school tuition in the hole.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 11:57 AM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yeah...good luck with that one, sport...
posted by kjs3 at 11:58 AM on July 3, 2007


Jesus, how do people that stupid graduate from law school? Seriously?
posted by OmieWise at 2:54 PM on July 3


No matter what anyone tells you, you pay to play.

You pay cash, you get into Stanford.

For example, Daddy the Plumbing King pays cash (and a sizable donation to the school) to have Dumbass McJunior to go to Penn, and like a free flowing drain, he's in.

He gets out and suddenly he's doing Torts for Jesus.

But don't worry, the crucifix only hurts going in.
posted by four panels at 12:03 PM on July 3, 2007


Hey, Stephen Dunne, if you think you will have difficulty in upholding a law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, how then will you be able to take the State's Oath of Admission to the Bar?
"Whoever is admitted as an attorney shall, in open court, take and subscribe the oaths to support the Constitution of the United States and of the Commonwealth; and the following oath of office shall be administered to and subscribed by him:
'I (repeat the name) solemnly swear that I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any false, groundless, or unlawful suit, or give aid or consent to the same; I will delay no man for lucre or malice; but I will conduct myself in the office of an attorney within the courts according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, and with all good fidelity as well to the courts as my clients. So help me God.'
The attorney's oath in substantially its present form was adopted by a rule of court in 1686. It was required by a Province law in 1701 and has been required ever since except for the period from 1836-1860 when by legislative enactment a simpler form of oath was in use."*
posted by ericb at 12:04 PM on July 3, 2007


Also, I will take secular humanism over religious inhumanism any day.
posted by DU at 12:04 PM on July 3, 2007 [8 favorites]


As a secular humanist, I'm offended.
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on July 3, 2007


When did Liberty University open a Law School?
posted by mds35 at 12:10 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry, no law for you.

Let's say I'm opposed to the death penalty on religious grounds. Under Mr. Dunne's theory, I would be exempt from answering questions regarding the current state of death penalty jurisprudence based on my strongly held religious beliefs.

As I said, sorry, no law for you Mr. Dunne.
posted by mygoditsbob at 12:16 PM on July 3, 2007


When did Liberty University open a Law School?

August of 2004.
posted by ND¢ at 12:21 PM on July 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


The question does not say that they're lesbians.
posted by The World Famous at 12:23 PM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


My law-school friend says that MA is one of the easiest exams to pass in the country, so we're really looking at the cream of the crop. The funny part is if he thinks he can win suing the most prominent lawyers in the state. It's almost surely a stunt by someone who wanted to go into politics anyway. Still, somebody's going to have a great alumni newsletter this year.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:25 PM on July 3, 2007


Some even call it Passachusetts.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:27 PM on July 3, 2007


It's so weird that you have to believe in magic to be moral. No magical wizard? No morality for you! Even stranger still is how this seems to go over so well with so many people. Why must Morality=Magic?

Better yet, why is homosexuality immoral? Did they just make this shit up?

The real magic is the ability to turn hate into morality.
posted by four panels at 12:28 PM on July 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


The question does not say that they're lesbians.

It could have been a boy named Jane.
posted by ND¢ at 12:30 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


As a homosexual wizard, I'm offended.
posted by hermitosis at 12:34 PM on July 3, 2007 [9 favorites]


Percy?
posted by ND¢ at 12:35 PM on July 3, 2007 [7 favorites]


I'll never understand why people prefer whining to problem solving. Why not just take the exam again? They must rewrite it occasionally, and he could probably pass it next time and save himself the trouble of getting his ass handed to him in a lawsuit.
posted by dismas at 12:37 PM on July 3, 2007


Yesterday Jane got drunk and hit Mary with a baseball bat, breaking Mary’s leg, when she learned that Mary was having an affair with Lisa.[...] What are the rights of Mary and Jane?

That was not where I expected the question to end up. Being a lawyer must be very emotionally draining sometimes.
posted by freebird at 12:41 PM on July 3, 2007


ND¢, I thought the same thing but the question refers to each as a "she."
posted by exogenous at 12:41 PM on July 3, 2007


Fundy says something stupid.
News at 11.
posted by nofundy at 12:43 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'll never understand why people prefer whining to problem solving.

