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After Being Mistakenly Told They Failed the Bar Exam, Georgia Test Takers Sue

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on September 19, 2016 2:01 PM

Scores of bar exam takers in Georgia were told that they had failed when they actually passed. According to the Georgia Supreme Court, 90 bar exam takers were told that they had failed the July 2015 or February 2016 tests when they had in fact passed. That means that some of the test takers had to wait more than a year to find out that, whoopsie, they hadn't failed the bar after all.

Now those once-future lawyers are doing what lawyers do: suing the company that scored the exams.

Worse Than Failing the Bar?

You spend three years and thousands of dollars studying for a law degree; dedicate months to studying for the bar; spend sleepless nights worrying above the exam. And then you fail. It's demoralizing, disappointing, and potentially career ending.

But the only thing worse than failing the bar might be being told you failed when you hadn't. And that's just what happened to law students like Lloyd Dan Murray Jr., a graduate of the Savannah Law School who sat for the Georgia bar in the summer of 2015. Murray was told that he failed and, in the year that passed before the mistake was corrected, took the bar exam two more times.

Now Murray is filing a class action, according to the Wall Street Journal. But he's not going after the Georgia bar, he's going after the company that graded the exam, ILG Information Technologies. In a complaint filed earlier this month, Murray claims that ILG negligently violated its duty to bar exam takers to ensure that bar exam grades "were accurately calculated, recorded, and/or reported."

Law Students v. Bar Exam Tech

When the Georgia Supreme Court announced the mistake earlier this month, the court referred only to a scoring "aberration" and did not refer to ILG or further explain what went wrong. But according to Murray's suit, it was an alleged error in ILG's software failed to properly rescale essay scores, leading to the false reports that students had failed.

Murray's class action isn't the first lawsuit over bar exam technology gone bad, either. As the Journal notes, ExamSoft, the maker of test-taking software used in 43 states, was sued after server errors kept bar exam takers from uploading their work during the July 2014 exam. ExamSoft ended up settling that class action for $2.1 million.

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