ABA rejection?

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Anonymous User
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ABA rejection?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:37 am

Let me preface this by saying that I am currently fighting it, but I want to know what might happen if I am unsuccessful at getting it overturned:

I was recently terminated for what was considered "gross misconduct." I worked in retail, trying to save money to start school this coming Fall, and as a Store Manager, I was doing an inventory count. A product that was used and was no longer able to be sold was in the back room, so I removed it from the store to avoid a miscount and threw it with the rest of the garbage from the store to be taken to our dumpster, about a block away. The problem was (and pretty stupid, admittedly) I had put all the garbage in my car, which made it look like I was trying to steal the product. Long story short, my DM saw it when he came to check up on the store, reported it to corporate, and the next day I was let go. Now, I have a gross misconduct on my employment record for theft, and I'm growing more and more concerned that this will come back to haunt me in about 3 1/2 years when I apply to the bar under their character and fitness regulations.

I've got decent numbers, and hope to go to a top 25 school, but I am very concerned that after spending $150k on school and the opportunity cost of 3 years of schooling compared to working, this stupid incident could ruin my chances at getting admitted to the bar and getting a job.

Please reassure me.

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James Bond
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby James Bond » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:14 am

Man, I feel for you, but honestly no one here is going to know. You just have to call the ABA, even anonymously if it matters to you, and ask them.

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NewHere
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby NewHere » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:18 am

I've got decent numbers, and hope to go to a top 25 school, but I am very concerned that after spending $150k on school and the opportunity cost of 3 years of schooling compared to working, this stupid incident could ruin my chances at getting admitted to the bar and getting a job.


I'm not a lawyer, but my professor in Professional Responsibility made a big deal out of the following: the state bar is most likely to make trouble if the information they get in your bar application doesn't match the information you supplied when you applied to law school. That is, you're much less likely to get in trouble if you report this issue in your law-school application. The reason is that they are mostly concerned with dishonesty, and if the two applications don't match, they'll assume that you were lying or at least not forthcoming with the truth.

Also (I'm not sure about this, but you should check) I think it's (sometimes? In some states? I don't know) possible to get something like an advance ruling from the character & fitness committee on this kind of issue. From what I've heard (again, you should find out the details), you can do this as soon as you get admitted to a law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:25 am

I appreciate the advice, I will definitely look into that.

Additionally, do you think that pro bono work while in school could help to cancel it out? If I do 50-100 hours of pro bono work, maybe that would prove to them that I am actually a good person and that other incident was just a misunderstanding?

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NewHere
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby NewHere » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:34 pm

In the cases in Professional Responsibility, the C&F committee looked at what had happened, what kind of incident it was, how long ago, signs of good behavior since, etc. (But again, I'm not a lawyer, please don't rely on my advice.)

There are lawyers who specialize in this kind of issue. It is of course annoying to have to pay for advice, but if what is at stake are three years of your life and potentially a mountain of debt, it may be well worth it to pay to talk to someone who knows how this works, and who will be able to tell you whether this is no big deal at all, or something that you should really be worried about.

de5igual
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby de5igual » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:41 pm

did your previous employer press charges? if not, there's nothing to disclose.

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reasonable_man
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Let me preface this by saying that I am currently fighting it, but I want to know what might happen if I am unsuccessful at getting it overturned:

I was recently terminated for what was considered "gross misconduct." I worked in retail, trying to save money to start school this coming Fall, and as a Store Manager, I was doing an inventory count. A product that was used and was no longer able to be sold was in the back room, so I removed it from the store to avoid a miscount and threw it with the rest of the garbage from the store to be taken to our dumpster, about a block away. The problem was (and pretty stupid, admittedly) I had put all the garbage in my car, which made it look like I was trying to steal the product. Long story short, my DM saw it when he came to check up on the store, reported it to corporate, and the next day I was let go. Now, I have a gross misconduct on my employment record for theft, and I'm growing more and more concerned that this will come back to haunt me in about 3 1/2 years when I apply to the bar under their character and fitness regulations.

I've got decent numbers, and hope to go to a top 25 school, but I am very concerned that after spending $150k on school and the opportunity cost of 3 years of schooling compared to working, this stupid incident could ruin my chances at getting admitted to the bar and getting a job.

Please reassure me.


I am an attorney in NY, but this is not my area of specialty. What I would advise you do is contact the local bar association in the State in which you hope to one day practice and ask them to help you get in contact with an attorney that specializes in attorney licensing/conduct matters. The ABA cannot really assist you here. You're going to have to obtain documentation and/or take steps to correct this issue, as you will be required to disclose this on your State Bar C&F application.

The problem with a major theft / release from employment for theft is that its the type of offense that the examiners will deem to exhibit moral terptitude, i.e. you committed an act that will call into question your honesty and character. Clearly, this needs to be rectified as best possible before you consider spending a lot of money on LS. In any event, all roads start with speaking with an attorney in the jurisdiction you intend to practice to determine: 1) how damaging this will be to your application to the bar; and 2) what remedial steps must be taken to mitigate the damage.

On a positive note, I would be willing to guess that if you take the right steps, you probably will, eventually, be able to make this work, but you have to go about it the right way with appropriate professional guidance. TLS-advice just isn't going to cut it in this instance.