Really? The world must be a scary and confusing place.
posted by freebird at 12:45 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


The question does not say that they're lesbians.

It could have been a boy named Jane.


Or two married girls who aren't sexually attracted to each other. Marriage =/= sexual attraction.
posted by The World Famous at 12:47 PM on July 3, 2007


It could have been a boy named Jane.

That's not the point. Two women can (could?) marry in Mass whether they are lesbian or not. One would presume that they are lesbian, but as The World Famous correctly notes, the essay q does not mention sexual orientation.

This is a pro forma q about property rights and divorce- it should have been answered easily whatever the gender assortment in the scenario.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 12:47 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


What his lawsuit seems to overlook is that even if he had been given the same question with Mary and her husband Joseph, he might still have gotten it wrong. I mean, if he's so confident that he'd be an awesome lawyer, why not go ahead and answer the question correctly and then raise a stink? Or, as an alternative plan: answer a few other questions correctly so that you don't fail the bar by less than two points.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 12:49 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


One could argue that if he had got the question right, he would not have standing. That's a bit of a tenuous interpretation of standing, but it may have played into the lawsuit.
posted by The World Famous at 12:50 PM on July 3, 2007


Who's funding this guy? Liberty Counsel? Pacific Legal? Inst for Justice? Eagle Forum? ...

Which one of the many many many rightwing orgs dedicated to court cases like this all over the country?
posted by amberglow at 12:52 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


That was not where I expected the question to end up.

Where else would it end up?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:58 PM on July 3, 2007


Lisa is gay?!?
posted by basicchannel at 1:00 PM on July 3, 2007


And what about Wendy?!?
posted by The World Famous at 1:05 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Of course if had aced the exam he could have left that question out and made his point (whatever it is), but he's an underachiever who wants it all.
posted by 2sheets at 1:11 PM on July 3, 2007


I'm advancing Secular Humanism's homosexual agenda RIGHT NOW.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:14 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


what a waste of court resources
posted by caddis at 1:18 PM on July 3, 2007


I just found this link. Stephen Dunn, while a student at New England School of Law, was featured in an article in the Massachusetts Bar Association's journal about attending the Massachusetts Bar Association's annual conference. This is too much.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:20 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


four panels - It's so weird that you have to believe in magic to be moral.

I'll pass on morality, I'll take ethics over morality any day.

... if hating homosexuals, abhoring sweet sweet prawns and lobsters, and not being able to wear poly/cotton blend clothing is moral, I don't want to be moral
posted by porpoise at 1:21 PM on July 3, 2007


Wendy?

Yes, Lisa?

Is the bar exam sexual humanist enough yet?

Yes, Lisa.

Shall we begin?

Yes, Lisa.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:22 PM on July 3, 2007 [12 favorites]


Since the bar exam is a test of "what the law is", not "what should the law be", this is clearly going nowhere.

Also, I'd like to know what other questions he got wrong that led to his failing score, given that you don't require a 100% score to pass the exam (yet another reason this won't go anywhere).
posted by modernnomad at 1:34 PM on July 3, 2007


Bibleguy can't make it in the 21st century. News at 11.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:38 PM on July 3, 2007


It'd be funny, if they didn't vote.
posted by LordSludge at 1:49 PM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Forgive my lack of law knowledge, but I'm wondering if this is just a backdoor (ahem) attempt to challenge the law, the idea being that one cannot have a case fought in the courts (and appealed to higher courts) without claiming personal harm as a result (like, you can't sue because you're against something or think it's unconstitutional); and when it comes to gay marriage, how can someone claim personal harm simply because someone else can get married? I'm just curious as to whether this is part of a larger strategy to fight such laws absent the ability to bring such claims--like maybe there was some group out there waiting for this kind of question to show up on a test so they could make this approach.
posted by troybob at 1:54 PM on July 3, 2007


"Mister Dunne, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.")
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on July 3, 2007


four panels - It's so weird that you have to believe in magic to be moral.

