Note: I shall also be sending this same to letter to the Deans of all eleven ABA-accredited law schools in Florida. If they have not done so already, these law school deans should be using the power and prestige of their positions to petition the Florida Supreme Court to allow their graduates to practice law in the State of Florida via the process of diploma privilege.
August 19, 2020
Governor Ron DeSantis
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Dear Governor DeSantis:
You are a busy man, so I will get to the point.
Today, August 19, the Florida Bar Exam was to have taken place. The bar exam was originally scheduled to be conducted on site in the cities of Tampa and Orlando in July of 2020, but following an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in the State of Florida, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners decided to change the format of the bar exam into an online exam and postpone the bar exam until today. (The Board is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Florida and handles all matters of bar admission.) Due to technical issues with the online exam software, however, the Board at the 11th hour postponed the bar exam yet again–now to “a date to be determined in October.”
As a law professor in the College of Business at the University of Central Florida, as a licensed attorney in good standing authorized to practice law in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and as a person who once had to take a bar exam himself, I find this state of affairs regarding the Florida Bar Exam to be deplorable, and I respectfully ask you to use the moral force of your powerful office to intervene in this matter. Specifically, I respectfully request that you take the following common sense steps to correct this untenable situation:
- First, that you issue an apology on behalf of the State of Florida to the current cohort of Florida bar applicants.
- Second, that you request from the Board a complete list of all bar applicants who have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school.
- Lastly, that you petition the Supreme Court of Florida on their behalf to be allowed to practice law in the State of Florida via the process of diploma privilege.
The Board and the Florida Supreme Court must be held accountable for this mess. With your help, they will!
Thank you for time and consideration,
s/ F. E. Guerra-Pujol
Associate Instructor of Law
University of Central Florida