After Federal Court Judge Hon. Morrison C. England filed for summary dissolution in Sacramento County Superior Court, and after Judge England and Torie L. Flournoy wed, and after Torie Flournoy-England was appointed to serve as a member of CaliforniaALL's board of directors, and while CaliforniaALL was in existence -- a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, in which the State Bar of California was named as the sole defendant. Serving on CaliforniaALL's board of directors of CaliforniaALL (which was in a partnership relationship with the State Bar of California) was Torie Flournoy-England, spouse of Hon. Morrison England. State Bar of California Executive Director Judy Johnson and State Bar employee Patricia Lee as well as Judge Morrison C. England were part of CaliforniaALL's Advisory Council. The above photo, which was published on the cover of a local magazine in Sacramento, notes that the Englands wed in May 2008. (Photo:courtesy)
in May 2009, Granda graduated from U.C. Davis School of Law and, like most of her peers, hoped to sit for the July 2009 bar exam. California's Department of Rehabilitation paid the $600 bar exam fee with a check, and Granda was assured that she was properly registered. However, the State Bar of California's Office of Admission, headed by Ms. Gayle Murphy, never processed Granda's application because the Department of Rehabilitation paid the $600 fee with a check, rather than a credit card.
The State Bar of California did not relent, and neither did Granda.
Local and national media expressed outrage after the situation gained publicity as a result of statements by Governor Schwarzenegger, who publicly stated: "It is outrageous that someone who has overcome so much in life is penalized by a bureaucratic error that prevents her from taking the bar exam. Government should work for the people, not against them and I'm calling on the state bar to allow Sara Granda to take next week's test. Sara is a fighter and I am with her all the way.”
"I worked very, very hard for every cent," Granda stated to the local media. "So for everything to come together in the end and for it to just kind of fall through on such a minor, minor detail."It is easy to imagine Sara Granda in a courtroom, questioning witnesses, challenging the opposition, and fighting for justice with the force of her large personality. A ventilator, which she needs to breathe, would hang from the back of her wheelchair. An assistant would help her flip through files, since she cannot move her hands or arms. When she approaches the bench, Ms. Granda would maneuver her chair using her tongue. "So much of what happens in the courtroom is theater," says Ms. Granda, 29, who has lived out her own drama since she became paralyzed from the neck down at age 17. "I'm not sure how much time I will spend in court as an attorney. But I know I could do it." (Photo and Narrative Courtesy of www.alldeaf.com)
CaliforniaALL, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable entity, came about as a result of a San Francisco restaurant meeting between Ruthe Ashley (a Diversity Officer at CalPERS and Vice President of the State Bar of California) and Peter Arth, Jr., Chief of Staff to CPUC President Michael Peevey. Also present at that meeting was Professor Sarah E. Redfield.
Donations to CaliforniaALL came primarily from utility companies (including AT&T, Sempra Energy, and PG&E). In its brief existence from 2008 to 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2 million, including an unusually large sub rosa contribution of $780,000 from the State Bar of California Foundation in 2008. Other than in Foundation tax records and a 2 by 2 inch blurb in its 2008 annual report, the sub rosa contribution was never mentioned again – not by the State Bar of California, not in the Cal Bar Journal, not in the Foundation's "newsroom," and not by anyone or any publication of CaliforniaALL.
CaliforniaALL was abruptly dissolved in July 2010.
California Bar Foundation (owned and controlled by the State Bar of California) wrote:
Serving on the board of directors of CaliforniaALL (which was in a partnership relationship with the State Bar of California) were Torie Flournoy-England, the esteemed and educated spouse of a Sacramento- based federal judge, Hon. Morrison England. Judge Morrison England, as well as then-State Bar of California Executive Director Judy Johnson and State Bar employee Patricia Lee were part of CaliforniaALL's Advisory Council. See below.
SARA GRANDA V. STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA
True to her spirit, Granda filed an action in federal court seeking an order directing the State Bar of California to allow her to take the fast-approaching bar exam.
Making an appearance and vigorously contending that the federal court had no jurisdiction over the State Bar of California were Lawrence Yee, Rachel Grunberg, and Mark Torres-Gil of the State Bar of California office of General Counsel (the same office that drafted the partnership agreement between CaliforniaALL and the State Bar of California.) In addition, the State Bar of California also retained the services of a private law firm -- Kerr & Wagstaffe.
The action Sara Granda v. the State Bar of California (Case Number 2:09-cv-02015-MCE) was adjudicated by Judge England, who promptly dismissed it without giving Granda the chance to amend or plead around the issue of Eleventh Amendment Immunity by, for example, naming Judy Johnson as a defendant in her individual capacity. In addition, Granda's claim for monetary relief was completely ignored by the judge, and was never ruled upon.
Neither Judge England nor the defendant or its counsel disclosed to Granda the ongoing relationships relating to CaliforniaALL.