September 28, 2012
Not Now, Not Ever
The Louisiana Supreme Court has held that an applicant for admission will never be admitted as a result of charges of Internet solicitation of a minor.
The applicant graduated from law school in 2007. He was arrested prior to the July 2007 bar exam for soliciting Internet sex with a person he believed was a 15 year old, but who was actually a police officer. He disclosed the arrest to the bar admission authorities and did not sit for the exam at that time.
He completed pretrial diversion and the criminal charges were not pursued.
The applicant was permitted to sit for the February 2010 exam. He passed.
Here, the court concluded that the misconduct would result in permanent disbarment if committed by a member of the bar. Thus, admission is forever precluded. The court declined to consider his changed circumstances and treatment since the incident.
This is a harsh result that might well have a different outcome in another jurisdiction.
Note that the prior disiplinary case relied upon by the court involved an attorney convicted of a felony. The applicant was not convicted of anything. (Mike Frisch)
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