Woman alleges National Conference of Bar Examiners breached contract

By Robbie Hargett | Jan 26, 2016

BROOKLYN (Legal Newsline) —  A woman is suing a state legal bar examination and admissions company and two of its agents, alleging they refused to cooperate with her in processing her application to practice law.

Jane Doe, proceeding under a pseudonym, filed a lawsuit Jan. 19 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), Penny Gessler and Erica Moeser, alleging breach of contract, constructive fraud and misrepresentation, and negligence.

The plaintiff sought to practice law in the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, and she requested, via the normal procedure, that the NCBE prepare its background investigative report, the complaint states.

On Dec. 16, 2010, the suit says, NCBE e-mailed the plaintiff indicating her request for an investigative report would not be honored if she did not reply immediately and submit a newly signed signature page, which NCBE alleges was not properly executed, although the plaintiff contends that allegation is false.

The plaintiff alleges she did not receive NCBE's e-mail requesting a new signature page until Feb. 8, 2011, at which time she promptly replied via e-mail. Despite her reply, the suit states, NCBE refused to proceed with her application and did not attempt to contact her at any time between Dec. 16, 2010 and Feb. 8, 2011.

On June 3, 2014, the District of Columbia's committee on admissions wrote a letter indicating it would complete the processing of the plaintiff's application for admissions if NCBE completed and submitted a character and fitness investigatory report. However, the suit says, NCBE still refused to cooperate with the plaintiff and the District of Columbia.

As a result, the plaintiff lost the ability to practice law and earn compensation for five years, the suit says.

The plaintiff seeks a judgment of $1 million, plus interest, attorney fees, costs, and disbursements. She is representing herself.  The defendant filed to remove the case to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York because of the diversity of citizenship between the parties and because the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Case number 1:16-CV-00264-PKC-SMG

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