São Paulo Diary: “The First Thing We Do is Retest All the Lawyers”

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“There are four ways of getting into the OAB. One is passing the test. The other is paying the OAB directly for a license to practice. This costs between R$30,000 and R$40,000. The third is to pay someone to take the test for you. This costs around R$10,000. The last is to buy the answer key, which costs R$2,500,” said the law student, justifying his participation in the fraud scheme.

In August, another test administered by VUNESP was also cancelled on suspicion of fraud — a public examination for administrative employees of the São Paulo City Council. The cancellation was initiated at the time by VUNESP itself, which noticed that the highest scores were achieved on the test were people with the same surname.

Deprive a capitalist of his God-given right to lie and cheat and steal, and the poor sap stands a better than even chance of becoming one of the abominable wards of the state from whose grimy fingers the Reagan Administration hopes to snatch the ark of democracy. –Lewis Lapham, “Moral Dandyism,” Harper’s (New York, July 1985).

OAB apura venda de prova por R$ 2.500: “São Paulo bar association investigates sale of bar exam for [about US$1,400].”

Answers to a competitive exam for posts with the federal highway patrol was recently reported on offer for some $R40,000 (US$22,000).

An interesting comparative price-check, if true, although the bar exam is pass-fail, while the police exam is designed to select a fixed number of high-scorers.

A follow-up to

Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil em São Paulo está investigando uma informação de que a prova do exame nº 134, que seria aplicada no último domingo (9) e foi cancelada por suspeita de fraude, teria sido vendida para um aluno de Santo André, na Grande São Paulo, por R$ 2.500.

The Order of Brazilian Attorneys in São Paulo is checking out a report that the page proofs of bar exam No. 134, scheduled to be given last Sunday but canceled on suspicion of fraud, was sold to a student in Santo André, Greater São Paulo, for R$2,500.

Segundo a assessoria de imprensa da OAB-SP, o aluno teria comprado a prova de um funcionário da Fundação Vunesp, responsável pela impressão e aplicação do exame. Com o cancelamento do exame, esse aluno teria procurado um jornal da região para apresentar a documentação que comprovava que o conteúdo havia vazado. O repórter que publicou a matéria foi chamado para depor na OAB-SP e apresentou partes da prova que o aluno teria comprado. Segundo a OAB, o documento era original.

According to the OAB-SP press office, the student bough the exam from an employee of the VUNESP Foundation, which is in charge of printing and adminstering the test. When the exam was canceled, this student went to an area newspaper to present documents proving the contents had leaked. The reporter who published the article was summoned to give a statement at OAB-SP, and presented part of the test the student said he had purchased. The OAB said the document was authentic.

Globo seems to have a policy of never, ever admitting the existence of its competitors. Why can it not tell us the name of the newspaper that ran the story, for example?

The fact that the newspaper published the story for everyone with R$1 to read would tend to suggest that it was not seeking anonymity as a news source. What other legitimate reason is there for not naming the source of a news report if not a request for anonymity?

It was Bruno Ribeiro for the Diário do ABC.

A pretty decent newspaper, the Diário, I tend to think, though I have not studied it in depth. (It does, however, commit some hearsay to paper and ink in the article that follows.)

Let us go to Bruno for the rest of the story, therefore.

After all, Bruno had it straight from the horse’s mouth, and the story apparently panned out.

Bruno’s horse has a lot more to say than G1’s rewriting of the OAB press release relates, what is more.

Um estagiário de Direito morador da região (que pediu para não ser identificado) diz ter pago R$ 2.500 para receber antecipadamente a prova da OAB-SP (Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil Seccional São Paulo), que seria realizada no domingo. Ele teria dividido o valor entre outros quatro amigos e cada um teria pago R$ 500. A prova foi cancelada no sábado por suspeita de fraude.

A law intern from the area (who asked not to be identified) says he paid R$2,500 to get an advance copy of the OAB-SP test scheduled for last Sunday. He sayshe shared the cost with four friends, each of whom contributed R$500. The test was cancelled on Saturday on suspicion of fraud.

A suspeita se deu após o professor de um cursinho preparatório para o exame da ordem dar duas questões da prova para seus alunos, em São João da Boa Vista, no Interior do Estado.

