Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

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violator
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Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby violator » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:53 pm

Hello,

I just submitted a deposit for a law school whose "Character & Fitness" questionnaire only asked me to disclose felonies or misdemeanors. I have several violations (open container, mostly), but no felonies or misdemeanors. So, I did not disclose. But now, I am wondering...should I disclose to the school prior to taking the bar/character and fitness? The consequences of disclosure seem great (i.e., the school can strip my scholarship/expel me). But, presumably, I will want to find out if the school will do this sooner rather than later.

Keep in mind, I answered every question truthfully. I simply did not disclose what they did not ask me to disclose.

Do you think I should "double-dip" and deposit at another school as well (one that asked for my violations and therefore is fully aware of my history)?

Thanks for your opinion.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby FryBreadPower » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:06 pm

Be up front. I have heard stories of people getting expelled/punished after the fact - not for the violation itself but for not disclosing the violation. Just play it safe and cover all bases by disclosing now.

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bne
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby bne » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:53 am

I would disclose just to be safe. As you said, you don't want it to haunt you later on during C&F. Also, don't let this issue steer you away from the school you really want to attend - place your deposit down on the school you wish to attend.

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roaringeagle
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby roaringeagle » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:08 am

What are violations? I have never heard of those. Is that like fishing without a license?

bdole2
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby bdole2 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:13 am

roaringeagle wrote:What are violations? I have never heard of those. Is that like fishing without a license?


Citations

Void
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby Void » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:28 am

Disclose. When the Bar asks you about this in three years, "they didn't specifically ask for 'violations'," will not seem as clever an argument as it might now. The worst that can happen will be that your school revokes your admission (highly unlikely that they'll care), but then you can just go to a different school. Every year someone who made the mistake of deciding not to disclose similar stuff is denied a license because if it. Don't be that someone.

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lonerider
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby lonerider » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:52 am

.
Last edited by lonerider on Sat May 10, 2014 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:56 am

lonerider wrote:
bdole2 wrote:
roaringeagle wrote:What are violations? I have never heard of those. Is that like fishing without a license?


Citations


I've never heard of "violations" or "citations". The commonly used term, at least in California, is infraction. For example, minor traffic violations such as speeding tickets are infractions. Crimes that are so minor that they are treated almost as if they are civil offenses. When you jaywalk - another common infraction - and challenge the ticket, you will not get the benefit of a jury trial, as you would should you be charged with a misdemeanor.

It must vary by state, because I'm fairly certain that CO has a class of offenses categorized as "violations." Additionally, I remember talking about "violations" in crim, so I'm certain other jurisdictions have adopted the term "violation."

OP, at the beginning of the year my school gave people an opportunity to disclose potential C+F problems beyond what was required to be disclosed with the app. I'd recommend finding out whether your law school does that.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:32 am

Disclose early and often. The one sure way to get slammed at C&F is to have discrepancies between your law school application and your C&F application. No one will think it cute that you were parsing the words of the law school's application.

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BVest
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby BVest » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:53 pm

violator wrote:
I just submitted a deposit for a law school whose "Character & Fitness" questionnaire only asked me to disclose felonies or misdemeanors. I have several violations (open container, mostly), but no felonies or misdemeanors. So, I did not disclose.


Are you sure you didn't need to? Open container is a Class C misdemeanor here in Texas.

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Kabuo
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby Kabuo » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:14 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
lonerider wrote:
bdole2 wrote:
roaringeagle wrote:What are violations? I have never heard of those. Is that like fishing without a license?


Citations


I've never heard of "violations" or "citations". The commonly used term, at least in California, is infraction. For example, minor traffic violations such as speeding tickets are infractions. Crimes that are so minor that they are treated almost as if they are civil offenses. When you jaywalk - another common infraction - and challenge the ticket, you will not get the benefit of a jury trial, as you would should you be charged with a misdemeanor.

It must vary by state, because I'm fairly certain that CO has a class of offenses categorized as "violations." Additionally, I remember talking about "violations" in crim, so I'm certain other jurisdictions have adopted the term "violation."

OP, at the beginning of the year my school gave people an opportunity to disclose potential C+F problems beyond what was required to be disclosed with the app. I'd recommend finding out whether your law school does that.


Pretty sure there's something about it in the MPC under where to impute mens rea into a statute that is silent about it.

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nigeriansiberian
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby nigeriansiberian » Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:20 am

never disclose my dude. watch inside job. great movie

bp shinners
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby bp shinners » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:34 pm

Disclose now to be safe. If you were honest on the application, it won't get you rejected now. Call up their DoS, say that you have some C&F questions, take down the name of the person you talked to (for your records), and ask how to proceed.

pre-med person
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby pre-med person » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:45 am

If the question clearly states only felonies and misd. you do not have to disclose. However, a lot of applications have questions which are much more broad.

