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Are Felons Allowed to Practice Law?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by jpeirpont, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. jpeirpont

    jpeirpont Well-Known Member

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    If they have their criminal record cleared?
     
  2. Joe Cool

    Joe Cool Well-Known Member

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    This is a trick question, no?
     
  3. theincumbent

    theincumbent Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the State, and is usually not a matter of having the conviction "cleared."

    The admission to the Bar of a state is governed by that particular Board of Bar Examiners with each
    state having certain requirements for Character and Fitness. The easy answer to your question is "maybe," depending upon the severity of the conviction.

    A common conviction in law school that did not prevent bar admission (in most cases) was DUI.

    Thinking of taking the jump; going to law school?
     
  4. jpeirpont

    jpeirpont Well-Known Member

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  5. Pelikan2

    Pelikan2 Well-Known Member

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    You can be a lawyer and have a felony conviction on your record (cleared or not). As was said, bar fitness standards differ by state, but they're all fairly complex and/or flexible. It matters how recent the conviction was and whether it evinces dishonesty. For instance, you're probably always going to be found unfit if you have a felony conviction for fraud.
     
  6. romafan

    romafan Well-Known Member

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    no sins of moral turpitude...[​IMG]
     
  7. edmorel

    edmorel Well-Known Member

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    If criminals couldn't practice law, we'd have no lawyers.

    (awaiting odoreater F.U.!!!!!)
     
  8. Piobaire

    Piobaire Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't there a white supremist, with a clean criminal record, banned from taking the bar in Ohio a few years ago?
     
  9. Flieger

    Flieger Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I need to weigh in here..
     
  10. DNW

    DNW Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I need to weigh in here..

    As a convicted felon presently practicing law?
     
  11. odoreater

    odoreater Well-Known Member

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    If criminals couldn't practice law, we'd have no lawyers.

    (awaiting odoreater F.U.!!!!!)


    Lol. Actually, I know you meant this in jest, but in most states, a criminal conviction will probably disqualify you from being admitted, especially if it was recent. At the very least it will result in further investigation rather than your application just being rubber stamped by the character and fitness committee.

    Remember, lawyers often have millions of dollars of other people's money in their trust accounts, so, maintaining the public's trust is very important.
     
  12. Teger

    Teger Well-Known Member

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    what offensive will result in you losing your legal license?
     
  13. odoreater

    odoreater Well-Known Member

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    what offensive will result in you losing your legal license?

    The quickest way to lose your license is to commingle personal funds with trust funds. That's a pretty much guaranteed disbarment.
     
  14. Teger

    Teger Well-Known Member

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    The quickest way to lose your license is to commingle personal funds with trust funds. That's a pretty much guaranteed disbarment.

    this is a bizarre question, but how about non fraud related felonies that do not result in jail time? things like a DUI?
     
  15. rnoldh

    rnoldh Well-Known Member

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    no sins of moral turpitude...[​IMG]

    +1

    Bill C. surrendered his law license in Arkansas.

    Not because of perjury or being impeached but because getting a BJ from Monica L. was a crime against nature.
     
  16. DNW

    DNW Well-Known Member

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    this is a bizarre question, but how about non fraud related felonies that do not result in jail time? things like a DUI?

    A DUI usually doesn't get you disbarred. If it did, there'd be a heck of a lot less practicing attorneys in this country because, as a profession, we have one of the highest rates (if not the highest) of alcoholics.
     
  17. Bird's One View

    Bird's One View Well-Known Member

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    A DUI usually doesn't get you disbarred. If it did, there'd be a heck of a lot less practicing attorneys in this country because, as a profession, we have one of the highest rates (if not the highest) of alcoholics.

    I have seen this claimed elsewhere. If you have beat out film editors, that is impressive / horrifying.
     
  18. Ataturk

    Ataturk Well-Known Member

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    Can felons practice law? Sure, until they get caught.

    I'm sure somebody beat me to this one.
     
  19. Piobaire

    Piobaire Well-Known Member

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    A DUI usually doesn't get you disbarred. If it did, there'd be a heck of a lot less practicing attorneys in this country because, as a profession, we have one of the highest rates (if not the highest) of alcoholics.

    Nurses. Oh man, between booze and drugs? Think about that.
     
  20. Benzito

    Benzito Well-Known Member

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    Three relevant (and real) cases:

    1. Peer of mine in law school was formerly imprisoned for either being a drug dealer or merely a money launderer for a drug dealer. Served two years or so and paid a huge fine, got a CPA license, cleaned up his shit and passed the bar. They denied him twice, but he ultimately got his ticket after several employers and other professionals vouched for him turning his life around.

    2. There is a current attorney in my jurisdiction who was caught jerking it in a mall parking lot while (allegedly) following around young women. Got a public reprimand (in the bar journal, no less), but still in practice.

    3. NYT reported a fella who passed the recent bar, but was denied admission b/c he owed too much in student loans. WTF??? How is he supposed to pay back the money without a lawyer job?
     

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