The suspicion arose after a prep-course teacher for the exam gave two questions from the exam to his students, in São João da Boa Vista, in São Paulo state.

Um promotor da cidade descobriu as questões e repassou ao procurador-geral de Justiça, Rodrigo César Rebello Pinho. Esse, por sua vez, encaminhou a mensagem ao presidente da OAB-SP, Luiz Flávio Borges D’Urso, que pediu que o exame fosse suspenso.

A city prosecutor discovered the questions and passed them to the state attorney general, who, in turn, contacted OAB-SP president Borges D’Urso, who called for the exam to be suspended.

O estagiário da região, que também fez cursinho preparatório, afirmou ter recebido a proposta de receber a prova durante as aulas. Ele não revelou qual era o cursinho. Disse que a origem do vazamento das questões se deu na Vunesp (Fundação para o Vestibular da Universidade Estadual Paulista), que preparou o exame.

The law intern, who was also taking a prep course, said he received the proposal to buy the test during his classes. He did not reveal which course he was taking. He said the origin of the leak was VUNESP, which prepared the exam.

“Tenho certeza de que a prova é a mesma que seria aplicada. Conferi as questões com as de outras provas da OAB. Não é uma prova de edição anterior e é tão difícil quando as demais”, afirma o estudante.

“I am certain this is the same test that was to be given. I compared the questions to previous bar exams. This is not a previous text, and is just as hard as the others,” the student says.

Smart kid: He reality-tested the product before handing over the cash. He probably deserves to be a lawyer, based on that fact alone.

“Existem quatro maneiras de se entrar na OAB. Uma é passando na prova. A segunda é pagando diretamente à OAB para obter uma carteira. Isso gira entre R$ 30 mil e R$ 40 mil. A terceira forma é pagando alguém para fazer a prova por você. Isso custa cerca de R$ 10 mil. A última é comprado o gabarito, que custa R$ 2.500”, diz o estudante de Direito, justificando a participação dele no esquema de fraude no exame.

There are four ways of passing the bar. One is passing the test. The other is paying the OAB directly for a license to practice. This costs between R$30,000 and R$40,000. The third is to pay someone to take the test for you. This costs around R$10,000. The last is to buy the answer key, which costs R$2,500,” said the law student, justifying his participation in the fraud scheme.

Say what again?

This is kind of a gratuitous — but also an extremely, extremely serious — accusation.

Can you really buy a law license for R$40,000 directly from the OAB, without taking the bar exam?

Can you really slip a ringer in to take the exam for you?

This point deserves following up on.

You might even question why you would publish that accusation at this point, unless the source can back that statement or you can corroborate it independently.

Can we expect an interview with someone who got their law license this way soon?

Will the federal police, which is looking into the case, also look into that charge?

But it is also a statement that is, I think — from a PR point of view — deadly to just leave hanging.

General Figueiredo believed that “If Globo does not report it, it never happened.”

But that just ain’t necessarily so anymore.

If I were the OAB-SP, I would be rapidly deploying to rebut that startling charge, rather than relying on good old Globo to obligingly simply fail to mention it.

O rapaz diz que esta foi a primeira vez que ele fez o exame para a Ordem e que ficou revoltado com o cancelamento da prova.

The young man said this was the first time he has taken the bar exam and that he was angry when the test was canceled.

A OAB informou que o presidente da Comissão de Exame de Ordem, Braz Martins Neto, irá analisar a prova obtida ontem à noite pelo Diário para concluir se é a mesma que seria aplicada no final de semana passado.

The OAB said the president of its exam committee, Mr. Martins, will analyze the test obtained by this newspaper to see if it really is the test that was to be given Sunday.

G1 has just confirmed that it was.

Score one for the credibility of the Diário‘s report, and its source.

Will it also analyze the other statements by the angry young law student?

Esta foi a primeira vez que a OAB cancelou o exame por suspeita de fraude desde os anos 70. A segunda fase da prova seria em 28 de janeiro. A nova prova só deve ocorrer no ano que vem.

This was the first time the OAB has canceled the exam on suspicion of fraud since the 1970s The second phase of the test was to be held January 28. The new test is not due to be given until next year.