Actually, the Bible is pretty clear about the whole "magic" thing. Lev 19:26, Deu 18:10, 2Ki 17:17, Act 8:9 and 19:19... you'd really be more moral if you don't believe in magic.

You see, four panels? YOU AND THE BIBLE AGREE!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:54 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


145. Plaintiff contends that the institution of marriage transcends judicial intervention, and its definition should not be made the subject of political experimentation in state laboratories.

That's just priceless.... especially coming from the guy who is asking for judicial relief based on how he feels his own constructs of marriage affected his ability to pass the Bar.
posted by delfuego at 1:55 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Also of note is the fact that he's claiming his own time as attorney's fees, it seems -- even though he's not an attorney admitted to the Bar. Hmmmmm.
posted by delfuego at 1:57 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm disappointed he didn't find a way to name Maura Doyle as a defendant.
posted by psmith at 1:57 PM on July 3, 2007


Mr. Dunne, Esq., in respresenting yourself in this matter, you do realize, don't you, that "you have a fool for a client?"
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on July 3, 2007


Okay, okay, we've all had our fun, but can you guys stop advancing the secular humanist homosexual agenda already? Let's end this on a friendly note and one day we'll look back on this in heaven and laugh.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:13 PM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


So, Lisa's available now?
posted by misha at 2:23 PM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Don't repressed, self-loathing homosexuals have anything better to do than condemn gay marriage?
posted by brain_drain at 2:31 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was dismissed and that dismissal upheld all the way to the Supreme Court, which denied cert. It will work no better for you.

dunno, Scalia has an actual posse now.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:45 PM on July 3, 2007


That's not the real homosexual agenda, this is.
posted by psmealey at 2:57 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


This guy is not showing signs of being a very good lawyer anyway.
posted by Muddler at 2:59 PM on July 3, 2007


118. Plaintiff contends that the Massachusetts state government advocating the normalization of homosexual behavior on the Massachusetts Bar Examination is disingenuous considering the fact that homosexuality is neither in born or hereditary in nature.
Ignoring the fact that the fact he's considering is not, in fact, a fact...

... Why is that even remotely relevant?

Belief in Christianity is neither in born nor hereditary in nature. Does that imply that it's legally OK for businesses and the government to discriminate against Christians?
posted by Flunkie at 3:02 PM on July 3, 2007


The question does not say that they're lesbians.

It could have been a boy named Jane.


It refers to Jane as "She" and refers to Mary as "pregnant" therefore they must both be ladies.

the fact that Jane broke Mary's leg with a baseball bat rather than a softball bat is what confused me!!

Why would a lesbian go find a baseball bat when she has a softball bat in the hall closet?
posted by Megafly at 3:03 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Alas, Megafly, they're both referred to as "she" -- I had to read it twice to find that, but it's true.
posted by delfuego at 3:05 PM on July 3, 2007


I think you mean ANTONIN THE JUSTICE HAS A POSSE.

OBEY JUSTICE.
posted by oaf at 3:06 PM on July 3, 2007


These lesbians are the same two devious dykes that did in Falwell but don't worry FRED THOMPSON'S ON THE CASE.
posted by The Straightener at 3:13 PM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Liberal or conservative, law school attracts some odd ducks. For every lawyer out there, there's at least one professional outcast who happens to have a law degree.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:29 PM on July 3, 2007


Do you see that Larry? Do you see that?

This is what happens when you FUCK A STRANGER IN THE ASS LET FREEPERS GO TO COLLEGE!
posted by trondant at 3:35 PM on July 3, 2007


I wish I could add something to how ludicrous all of this is, but it's been said.

Still, do we think the guy failed and then remembered this one question and brought this up from there? Or maybe he read this question, got so unbelievably flustered over the fact that those faggots and lesbos have the same rights as real people, despite everything that the Bible says about it (which is very little, actually) that he simply coudn't continue...?

Or maybe he hopes on taking the bar in SC or GA, got wind of this question from another student, and stood up with a right-wing organization to bring this case to trial on a "harm" cause.

Still, I doubt he'll make a good lawyer, or even a very good politician, but all of this is making me quite excited to start law school in a few weeks.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:35 PM on July 3, 2007


"Unlike socialist law where the interpretation of the law is ultimately political, the United States allocates that responsibility to the legislature."

