A Salt Lake attorney has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Utah State Bar is violating his client's civil rights by prohibiting him from taking the bar's entrance exam.

Brian Barnard's suit identifies the plaintiff only by the initials "L.R.T.," saying that giving a name may further prejudice bar officials.Barnard charges that L.R.T. was graduated from law school, received a juris doctorate in 1974 and applied to take the bar exam in 1985.

In the application for the exam, the plaintiff revealed that in 1975 he was arrested and charged with an unspecified federal felony.

He served a sentence from Oct. 1975 to March 1979 and, according to the suit, has been free of criminal activity since then.

The recently filed suit alleges that the application was referred to the Character and Fitness Committee of the Bar and that the hearing held on it was conducted in an "informal and slipshod manner."

The suit said at one point in the proceedings, a "non-lawyer administrative employee" was allowed to interrogate the plaintiff.