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News Posted on January 8, 2014

California Supreme Court Approves Bar License for Sergio Garcia

The California Supreme Court has ruled that Sergio Garcia, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, may be licensed to practice law in the state. The decision constituted a victory not only for Garcia but also for the Committee of Bar Examiners and Dean Kevin R. Johnson, who was among the attorneys representing the Committee in the case. 

The Committee of Bar Examiners supported Garcia's application in briefs arguing that state and federal laws would permit Garcia to be licensed as an attorney in California.  In addition to Dean Johnson, Professor Emeritus Bill Ong Hing and attorneys from the State Bar of California and the law firms of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Minami Tamaki LLP were also on the briefs.

The California Legislature, led by Assembly member Luis Alejo '01, passed a law in September 2013 expressly allowing undocumented immigrants to be eligible for admission to the bar. Citing that law, the Court, in a unanimous opinion by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye '84, ruled in favor of Garcia on January 2.

For further details on the case, read Dean Johnson's ImmigrationProf Blog post by following the link below.