LOL
posted by lathrop at 3:48 PM on July 3, 2007


Yesterday Jane got drunk and hit Mary with a baseball bat, breaking Mary’s leg, when she learned that Mary was having an affair with Lisa.[...] What are the rights of Mary and Jane?

"118. Plaintiff contends that the Massachusetts state government advocating the normalization of homosexual behavior on the Massachusetts Bar Examination is disingenuous considering the fact that homosexuality is neither in born or hereditary in nature."

Not only that, but the Massachusetts state government is also advocating the normalization of assault and extramarital affairs!
posted by Bugbread at 4:20 PM on July 3, 2007


Or maybe he read this question, got so unbelievably flustered over the fact that those faggots and lesbos have the same rights as real people, despite everything that the Bible says about it (which is very little, actually)
Maybe in terms of number of words, but I think you're on shaky ground if you're trying to insinuate that the Bible is not vociferously anti-gay. It's pretty clear on the issue - teh butt sex is an affront to the Christian god.
posted by Flunkie at 4:27 PM on July 3, 2007


Alas, Megafly, they're both referred to as "she" -- I had to read it twice to find that, but it's true.

Maybe they're just promoting a liberal agenda of gender-neutrality in language, by refusing to use "he" as the default pronoun?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:32 PM on July 3, 2007


6. Despite Plaintiff's refusal to answer the question at issue in the format proscribed, Plaintiff scored 268.866 points on the Massachusetts Bar Examination, with a passing score equalling 270 points.

7. Plaintiff's refusal to answer the question at issue in the format proscribed; affirmatively accepting, supporting and promoting homosexual marriage & homosexual parenting resulted in the Plaintiff failing the Massachusetts Bar Examination.


Wonderful. It's like a legal version of the Darwin Awards.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:42 PM on July 3, 2007


Guys, you're missing the point. Mary and Jane, you see? The legislature is clearly promoting the liberal agenda of recreational drug use.

The whole baseball-bat-bearing-adulterous-pregnant-lesbian thing was just a decoy.
posted by qvantamon at 4:44 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's getting close to 5 o'clock. My Secular Humanist Homosexual Agenda says it's time for cocktails!
posted by kamikazegopher at 4:49 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Actually, the Bible is pretty clear about the whole "magic" thing. Lev 19:26, Deu 18:10, 2Ki 17:17, Act 8:9 and 19:19... you'd really be more moral if you don't believe in magic.
This is a rather narrow, if not flatly incorrect, view of what the Bible has to say on the subject.

First of all, the passages that you cite do not say not to believe in magic. In fact, they strongly imply that magic is real.

Not believing in magic means not believing that Simon used sorcery to bewitch the people of Samaria, which means not believing the Bible.

So, more accurate than "don't believe in magic" would be "believe in magic, but it's bad".

However, even that is not really an accurate representation of what the Bible has to say on the subject. For example, the rods that Pharaoh's sorcerers transmogrified into serpents were eaten by the rod that Moses and Aaron transmogrified into a serpent.

So I think a really accurate interpretation of the Bible's views on magic is:
  1. It's real;
  2. It's really real;
  3. It's bad when the bad guys use it;
  4. No, seriously, it really is really real;
  5. It's good when the good guys use it.
posted by Flunkie at 5:01 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mmmmm.. Mary and Jane..
Can I watch?
posted by c13 at 5:17 PM on July 3, 2007


I had a professor in law school who had never passed the bar. After law school, his claim to fame was that he refused to answer the question about whether he was a communist on the bar association's character and fitness application. He took the case all the way to the US Supreme Court, and lost, I believe. Oh, yeah, he also represented himself. Good luck, Steve!
posted by MrZero at 5:30 PM on July 3, 2007


57. Plaintiff alleges that "Defendants" have imposed a state law that amounts to a sociopolitical tax with discriminatory economic consequences upon out-of-staters.

"amounts to a sociopolitical tax"?

It seems to make sense for lawyers in Massachusetts to be familiar with Massachusetts law. This fact might make it more difficult for out-of-staters to be admitted, true.