Best of luck to you in resolving this issue.

RM
Last edited by reasonable_man on Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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reasonable_man
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:43 pm

f0bolous wrote:did your previous employer press charges? if not, there's nothing to disclose.


You're wrong. Stop.

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Cupidity
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby Cupidity » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:45 pm

What state are you in? If it is a right-to-work state, you could file a suit for wrongful termination. While it isn't going to result in you getting your job back or money, and you would probably lose in court, there is a possibility that the threat of the lawsuit would be sufficient to convince your employer to change your termination to failure to perform or something.

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reasonable_man
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:47 pm

Cupidity wrote:What state are you in? If it is a right-to-work state, you could file a suit for wrongful termination. While it isn't going to result in you getting your job back or money, and you would probably lose in court, there is a possibility that the threat of the lawsuit would be sufficient to convince your employer to change your termination to failure to perform or something.


Ok. Also stop. Frivelous lawsuits = sanctions and bigger problems for C&F. OP. 0L advice is not going to cut it here. Please note my advice above. I hate to be a dick here, but in this case, it really is the only correct response. This also walks the line of extortion.

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NewHere
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby NewHere » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:58 pm

Yes, listen to reasonable_man. Talk to your state's bar association and to a lawyer.

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underdawg
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby underdawg » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:41 pm

i wonder why law school is so full of know it alls. (not talking about newhere or reasonable of course)

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reasonable_man
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:51 pm

underdawg wrote:i wonder why law school is so full of know it alls. (not talking about newhere or reasonable of course)


I can never tell... Sarcasm or no sarcasm. If none. Thanks. If Sarcasm, I am a bit of a know it all douche, so I can't really argue.

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Lawquacious
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:29 pm

Good luck in your search for clarification... it sounds to me like this is a very workable situation, but that is just my opinion.
Last edited by Lawquacious on Tue May 25, 2010 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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reasonable_man
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:31 am

seanrr wrote:On the ABA website there is a document titled "Professionalism: What Does It Take to Satisfy Character & Fitness Requirements?," drafted by a law professor from the University of Dayton School of Law. It details the top four areas of concern in Character and Fitness by bar examiners:

1) Criminal Record
2) Untreated Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
3) Lack of Candor
4) Financial Irresponsibility

As long as you are answering all required questions honestly, I don't imagine #3 will be an issue. Since it sounds like you were not charged criminally nor were you convicted, #1 will not be an issue at least so far as this matter is concerned (an employer allegation that stays in the company and is given as a reason for dismissal is different from a criminal or civil charge where conviction or court order is made). As for 2 and 4, it doesn't sound like the situation you describe necessarily has a bearing on these domains (you made a irresponsible choice related to finances in the instance described, but from the document cited I got the impression that the Financial Irresponsibility matter typically has more to do with an ongoing pattern of financial irresponsibility as evidenced by your credit report or by court settlements).

Clearly there was a significant issue at your workplace involving poor judgment on your part, but as it did not lead to criminal charges I don't know that you need to disclose it unless specifically asked about the matter. Even then, you may want to seek legal council about how to discuss the matter with maximum tact if it does need to be discussed. Clearly, you have a conscientious concern about the matter and want to avoid future complications. However, if your original post is not indicative of what actually happened (e.g. you did intentionally steal the items and are trying to deny that), there would be more grave implications for the status of your character. As I read your post though, it sounds like you are taking responsibility for your failing.

If at some point you are confronted by a clear need to disclose the specific information you outlined in your post, I think that you need to be ready to answer these questions with tact and honesty. The main point of the document referenced above was that if you have had character problems (that are sufficiently and properly in the domain of ABA examination) you do need to rehabilitate your reputation as much as possible by proactive changes.

Everybody has character failings, and all of these failings need not necessarily be disclosed in the public or professional domain. However, if there is an issue that does become public knowledge and/or must be made known in a certain situation, then straightforwardness is called for. I also think that working to correct character flaws and practicing honesty in the context of trustworthy relationships is essential to character growth; that may be something for you to give further consideration to aside from the question of whether this incident could prevent you from practicing law (which I suspect is very unlikely, unless you continue to demonstrate a similar pattern or behavior).

This is 100% opinion, and I am by no means an expert on this topic. Therefore the advice about consulting an attorney (with expertise on this specific matter of disclosure as it is related to law school and the ABA) may be warranted.


I wish this thread title would get changed. THE ABA HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS lol.

linquest
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby linquest » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:40 am

Another attorney here, pleading you to listen to reasonable_man and ignore the other shitty "advice" you've been given. There really outta be a stickied PSA on this forum stating that this is not an appropriate forum for C&F questions, and directing people to their state bar.

Cupidity wrote:What state are you in? If it is a right-to-work state, you could file a suit for wrongful termination.


Please learn what a "right-to-work state" is before you throw the phrase around in a legal context. It has nothing to do with this situation, nor does such status strictly relate to whether a wrongful termination cause of action can be brought in that jurisdiction.

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wiseowl
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby wiseowl » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:05 pm

reasonable_man wrote:I wish this thread title would get changed. THE ABA HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS lol.


+1

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randyn
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Re: ABA rejection?

Postby randyn » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:19 pm

you are a liar, you were most certainly trying to steal that stuff....do you think anyone actually believes you?




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