Nonetheless, no matter how much people say 'better to be safe' you do NOT have to disclose it if the question is unambiguous to felonies and misdemeanor's only.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:48 am

pre-med person wrote:If the question clearly states only felonies and misd. you do not have to disclose. However, a lot of applications have questions which are much more broad.

Nonetheless, no matter how much people say 'better to be safe' you do NOT have to disclose it if the question is unambiguous to felonies and misdemeanor's only.


Sigh.

If you want to argue to the C&F folks that "the application didn't say I had to disclose this!!!" to explain the discrepancy between what they pull up and what was in your application--fine. It's an objectively ridiculous choice to make, though.

pre-med person
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:16 pm

Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby pre-med person » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:56 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
pre-med person wrote:If the question clearly states only felonies and misd. you do not have to disclose. However, a lot of applications have questions which are much more broad.

Nonetheless, no matter how much people say 'better to be safe' you do NOT have to disclose it if the question is unambiguous to felonies and misdemeanor's only.


Sigh.

If you want to argue to the C&F folks that "the application didn't say I had to disclose this!!!" to explain the discrepancy between what they pull up and what was in your application--fine. It's an objectively ridiculous choice to make, though.


He probably will have to disclose, I find it hard to believe that there is not a more broad question. However, C&F will have a very very very difficult time proving OP had a felony or misd. when in fact he does not have a felony or misd.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:00 pm

pre-med person wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
pre-med person wrote:If the question clearly states only felonies and misd. you do not have to disclose. However, a lot of applications have questions which are much more broad.

Nonetheless, no matter how much people say 'better to be safe' you do NOT have to disclose it if the question is unambiguous to felonies and misdemeanor's only.


Sigh.

If you want to argue to the C&F folks that "the application didn't say I had to disclose this!!!" to explain the discrepancy between what they pull up and what was in your application--fine. It's an objectively ridiculous choice to make, though.


He probably will have to disclose, I find it hard to believe that there is not a more broad question. However, C&F will have a very very very difficult time proving OP had a felony or misd. when in fact he does not have a felony or misd.


C&F doesn't have to "prove" anything. The fact that you actually answered the question asked on the law school application is not determinative for the purposes of C&F. C&F asks very sweeping questions (basically: "have you ever done any bad things"). If there is something that you disclose on the C&F application that you did not disclose on the law school application, that raises a red flag, regardless of whether the discrepancy is completely justified. It doesn't mean that you won't pass C&F--that would be a very unlikely outcome. It does mean that you might get dragged before C&F to explain the discrepancy, which adds needless stress to the bar process.

pre-med person
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:16 pm

Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby pre-med person » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:03 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
pre-med person wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
pre-med person wrote:If the question clearly states only felonies and misd. you do not have to disclose. However, a lot of applications have questions which are much more broad.

Nonetheless, no matter how much people say 'better to be safe' you do NOT have to disclose it if the question is unambiguous to felonies and misdemeanor's only.


Sigh.

If you want to argue to the C&F folks that "the application didn't say I had to disclose this!!!" to explain the discrepancy between what they pull up and what was in your application--fine. It's an objectively ridiculous choice to make, though.


He probably will have to disclose, I find it hard to believe that there is not a more broad question. However, C&F will have a very very very difficult time proving OP had a felony or misd. when in fact he does not have a felony or misd.


C&F doesn't have to "prove" anything. The fact that you actually answered the question asked on the law school application is not determinative for the purposes of C&F. C&F asks very sweeping questions (basically: "have you ever done any bad things"). If there is something that you disclose on the C&F application that you did not disclose on the law school application, that raises a red flag, regardless of whether the discrepancy is completely justified. It doesn't mean that you won't pass C&F--that would be a very unlikely outcome. It does mean that you might get dragged before C&F to explain the discrepancy, which adds needless stress to the bar process.


o.k. C&F will have a very very very difficult time 'justifying' a denial based on truthfully answering 'no' to a completely unambiguous question.

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BVest
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby BVest » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:33 pm

Part of the C&F, if you have disclosures then, will be to follow up with you to find out if (a) you were required to disclose the event during the application process and (b) whether you actually did. Therefore you'll want to be able to prove that you weren't required to disclose (or that you did to the extent required).

This will also apply in the distant future if you seek to be barred in another state. They'll want to know that you disclosed to the extent required by both your school and whatever bar you're already a member of.

bp shinners
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Re: Should I disclose violations now or wait until C&F?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:23 pm

pre-med person wrote:o.k. C&F will have a very very very difficult time 'justifying' a denial based on truthfully answering 'no' to a completely unambiguous question.


But why even mess with it when you can easily just call up and disclose now? These people can deny you access to your profession after you've sunk 3 years and $150K. Why make the process more difficult than it has to be? I feel like you're just arguing here for argument's sake.

Disclose. Always. (I need a t-shirt that says that).




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