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California Supreme Court Admits Undocumented Immigrant to State Bar

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

January 2, 2014 - In a decision filed today, the California Supreme Court granted a motion filed by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California to admit Sergio C. Garcia, an undocumented immigrant, to the State Bar, granting Garcia a license to practice law in California.  The court’s decision was unanimous and was authored by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. Justice Ming Chin also filed a short concurring opinion.

The court’s decision was based in part on a new statute, passed by the California Legislature in September 2013 and signed by the Governor on October 5, 2013, that explicitly authorizes the court to admit to the State Bar an applicant who is not lawfully present in the United States and who has fulfilled the requirements to practice law.  The new California statute — Business and Professions Code section 6064, subdivision (b) — became effective on January 1, 2014.

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Kate Powers is an associate in the litigation department at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. She holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School where she served as a Notes Editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. She currently volunteers with Her Justice in New York. Read More

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