Monday, November 18, 2013

Necessity Of Candor

An admitted attorney who had disclosed a number of past incidents in his Pennsylvania Bar application but misrepresented his disclosures to Villanova School of Law was suspended for a year by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The attorney had a record of five incidents (mostly alcohol-related) and disclosed two in his 2007 application to the law school. The disclosed incidents had taken place around Villanova and he believed that the school had prior notice of them.

He then disclosed the other three on the cusp of graduation.

The school accepted the "amendment" to the application on conditions that he perform 25 hours of community service, discuss the matter with a Dean and contact the bar program for lawyers with alcohol problems.

He then told the bar authorities that the failure to disclose was an unintentional oversight and that he had "completely forgot" to "update" the school application.

The Disciplinary Board found that the attorney "had consciously decided not to disclose [three] incidents...because he believed that [the law school] would not discover that he had omitted those incidents on the Application."

While he had "properly disclosed each incident" on the Application, he misrepresented his state of mind concerning the failures to disclose to the law school and "claims that the misrepresentation was prompted by embarrassment."

The Board: "A suspension of one year...will impress upon Respondent, and other bar applicants, the necessity of complete candor and honesty when completing the Pennsylvania Bar Application." (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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