Saturday, July 15, 2017

U.S. Dept. of Justice investigation into mental health screening by Fla. Supreme Court on bar applicants

A FOIA response May 18, 2017 confirms a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the mental health screening imposed by the Florida Supreme Court on bar applicants. Nelson D. Hermilla, Chief, Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts Branch, Civil Rights Division, wrote,

Dear Mr. Gillespie: This is in response to your April 29, 2015 Freedom of Information Act request, received by the Civil Rights Division, seeking access to records on the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the mental health screening imposed by the Florida Supreme Court on bar applicants.

The records you have requested pertain to an ongoing law enforcement proceeding. After
consideration of the responsive records, I have determined that access to the documents should be denied pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §552(b)(7)(A), since disclosure thereof could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings. I have further determined that certain information within these records that is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C.§552(b)(7)(A) should also be denied pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §552(b)(5), since the records consist of attorney work product and include intra-agency memoranda containing pre-decisional, deliberative material; and 5 U.S.C. §552(b)(7)(C) since disclosure of information contained in these records could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy...

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners (FBBE) https://www.floridabarexam.org/

The FBBE 2015-16 proposed budget cites a "federal investigation" and a $100,000 increase in attorneys fees: "This is primarily due to the increase in attorney fees with regard to the federal investigation by $100K". (Page 14). "Bob Burgoyne of Norton Rose Fulbright has been retained to represent the board in the federal investigation." (Page 41)



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