Sunday, October 20, 2019

For Reasons Unknown

I have previously expressed my concern that the Louisiana Supreme Court's orders of conditional admission offer no substantive guidance to applicants with a history of substance abuse or financial issues.

In three recent such orders, the court as usual said nothing to explain its reasoning (see here, here and here).

The closest we get to substance comes from a Justice Crichton dissent

In my view, the concerns of the Committee on Bar Admissions regarding petitioner’s infraction (minor in possession of alcohol while tailgating at an LSU football game) and his DWI conviction (arising out of an offense while an undergraduate) are unwarranted in light of the fact that he successfully completed an intensive treatment program at Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center. Accordingly, I would grant the petitioner unconditional admission to the practice of law in Louisiana.

The same defect appears in a recent admission denial save for a concurrence of Chief Justice Johnson

Given the short time frame between actions taken by Petitioner to address the issues related to character and fitness and Petitioner’s application for admission, I agree with the Commissioner that Petitioner failed to demonstrate clear and convincing proof of rehabilitation. For these reasons, Petitioner’s application for admission should be denied at this time. A new application should demonstrate sobriety, and efforts to address financial debts.

This spare approach is unhelpful to applicants who wish to understand how the process works. (Mike Frisch)

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