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May 07, 2014

Precedent is everything

Law Students Push to License Dead Chinese Attorney

SAN FRANCISCO ― In a decision still studied in law schools as a 19th century lesson in bigotry, the California Supreme Court in 1890 denied Hong Yeng Chang's application to practice law solely because he was Chinese.

Now, students at a Northern California law school are working to right that ancient wrong. They hope to persuade the current court to reverse its 124-year-old decision.

Students at the University of California, Davis, School of Law's Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and two professors have submitted an application to practice law to the State Bar of California on behalf of Chang. It is a first step before approaching the high court, which licenses California's attorneys.

The state bar vets all California applications and recommends approval or denial to the California Supreme Court. The Supreme Court usually follows the recommendation of the state bar.

"This is a unique situation and we don't know what the Committee of Bar Examiners will do with the application," spokeswoman Laura Ernde said. The committee is scheduled to consider the application in late June.

Posted by joke du jour at May 7, 2014 09:02 PM

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