Saturday, April 18, 2009
When It Rains It Poors: Now Texas Has Revoked License of Solo Practitioner For Unpaid Student Loan Debt
Posted by Alan Childress
As a follow-up to Mike's story Thursday on the New York bar applicant who was denied admission for student load debt, consider that even existing law licenses are at risk. The National Law Journal's Leigh Jones reports Monday (found here at law.com) on this harrowing tale:
He had been granted conditional admission in 2001 and an extension later, but still owed some $67,000.
A year later, the board found that he had not taken care of his debt and recommended the revocation of his license. A trial court later affirmed the decision.
In arguing against the revocation of his license in the appeals court, ... [he] argued that the board erred in finding that he lacked good moral character. The appeals panel was not persuaded ... Santulli, who represented himself, said that he plans to hire a lawyer to appeal the decision.
As Mike has pointed out many times on this site, based on his experience as a bar prosecutor, there's wisdom to that last sentence. And in other news, PBS is just finishing up its Masterpiece Classic's presentation of Dickens' Little Dorrit.
Compare Mike's post last month on an Illinois hearing board that "concluded that a lawyer's license should be 'monitored rather than revoked' in a case where the attorney had diverted to himself over $30,000 in fees, half of which were due to his firm." The lawyer's explanation: behind on house note and bills, from paying debts including "repaying about $65,000 in student loans" and credit cards. Hmmmm. Not repay loans = untrustworthy = revoke license. Repay loans by stealing from firm = worthy of redemption = nine month suspension then probation. But do not try this at home. Especially if the home sits in Texas.