Friday, December 1, 2006

An Admissions Issue

by Mike Frisch

The Supreme Court of Oregon recently denied admission to an attorney who is admitted (but inactive) in Illinois on character and fitness grounds. The applicant is also licensed as a physician in Illinois and served briefly as a vice-dean of academic affairs at the College for Medical Sciences in Katmandu, Nepal.

The issues regarding admission relate to claims by the applicant that a fellow law student had cheated, a defamation action he had filed against an assistant dean of the University of Illinois, an airport arrest for disorderly conduct and a claim that his opponent in a judicial election had run a smear campaign. The Oregon authorities sought a psychological evaluation and recommended against admission after the applicant declined to participate.  An evaluation was later done but the applicant sought to place conditions on the use of the results. The Court declined to consider the report and rejected the suggestion that the applicant could place conditions on its consideration of the report.

One interesting aspect of the decision is that it points out that one bar may decline admission even where another has admitted the applicant.  Here, the applicant had been admitted ("admission [in Illinois] was not without its difficulties") and apparently had been in good standing for over a decade.

The opinion is linked here.

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Mike, To me another interesting aspect of the decision is that he represented himself in pro per. I really believe the case could have gone the other way if presented by a more objective advocate. Especially since the real sin here seems to be that he is trouble, meddlesome, a control freak, and unable to deal with the real world outside his own subjective perceptions, then representing himself played into that image that either he created or was created for him by the bar committee. I am not trying to be an ad for your friends at APRL (I don't really know if they are your friends, it is just an expression) or other outside counsel, but so many of these discipline cases seem to be about the petitioner playing Don Quixote rather than trying to get or keep their license. This one in particular looks that way. --Alan

Posted by: Childress | Dec 1, 2006 8:46:22 AM

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