Disclose expunged records?

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Holly
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Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:29 pm

Alright, I know people on this site like to error on the side of caution, but that is not really the purpose of this post. I am fortunately not in a position where I have to make this decision, but I have been wondering, does one REALLY need to disclose expunged records to law schools?

Every attorney I talk to says in the vast majority of states it would be blatanly illegal to deny someone admission based upon an expunged record. That is assuming that they could find the record (most schools do not bother looking). In fact, some have argued that it is bordering illegality to even ask you to reveal expunged records (in some states). This is particularly relevant to private schools.

It makes sense that a PRIVATE institution can not require you to reveal an expunged record. Now the Bar is a different issue. You always have to disclose these records to them because they are a state agency. If questioned during the C&F portion, you could just say that you were not legally required to disclose it on the law school app, so you chose not to.

I want to end with one quick point a lot of people on here fail to realize: It is VERY rare to be denied admission to the Bar if you are 100% honest on the Bar application. There is no record of anyone being denied admission to the Bar based upon an omission of an arrest on your law school app or even checking the wrong race on a law school app (not encouraging this, BTW).

Again, many like to error on the side of caution, and that is totally fine. But whether you REALLY need to disclose it is another issue.

The Agitator
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby The Agitator » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:34 pm

It makes sense that a PRIVATE institution can not require you to reveal an expunged record.


Admission to the bar isn't a right. You DON'T legally have to disclose. But they DON'T legally have to offer you admission to the bar.

This topic has been covered thousands of times. It is not in dispute.

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Pyke
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Pyke » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:59 pm

The entire point of an expunged record is to protect people from that sort of thing Agitator.

Arguably, you could say it about any profession that "it's not a right to work as "X"". The whole point of expunging records is to protect people, anyone who discloses an expunged record is a fool.

Holly
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:04 pm


Admission to the bar isn\'t a right. You DON\'T legally have to disclose. But they DON\'T legally have to offer you admission to the bar.

This topic has been covered thousands of times. It is not in dispute.


What are you talking about? I specifically said that you have to disclose it to the Bar.

lawhooligan
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby lawhooligan » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:07 pm

pyke- even if your record is expunged, when schools ask if you've been CHARGED with anything rather than CONVICTED, you still should say yes. expunging a record doesn't necessarily expunge a police report/ court report but merely the conviction.

Holly
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:10 pm

expunging a record doesn\'t necessarily expunge a police report/ court report but merely the conviction.


True... but often EVERYTHING is expunged. It is a separate process in many states, but it is often done at the same time your conviction is expunged.

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Pyke
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Pyke » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:19 pm

To each their own I guess. The laws were put in place to shield this type of thing - so I feel sort of strongly that people should be entitled to answer "no".

Certainly, imagine if someone was found not guilty of a crime, and then required to report they were arrested, and potentially denied admission somewhere as a result. That would be totally wrong. There must be great care, as far as I'm concerned, taken to protect those who have done nothing wrong, even if this means occasionally someone will slip through in one of these technicalities.

Holly
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:25 pm

Pyke - often, people with expunged records have been convicted and were guilty of something (DUI for example).

My point stands, however. Everything I\'m told and everything I\'ve read tells me that you are under no obligation to report an expunged record to a law school in most states. I believe some state you have to report it to public institutions (so public schools). Yes, you have to report it the Bar. No one disputes that.

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iwasgoingtobeasenator
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:28 pm

I'm inclined to agree w/ Pyke. Why would you have 'expunged' records that need to be recorded and reported to everyone? Even if they were, should you not disclose some trivial matter that was expunged to your law school, no one is going to deny you admission to the bar on that!



You people must've been born Catholic. They believe that even after "confession" where you apologize for your sins, you still have a leftover "film" on your soul that tarnishes you which needs to be taken away an indulgence and I'm not talkin chocolate. Why two stages of forgiveness? What's the deal?

lawhooligan
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby lawhooligan » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:34 pm

well, i had something silly on my record which was later expunged and, on the advice of many a lawyer, I reported it to schools that asked if I'd ever been charged. Necessary? who knows. but if it saves me some trouble down the road when I apply for the bar, then it was probably worth it. didn't seem to make a difference re: admissions decisions.
Last edited by lawhooligan on Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bigben
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby bigben » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:35 pm

You are correct that in some states it seems questionable whether or not a school can legally ask you about expunged records.

Since we are talking about LAW SCHOOLS, I assume that they know a thing or two about legality.

So when you see this on Minnesota's app:

Have you ever in your entire life been charged with, or arrested for, the violation of any law including traffic laws, misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, felonies, or the equivalent?

You must disclose this requested information even if the charges were dismissed or you were acquitted, the conviction was stayed or vacated, the record sealed or expunged, or you were told you need not disclose this information.


You need to disclose.

When you see this clause on W&L's application:

...other than...arrests or convictions that have been expunged in accordance with the statutory provisions on expungement in the applicable jurisdiction...


You do not need to disclose. It all depends on the application, some will ask for "charges" and others only "convictions." I would not question their knowledge of whether or not they are allowed to ask.

I'm inclined to agree w/ Pyke. Why would you have 'expunged' records that need to be recorded and reported to everyone?


Having to report to a law school =/= having to report to an employer.

I feel sort of strongly that people should be entitled to answer "no".


You Canadians and your silly entitlements. :)

Holly
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:37 pm

You need to disclose.