But how this amounts to a tax, or a "sociopolitical tax" I have no idea, unless MA has a precedent for pulling definitions of "taxation" out of one's ass.

Overall, here's my take on the situation: uptight religious law student deliberately avoids, out of squeamish prurience, swotting anything to do with gay marriages, despite these being a prominent feature unique & distinctive to the MA jurisdiction. Unsurprisingly, a question comes up related to gay marriages. Uptight religious idiot thinks, "Oh, shit, maybe I should have studied this, after all. How can I squirm my way out of this self-created disaster....?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:36 PM on July 3, 2007


UbuRoivas, the sad thing is he didn't even have to study that. As someone said earlier in the thread, that's common divorce law, the fact that both sides were female is just scenario. Even if the "oh-my-god-so-unfair-sociopolitical-tax" argument wasn't pure bullshit on principle, this still didn't impose any additional obstacle to answering the question without any knowledge of teh gayz agenda.

Regarding the "oh-my-god-so-unfair" "sociopolitical tax" argument: I think a common denominator for about every law system in the world is that you have to know the laws of wherever you are, period. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense from criminal charges, so, sure as hell, it's not a valid defense for flunking a bar exam.

(Can I declare that Seattle's drizzle is a meteorological tax with discriminatory consequences on people from sunny places? Can I sue God for that?)
posted by qvantamon at 5:58 PM on July 3, 2007


It could have been a boy named Jane.

Or Bill, or George! Anything but Sue!
posted by kirkaracha at 6:07 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or Bill, or George! Anything but Sue!

You made me do it! You made me love you search YouTube for Johnny Cash's A Boy Named Sue -- "Life a'int easy for a boy named Sue!"
posted by ericb at 6:25 PM on July 3, 2007


im in ur bar xam, advancin ur homosecsal ajenda
posted by Snyder at 6:47 PM on July 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


UbuRoivas, the sad thing is he didn't even have to study that. As someone said earlier in the thread, that's common divorce law, the fact that both sides were female is just a scenario.

That may or may not be true. I only studied family law in the Australian jurisdiction & am very hazy on the US situation, but a skim through Wikipedia on US gay marriage law state-by-state revealed a remarkable amount of variation, and MA appears unique in that it seems to have the fullest application. That would suggest to me that one should be familiar with the MA law in this matter. It might be exactly identical to hetero divorce law, but one would have to be up to speed on the local situation there to even be sure of that much.

As for suing over the weather, I think that belongs to a Higher Jurisdiction, and you probably don't have standing there yet.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:49 PM on July 3, 2007


6. Despite Plaintiff's refusal to answer the question at issue in the format proscribed...

7. Plaintiff's refusal to answer the question at issue in the format proscribed;


You keep using this word... I do not think it means what you think it means.
posted by rkent at 6:50 PM on July 3, 2007


Hmm.

This guy was second-year in Jan 2004.
It's likely, then, that he graduated in May of 2005.
He's suing everybody for having flunked the Nov 2006 exam.

I wonder if he sued anybody for having flunked the 2005 bar exam? And I wonder if same-sex questions were on that test, too?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:02 PM on July 3, 2007


Or two married girls who aren't sexually attracted to each other. Marriage =/= sexual attraction

Can two straight people of the same sex legally get married under new Massachusetts law?
posted by kigpig at 7:51 PM on July 3, 2007


Oh man, this complaint is TERRIBLE. Obviously he didn't pay attention in civil procedure, or work with any litigators, or even read a federal court complaint prior to drafting this.

The Federal Rules' notice pleading standard requires a "short, plain" statement of jurisdiction; he writes 40 paragraphs on the subject, meandering in and out of abstruse fed courts doctrines (Rooker-Feldman?!) in an apparent effort to appear impressively knowledgeable. All the while missing the larger point that all of those arguments are manifestly inappropriate at this stage in the litigation: the defendants now have to write a paragraph-by-paragraph answer to this complaint, and with all the legal "reasoning," it's going to read like a summary judgment brief. Oh, not to mention that he got so caught up with abstention that he forgot to even allege that the court had personal jurisdiction over the defendants.

