Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Bartending Is Not My Forte"

The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging that the attorney failed to disclose information on his law school and bar admission applications.

As to the law school:

 John Marshall Law School’s application asked the following question of all applicants: "Have you ever, either as an adult or juvenile, been cited, arrested, charged or convicted for violation of any law including traffic violations?" Respondent answered "yes." Respondent further submitted a Statement of Explanation stating as follows:

On June 18, 1999, I was cited for a Zero Tolerance, Reckless Driving, and Disregarding Official Traffic Control Device. I was stopped for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign, and I had a .01 BAC. My license was suspended for three months from August 03, 1999, to October 10, 1999. I pled guilty to Disrgarding Official Traffic Control Device. The other charges were dropped.

On February 23, 2001, I was issued a citation for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. I was involved in a minor traffic accident in which there was was minor damage to both vehicles, and no one was injured. The citation was dismissed in court.

 Respondent’s answer to the question on his application to the John Marshall Law School, as set forth...above was false, and Respondent knew that it was false, as it omitted the following:

  1. a July 21, 1996, speeding citation;

  2. a January 15, 1998, ticket for disobeying a stop sign;

  3. a June 3, 1999, speeding citation;

  4. a June 15, 1999, citation for indecent conduct; and,

  5. a February 23, 2001, failure to reduce speed citation;

With respect to the incident on June 15, 1999, Respondent failed to disclose in his application to the John Marshall Law School that he had been using an illegal substance, gamma-Butyrolactone, commonly known as "Liquid G," at the time of that incident.

With respect to the incident of June 18, 1999 while Respondent did disclose the incident in his application, and acknowledged that his BAC registered .01; Respondent did not inform the Law School that he was using an illegal substance, Liquid G, at the time of that incident.

At the bottom of the application, Respondent was required to certify that the information he provided on the application form contained no omission, misrepresentation or concealment of any significant fact in any statement. Respondent signed the application certifying that the information was true and complete, when he knew that it was not.

At the time he completed the application, Respondent knew that the information he provided on the application was both false and incomplete in that he failed to set forth his violations of the law as set forth...above, and that he did not disclose his use of Liquid G in connection with the incidents on June 15, 1999 and June 18, 1999.

Respondent knew that John Marshall Law School would make a decision regarding his admission based upon the information in the application, and Respondent intended to deceive or mislead John Marshall Law School by submitting the false and incomplete application.

Respondent was admitted to John Marshall Law School based upon his false application. At no time prior to the time he commenced his studies at John Marshall, graduated, and was certified by the Dean for admission to the Illinois Bar, did Respondent change his application to correct the false information he provided to the law school.

Many of the allegations are repeated with respect to bar admission. There is also this:

Question 28 of Respondent’s Character and Fitness questionnaire asked Respondent if he "had ever been discharged or requested, formally or informally, to resign from or terminate employment." Respondent answered "no." A supplementary form, Form 25, entitled description of non-legal employment, asked Respondent to state his reason for leaving his employment as a bartender at the Colosseum Bar. Respondent answered, "Bartending is not my forte." In fact, Respondent’s answer that he had not been fired was false, and Respondent knew his answer was false, because he had been fired from the Colosseum Bar for cause.

Respondent’s failures to advise IBAB of the incidents set forth...above, as well as the role of his use of Liquid G in the incidents on June 15, 1999, and June 18, 1999, and the informal detentions by the police when he was a juvenile, were deliberate omissions, and Respondent’s intention was to mislead the Committee in order to further advance his chances for admission to the Illinois Bar. Further, Respondent made a deliberate misrepresentation to IBAB in stating that he was not fired and that "bartending is not my forte" when asked his reason for leaving his employment, in order to further advance his chances for admission to the Illinois Bar.

There were further inquiries (and alleged failures to disclose) but the applicant was admitted. (Mike Frisch)

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You continue to quote complaints as if their contents has been proved. As I've said before, this is terribly one-sided. Did you even seek comment from the accused? To do so is considered normal journalistic practice.

Beyond that, the accused did disclose the existence of the events which obviously did lead to their investigation. At what point is this simply a matter of the bar authorities punishing the accused for their own inadequacies in not timely investigating the events prior to the accused's admission?


Posted by: Stephen Williams | Aug 18, 2011 5:13:02 PM

This bar complaint is apparently a public record. It is of interest because folks like me (on admissions committees and on law faculties) try to impress upon our students the importance of full disclosure before they reach the character and fitness stage. We encourage amendments to law school applications to insure full disclosure. I believe the blogger recently posted at Legal Ethics Forum along these lines, and you might check it out if you are interested.

The bar has no obligation to investigate each representation on each application, and does not have the resources to do so. (Just as insurance companies have no duty to investigate representations in applications unless they are on notice of some irregularity).

If this person ends up having a problem, it will be of his own making.

Posted by: Rick Underwood | Aug 19, 2011 11:17:26 AM

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