No, you don\'t. Just because they ask/demand you to (and are legally allowed to ask), doesn\'t require you to disclose that information. That is my point. A PRIVATE institution doesn\'t get to have that information if you don\'t want them to (and they can\'t legally use it against you in the vast majority of states).

egrubs
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby egrubs » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:39 pm

Holly wrote:No, you don\'t. Just because they ask/demand you to (and are legally allowed to ask), doesn\'t require you to disclose that information. That is my point. A PRIVATE institution doesn\'t get to have that information if you don\'t want them to (and they can\'t legally use it against you in the vast majority of states).


Perhaps. And if the BAR, for any reason, finds out you lied on your law school appliaction, what will you say?

lawhooligan
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby lawhooligan » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:39 pm

they can when you go to take the bar and decide that you lied earlier.

you can be denied admission to the bar.

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brizz9
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby brizz9 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:41 pm

Holly wrote:
You need to disclose.


No, you don\'t. Just because they ask/demand you to (and are legally allowed to ask), doesn\'t require you to disclose that information. That is my point. A PRIVATE institution doesn\'t get to have that information if you don\'t want them to (and they can\'t legally use it against you in the vast majority of states).

But if you answer no, you would be lying on your law school application, which I'm sure they could use to kick you out (I'm sure this is completely unlikely). Also, I've read that the Bar can access your law school apps and if they see a discrepancy, it looks really bad.
Last edited by brizz9 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bigben
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby bigben » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:42 pm

Holly wrote:
You need to disclose.


No, you don\'t. Just because they ask/demand you to (and are legally allowed to ask), doesn\'t require you to disclose that information. That is my point. A PRIVATE institution doesn\'t get to have that information if you don\'t want them to (and they can\'t legally use it against you in the vast majority of states).



If they are legally allowed to require this information, then they are legally allowed to kick you out of school or deny admission if you lie about it. What are you talking about??
Last edited by bigben on Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

criminal4life?
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby criminal4life? » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:45 pm

Disclosing for school depends on the school application. If it explicitly says to disclose even expunged records, you should still do it, even if technically you don't have to disclose.

Disclosing for the Bar depends on what state Bar you are trying to pass. I want to practice in CA or NY so I researched those two State Bars.

NY Bar: The State Bar application explicitly says to disclose even expunged records. People generally say that if you disclose they will let you pass; they look down more on lying, rather than on the crime itself (esp. if it's a minor misdemeanor).

CA Bar: The CA State Bar application explicitly says NOT to disclose if you were granted relief under California PC 1203.4a.

Personal story: I was convicted of misdemeanor grand theft auto 6 years ago. My record was expunged 3 years ago under California PC 1203.4a. My record has been flawless since then. I did NOT disclose to law school when I applied but I sent in an addendum after being accepted. I haven’t heard back from the law school yet, but if they retract their offer, so be it.
Last edited by criminal4life? on Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mes789
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby mes789 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:45 pm

When it comes down to it, none of us are attorneys, so we can't say for sure one way or the other. People who have these records should ask their attorney, and if they decide to disclose their record, even if they are not required, that is their decision, so who cares. It seems like this question is beaten to death every day on these forums.

criminal4life?
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby criminal4life? » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:47 pm

^TITCR

Holly
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:47 pm

ONE: You did not lie. You refused to report what you were legally allowed to omit. There is nothing unethical about that.

TWO: It is UNBELIEVABLE how scared people are of the Bar. I have never found an instance of someone being denied admission to the Bar for this. I have never found an instance of someone being denied admission to the Bar for lying about there race on their law school application or exaggerating work experiences on their law school application.

People are denied admission to the Bar, most often, for LYING ON THEIR BAR APPLICATION. Then, people are denied admission most often for serious mental/ethical issues related to arrests.

Very few people are denied each year (under 1% in most places). The people that are denied usually have very serious issues. My uncle works for the Bar in a west coast state and told me he has never denied admission to anyone for solely lying on their law school application. You have to remember, right now, it seems like these applications are the most important things in the world. The Bar may or may not glance over them. They care much more about arrests, mental issues, and your honesty when filling our your Bar app.

egrubs
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby egrubs » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:48 pm

I guess it's okay to lie on law school applications, then.

Good to know.

Holly
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:50 pm

If it explicitly says to disclose even expunged records, you should still do it, even if technically you don\'t have to disclose.


Agreed. I probably would.

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brizz9
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby brizz9 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:50 pm

Holly wrote:ONE: You didn\\\'t \\\"lie\\\". You didn\\\'t report what you were legally allowed to omit. There is nothing unethical about that.

What are you talking about? If you answer a question that says "have you ever been charged with a misdemeanor?" and you were, but answer "no", that is lying, and unethical. I guess you could leave it blank, and send in addendum telling that you are legally allowed to not answer that question, but that would be fucking stupid.

Holly
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:51 pm

I guess it\\\'s okay to lie on law school applications, then.

Good to know.


If you base your morals on what is legally allowed or banned you have some serious issues.

Holly
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Re: Disclose expunged records?

Postby Holly » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:52 pm

What are you talking about? If you answer a question that says \"have you ever been charged with a misdemeanor?\" and you were, but answer \"no\", that is lying, and unethical. I guess you could leave it blank, and send in addendum telling that you are legally allowed to not answer that question, but that would be fucking stupid.


If the law school asked you to name all the people you have had sex with, would you? If they asked you to name all the crimes you committed but weren\'t caught for, would you?

Just because they ask a question, it does not mean it is unethical to refuse to answer.




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