The National Law Journal January 04, 2011 – A federal judge has blocked the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners from digging further into the mental health of class-action plaintiffs who are suing over certain questions on the state’s bar admission application.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Pratt affirmed on Dec. 23 a magistrate’s order prohibiting the board from conducting further discovery about the plaintiffs, whose 2009 lawsuit alleges that questions on the application related to applicants’ mental health violate federal disability law.
Pratt ruled that the board of law examiners could not take additional discovery pertaining to the mental health of five anonymous plaintiffs who are members of the ACLU Indiana University School of Law Indianapolis Chapter. Those plaintiffs submitted affidavits last year stating that they planned to apply for admission to the bar, planned to affirmatively answer a question on the application asking whether they had been treated for mental or emotional problems, and did not believe that their mental health history impeded their ability to practice law. The plaintiffs submitted the affidavits to bolster the ACLU student chapter’s argument that it had standing to serve as a class representative in the case.