The Globo coverage dwells at some length on OAB-SP’s determination to hold VUNESP responsible for this shocking! shocking! lapse.

A follow-up from the Diário a couple of days later notes the beginning of the federal police investigation and notes that VUNESP had another test cancelled in August.

A cópia que D’Urso possui foi entregue anteontem a ele pelo promotor Ernani de Menezes Vilhena Júnior, da comarca de São Sebastião da Grama, na região de Campinas. Foi Vilhena quem denunciou a fraude, no sábado, ao procurador-geral de Justiça Rodrigo César Rebello Pinho.

The copy in D’Urso’s possession was turned over the day before yesterday by prosecutor Ernani de Menezes Vilhena Júnior from São Sebastião da Grama, in the Campinas area. It was Vilhena who denounced the fraud on Saturday to the state attorney general.

A cópia da prova teria chegado ao promotor por meio de um professor de cursinho ou de uma aluna. Isso só será confirmado quando ele for ouvido pela PF. No papel, consta apenas parte das questões, de 19 a 30.

The copy of the test reportedly came to the local prosecutor through a prep-course teacher or a student. This will only be confirmed when he gives his statement to the feds. The paper contains only a portion of the questions, Nos. 19-30.

D’Urso disse que a OAB é responsável apenas pela elaboração das perguntas. “A prova é confeccionada, diagramada e reproduzida na Vunesp (Fundação para o Vestibular da Universidade Estadual Paulistana)”, disse o advogado, afirmando que o vazamento do exame não teria partido na OAB. D’Urso acredita que o esquema possa ter ocorrido na Vunesp.

D’Urso said the OAB is responsible only for preparing the questions. “The test is made up, laid out, and printed at VUNESP,” said the lawyer, saying that the leak did not come from the OAB. D’Urso believes the scheme may have from inside VUNESP.

“We are not responsible, and cannot be held responsible.”

This is the general tenor of the gentleman’s message, I think.

But I aso think I read that the formatting of the pages turned in supported this contention — that these were printer’s proofs of the final product, that is.

Then again, doesn’t anyone from the OAB proofread the tests they write? Interesting: Trying to sort this out might involve some familiarity with modern editorial workflow, after all.

Uma Comissão de Sindicância foi formada na OAB para investigar a suposta fraude. A comissão será liderada pela vice-presidente da Ordem, Márcia Regina Machado Melaré.

The OAB set up a commission to look into the alleged fraud, to be led by VP Márcia Regina Machado Melaré.

É essa comissão que analisará a prova obtida pelo Diário anteontem. Um candidato morador da região disse ter comprado o questionário a R$ 2.500. Segundo ele, o teste foi vendido para alunos de cursinhos preparatórios. As questões de múltipla escolha estavam todas resolvidas.

This commission will analyze the test obtained by this newspaper the day before yesterday. A candidate who lives in the region says he bought the example for R$2,5000. He says it was on sale by students of prep courses. The multiple-choice questions were all pre-answered.

Em agosto, outro teste aplicado pela Vunesp também foi cancelado por suspeita de fraude. Era um concurso público para técnicos administrativos da Câmara Municipal de São Paulo.

In August, another test administered by VUNESP was also cancelled on suspicion of fraud — a public examination for administrative employees of the São Paulo City Council.

O cancelamento partiu, na época, da própria Vunesp, que percebeu que as notas mais altas para o cargo eram de pessoas que tinham o mesmo sobrenome.

The cancellation was initiated at the time by VUNESP itself, which noticed that the highest scores on the test were all achieved by people with the same surname.

Good genes?

On the general subject of nepotism au gogo, see also

Ainda em agosto, a Vunesp informou que abriria sindicância interna e faria um boletim de ocorrência sobre o caso.

In August, VUNESP announced it would open an internal investigation and file a police report in the case.

A prova foi remarcada para 13 de janeiro. Os 110 mil candidatos inscritos estão sendo notificados pelos Correios sobre os locais do exame.

The test was rescheduled for January 13. The 110,000 candidates are being notified by mail as to the exam locations.

A Vunesp ainda não se pronunciou sobre o episódio deste final de semana envolvendo o exame da OAB.

VUNESP has yet to commment on the incident involving the OAB-SP bar exam.

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