Not to mention all the little WTF mistakes like randomly wrapping words and phrases in quotes ("defendants"), over-italicizing (Pullman Abstention Doctrine) and putting section VI between III and V.... What a very unfortunate plan of action for someone whose ultimate point is that he's qualified to be a lawyer. In addition to being crazy as a loon, he's showing himself to be sloppy, poorly thought through, and condescending. As 'Bob mentioned just above, it looks like this is actually his second attempt, and at the Passachusetts bar, no less. I almost feel sorry for the guy; doesn't he have any friends from school who could've talked him down from this particular ledge?
posted by rkent at 7:51 PM on July 3, 2007


What are the rights of Mary and Jane?

I'm offended, because clearly this question construes that Massachussets approves of illegal drug use. See you in court.
posted by fungible at 8:01 PM on July 3, 2007


Get me---

Denny Crane.
posted by oxford blue at 8:40 PM on July 3, 2007


The question does not say that they're lesbians.

It could have been a boy named Jane.

Or two married girls who aren't sexually attracted to each other. Marriage =/= sexual attraction.


A Boston Marriage!
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:45 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


My law-school friend says that MA is one of the easiest exams to pass in the country...

I've never tried so I can't say, but these numbers place Massachusetts' pass rate (which presumably has some correlation to its exam's difficulty) at 84%* and squarely behind Minnesota, Utah, Mississippi, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana, and Vermont.

* US News and World Report says 83%. Potato, potato.
posted by cribcage at 9:16 PM on July 3, 2007


crib: She's studying for the NY exam. It's probably one of those things where you look down the hardest on the easy option next door.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:29 AM on July 4, 2007


A state's bar exam pass rate may correlate to the difficulty of that state's test, and it can also relate to the aptitude and preparedness of the law school graduates taking that state's test. States (e.g. California) that have the most law schools--including unaccredited (non-ABA approved) law schools--would seem more likely to have test-takers of a wider spectrum of aptitude and preparedness, hence, more failures and a lower state pass rate.
posted by applemeat at 8:08 AM on July 4, 2007


It's pretty clear on the issue - teh butt sex is an affront to the Christian god.

Where do lesbians stand on the issue of teh butt sex?

(candidates will lose points for mentioning proximity to anything with a strap)
posted by Sparx at 8:51 AM on July 4, 2007


Bar pass rates(pdf) by year, per the National Conference of Bar Examiners. I'm not sure what accounts for the discrepancies in the statistics available in other places.

This guy really did go to law school? How the holy fuck did he get through? Was he paying someone to do his work or something? Neither law school nor the bar necessarily test your knowledge of the law - sometimes you can get that wrong, but get some credit anyway if you can correctly identify the issues and if your reasoning is solid and your positions well-supported (or so I've heard), but his reasoning is no such thing.

It looks like some part of what he's attacking (eventually, if you can keep reading) is really the existence of licensing - I've seen good or interesting arguments against the bar, but I don't think he's been too clear about it in this. And he's suing for $9.7 million. I wonder where he gets his pants cleaned?
posted by dilettante at 9:07 AM on July 4, 2007


A state's bar exam pass rate may correlate to the difficulty of that state's test, and it can also relate to the aptitude and preparedness of the law school graduates taking that state's test.

Indeed (hence my italicized equivocation). Looking at that chart, Minnesota's national-high pass rate of 91% is based on graduates from a T1 (tied with BU for #20), a T3, and a T4. Ditto for Massachusetts. So theoretically the numbers control for quality of education — except that you're right, Massachusetts' rate may be lowered by graduates from unaccredited schools. We have 2, Massachusetts School of Law and Southern New England School of Law. Minnesota probably has none, since its bar requires "a degree from a law school that is provisionally or fully approved by the American Bar Association."
posted by cribcage at 12:05 PM on July 4, 2007


Every now and then I consider selectively claiming responsibility for some of the things blamed on the Gay Agenda. Most of them are bad and batshitinsane, but a few, like this, sound kind of awesome.
posted by Tehanu at 1:27 PM on July 4, 2007


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