Quadriplegic allowed to take Calif. bar exam

Kathy Woods Jul. 31, 2009, 11:41am

Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline)- A law school graduate who was blocked from taking the state bar exam over a technicality took her case to the state Supreme Court and won.

Sara Granda, a quadriplegic since a 1997 car accident, was refused by the California State Bar to take the exam because she did not have a credit card, the high court ruled.

Although it was proven that the state had paid the $600.00 test fee, the online registration requires it to be paid for by credit card. Therefore, the application was not processed.

Granda, 29, and the state bar had worked together to accommodate her special needs in order to take the exam and then this month she was told that she had not properly registered and would not be allowed to take the test.

Granda who breathes with the help of a ventilator, said: "I'm sick of being on public assistance. I want to work."

California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a letter to the Supreme Court saying, "The system needs to be flexible enough to accommodate extraordinary individuals like Sara Granda, I hope that you allow Ms. Granda a chance to achieve the goal that she has pursued with such incredible devotion."

Gail Murphy, a bar association official, said the law governing the exam "does not give us discretion to accept applications past the deadline."

Granda graduated in May. State paid aides have been helping her for the big test, which begins Tuesday. The state Supreme Court reached its decision in closed session.

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