May 22, 2008
The New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department denied bar admission to an unnamed applicant in light of a past history that included a conviction (and jail sentence) for possession with intent to distribute LSD, leaving the scene of a property damage automobile accident, possession of marijuana and jumping a subway turnstile. Noting that the applicant had made efforts to address debt issues, the court concluded that admission was not warranted under the circumstances. The applicant had passed the bar examination.
The incidents recited above took place in 1995. There is no indication in the order whether the court might reconsider its decision at a future date. (Mike Frisch)
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Perhaps the turnstile jumping can be forgiven if LSD boy thought he was escaping an octopus leg at the time.
Seriously, this seems more like a PR move -- look! we keep the rif-raf out! -- than an even-handed application of professional entry standards. People have been admitted over far more recent issues than this. And current members frequently cite substance abuse issues as a mitigating factor to deflect discipline. I know the bar has the power to do so, but this was 13 years ago and had punishment attached.
I hope soon the bar will find that he paid his dues. Especially since they could impose conditions on his admission which would answer any current concerns about recidivism, if any, or the debt issues. But I doubt that a clean criminal record since 1995 suggests recidivism, so what exactly is the principle now of denying admission?
Posted by: Alan Childress | May 22, 2008 8:35:06 AM