January 22, 2010
More Than A Momentary Lapse
The Louisiana Supreme Court denied the application for admission of an applicant who, after having conditionally failed the bar exam, forged a notarial signature on an affidavit attesting that her answers had not changed since her prior application. The applicant had taken and passed the examination on the second try. It was then learned that she had gone to the office of the Committee on Bar Admissions on the last day for applying to take the February 2007 exam. She was informed by committee staff that the application was not properly completed and notarized. She returned later that day with a forged notary signature on the application and later gave a false oath-sworn statement that it was genuine.
The court here rejected the suggestion that the misconduct was a "momentary lapse in judgment" and found the applicant lacked the good moral character required for bar admission. The applicant may reapply for admission after one year.
Justice Johnson dissented, concluding that the misconduct was a "complete aberration." Justice Johnson would order conditional admission. (Mike Frisch)
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