I don’t know how the New York Law Journal managed to get through this entire story without mentioning Above the Law. But we’ll deal with that later. For now, let’s talk about the New York Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) finally admitting that the results for the July 2010 bar exam were in fact accidentally released on Friday afternoon. According to the report, the list of bar passers was accidentally published while they were preparing to allow individual bar exam takers to look up their results using their BOLE IDs.

It’s a point I made in the comments on this post. Once the list was out on Above the Law, there was no reason for NY BOLE to keep it a secret, so they made the full list available for public viewing on Saturday — a good three or four days before they intended to do so.

If New York Law Journal reporter Joel Stashenko and/or his editor actually paid attention to the world around them, they could have had some fun comparing the BOLE statements published on Above the Law on Friday with the ones from BOLE today. Let’s play “spot the horribly mismanaged press policy,” at the expense of NY BOLE….

As we reported on Friday, we called the New York Board of Law Examiners after the list of bar exam passers accidentally appeared on its website. They told us:

  • “We didn’t post any results.”
  • “We have not distributed any results.”
  • “The results must have come from somewhere else.”

It was classic “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes” type of response. Since we had multiple sources for this, including our own firsthand viewing, we ran with the story despite BOLE’s denials.

Later, when the full list was up, BOLE told us, amazingly, that “no list ever appeared on [the NY BOLE] website” and that “any information was not published by us.” When I explained that I was in fact looking at screenshots of their website that showed the pass list for the July 2010 bar exam, the BOLE spokesperson reiterated that no such list was ever published.

Today, they are signing a different tune:

The board planned to make a list of successful candidates available on Tuesday and to post a public list on Wednesday. But the inadvertent posting Friday changed that timetable, according to John J. McAlary, executive director of the board.

“While the list of passing candidates was being prepared for posting on the board website, the list was briefly available for public view. To ensure that all candidates receive accurate notification of their results, the board advanced the release,” Mr. McAlary said. He added that no confidential or personal information was released publicly.

Of course, this list we published Friday was the real list. As far as we can tell, no changes have been made from what we showed you on Friday with what was “officially” released by BOLE.

Obviously, it was a huge screw-up on BOLE’s part. But screw-ups happen. What’s less defensible is the real-time lying about screwing up. Sure, BOLE can get the New York Law Journals of the world to carry water for them and not call them out on their material misrepresentations, but lying to people is pretty pathetic when it comes from the people who are supposed to maintain ethical standards for New York attorneys. As one commenter said:

So you mean they’re violating RPC 8.4 by committing acts of dishonesty that reflect poorly on the legal profession? I can’t believe it!

Seriously, NY BOLE — CHECK YOU MPRE. If somebody calls and asks you a direct question, try issuing a “no comment” (or just telling the truth) instead of outright lying. You’ll end up looking better.

Bar Exam Results Released Early [New York Law Journal]

Earlier: The UNOFFICIAL New York Bar Exam Results Accidentally Posted on the Web Briefly Today.
NY Bar Exam Results Up Briefly on NY BOLE Website


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