The case involved a foreign trained lawyer (first law degree from a Law School in London, England, and an advanced law degree, LL.M., from a New York ABA Accredited Law School), who applied to the New York Board of Law Examiners (“BoLE”) to sit for the New York Bar Exam (“Bar Exam”). The Rules of the New York Court of Appeals, which regulates the admission of lawyers to the Bar in New York, required attendance for an enumerated period of time in a foreign law school first, before a person would be able to sit for the Bar Exam. A dispute erupted between the foreign trained lawyer (“Lucy”), represented by Attorney Pascazi, and the BoLE, over compliance with the Attendance Duration Rule. Attorney Pascazi sued on behalf of Lucy.
The Rules of the New York Court of Appeals (“Court of Appeals”) provided for a waiver of pretty much any portion of the Rules governing admission of foreign trained lawyers to the Bar. The BoLE argued to the Trial Court that Lucy should have first sought a waiver from the Court of Appeals, before starting her lawsuit. Attorney Pascazi argued that seeking a waiver first was not a necessary step, and that Lucy had a right to bring her suit, and have it decided on the Rule as written, without any waiver. That to do otherwise would cause the “exception to swallow the rule”.
The Trial Court disagreed with Attorney Pascazi and dismissed Lucy’s case, because she did not first seek a waiver from the Court of Appeals. Attorney Pascazi appealed on behalf of Lucy. The Appellate Court agreed with Attorney Pascazi, and held that seeking a waiver was not a prerequisite to having the Rule interpreted, and the case decided on the Rule as written.
Therefore, the legal precedent which was established is: Persons seeking admission to the New York Bar must have their applications decided on the Rules as written, and even though they may have available to them certain waivers from the Court of Appeals, they need not pursue nor secure said waivers, prior to having their cases decided on the merits, and on the Rules as written.
Should you, a loved one or a friend become involved in a situation, wherein, a governmental body will not decide an application on the law and rules as written, because some sort of waiver may be available, seek competent legal advice as soon as possible. The law concerning waiver is important, complicated, and requires a good experienced lawyer to address. Attorney Pascazi would also like to hear about it. Pascazi Law Offices PLLC represents persons that apply to the government for all sorts of relief.