After sitting through ethics orientation

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jdubb990
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After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby jdubb990 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:57 am

When I was 17 I was arrested for posession of alcohol by a minor and simple possession of marajuana. I started pretrial intervention but then sought help from an attorney. My case went back to the magistrate court, my simple posession charge was dropped and I went through an alcohol diversion class to have the other charge expunged.

When I was 20 I got another ticket for underage drinking and went through another alcohol diversion program, that charge was also expunged.

When applying to law school, I went to the records office in the courthouse where each of these instances occurred in an attempt to get the details so I could explain them in my application. When I asked them to pull these up, they didn't find anything, so I didn't include this stuff in my application. I made the decision that after law school, when it was time to fill out the bar application that I would be completely open and reveal and explain all of this. Now however, after sitting through an orientation that emphasized ethics so much, and people telling me to immediatelyreveal anything that wasn't included, I feel it's my duty to do so, and plainly the right thing to do.

I am so stressed out though, being that I signed a $50k promissory note, and a 13 month lease on an apartment. What if I tell my school and they throw me out? I'll be in all of this debt with no way out. I think I'm going to call the attorney I had when I was 17 and ask him what he recommends. I am really really worried about being kicked out of school though. Or am I overreacting and they'll be happy I was open and honest?

CanadianWolf
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:07 pm

Contact your attorney. May depend upon the specific questions posed on the law school applications as well as the state law where the incidents occurred & the state law where your law school is located. Also different laws may apply to a legal minor (age 17) versus those that apply to a legal adult (your age 20 infraction).
P.S. Don't worry, it is highly unlikely under the facts shared in your post that any immediate severe consequences will occur. You are taking the appropriate action by seeking advice from your attorney.
P.P.S. I am assuming that you never plead "guilty" or "nolo contendre" to any of these alleged infractions. Regardless, don't worry & be sure to seek advice from your lawyer as soon as possible to qualm your concerns.

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jdubb990
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby jdubb990 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:31 pm

Thanks for the advice and the consolation. This is still very stressful though, the situation is making it very hard to concentrate on my assignments. I wish my attorney was open on Sundays so I could get this resolved right now. Isn't the whole point of an expungement or a charge being dropped that you earned the right for it not to be revealed?

CanadianWolf
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:38 pm

I can't comment without knowing the specific state laws in effect at the time of the infractions. Typically state bars are understanding of alcohol & income tax issues (not involving fraud, of course). You should be fine because you underwent treatment for the alcohol allegations & the pot charge was dropped in addition to the expungements. You are doing everything that you can. For all I know it may be illegal to reveal details about expunged charges/offenses in some jurisdictions. Stop worrying. Just call your attorney & have a copy of your law school application questions available. You should be fine.

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soaponarope
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby soaponarope » Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:46 pm

jdubb990 wrote:Thanks for the advice and the consolation. This is still very stressful though, the situation is making it very hard to concentrate on my assignments. I wish my attorney was open on Sundays so I could get this resolved right now. Isn't the whole point of an expungement or a charge being dropped that you earned the right for it not to be revealed?



Take a deep breath, and relax. Do you remember your application? The schools I applied to in Florida do not require you to reveal expunged records... however, the schools in NY wanted to know regardless. I think it's wise to contact your attorney and ask, but IMO (which is just a hunch) I think you'll be fine.

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leobowski
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby leobowski » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:56 pm

Just go talk to the dean's office, and you can add an addendum to your application. I really doubt they'd kick you out for this. I spaced it on an MIP and it wasn't a big deal.

Of course, if you had failed to disclose some sort of felony it'd be a different story.

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jdubb990
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby jdubb990 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:30 pm

Looked up my application...it says:

You must disclose each instance even though the charges may have been dismissed or you were acquitted or allowed to plead nolo contendere or an adjudication was withheld, or you were pardoned or a conviction was reversed, set aside or vacated, or the record sealed or expunged and regardless of whether you have been told you do not need to disclose such an instance. You must provide documentation of each instance.

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PKSebben
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby PKSebben » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:35 pm

jdubb990 wrote:Looked up my application...it says:

You must disclose each instance even though the charges may have been dismissed or you were acquitted or allowed to plead nolo contendere or an adjudication was withheld, or you were pardoned or a conviction was reversed, set aside or vacated, or the record sealed or expunged and regardless of whether you have been told you do not need to disclose such an instance. You must provide documentation of each instance.


Let me get this straight:

1) You knew of the incident
2) You even went to get documentation
3) You knew this was within the call of the question (not like it matters)
4) You didn't disclose

Have fun explaining this, friend.

aPosseAdEsse
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby aPosseAdEsse » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:49 pm

PKSebben wrote:
jdubb990 wrote:Looked up my application...it says:

You must disclose each instance even though the charges may have been dismissed or you were acquitted or allowed to plead nolo contendere or an adjudication was withheld, or you were pardoned or a conviction was reversed, set aside or vacated, or the record sealed or expunged and regardless of whether you have been told you do not need to disclose such an instance. You must provide documentation of each instance.


Let me get this straight:

1) You knew of the incident
2) You even went to get documentation
3) You knew this was within the call of the question (not like it matters)
4) You didn't disclose

Have fun explaining this, friend.


Since you're clearly trying to scare him further, it seems you are not really a friend of his, are you.


To the OP:
As far as I know, you're only obligated to pay the tuition on the current semester(or quarter). It doesn't matter that you signed a promissary note for more loans than that. The loan money (less what you owe the school) that was dispursed to you can be returned at no charge or fee (assuming federal loans). Also, your landlord is likely obligated to find a replacement for you once you vacate, and once that person has moved in, he's only entitled to the difference he lost because of the vacancy (assuming the security deposit was "refundable" in the first place.) So in the worst case scenario, you won't be as bad off financially as you seem to now think.

270910
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby 270910 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:00 pm

Somebody was kicked out of my school for this (failing to disclose in the application, sitting in on the intro lecture, freaking out, disclosing). I think it was something worse though. This is serious, you need to handle it professionally and promptly.

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PKSebben
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby PKSebben » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:05 pm

aPosseAdEsse wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
jdubb990 wrote:Looked up my application...it says:

You must disclose each instance even though the charges may have been dismissed or you were acquitted or allowed to plead nolo contendere or an adjudication was withheld, or you were pardoned or a conviction was reversed, set aside or vacated, or the record sealed or expunged and regardless of whether you have been told you do not need to disclose such an instance. You must provide documentation of each instance.


Let me get this straight:

1) You knew of the incident
2) You even went to get documentation
3) You knew this was within the call of the question (not like it matters)
4) You didn't disclose

Have fun explaining this, friend.


Since you're clearly trying to scare him further, it seems you are not really a friend of his, are you.


To the OP:
As far as I know, you're only obligated to pay the tuition on the current semester(or quarter). It doesn't matter that you signed a promissary note for more loans than that. The loan money (less what you owe the school) that was dispursed to you can be returned at no charge or fee (assuming federal loans). Also, your landlord is likely obligated to find a replacement for you once you vacate, and once that person has moved in, he's only entitled to the difference he lost because of the vacancy (assuming the security deposit was "refundable" in the first place.) So in the worst case scenario, you won't be as bad off financially as you seem to now think.


I suppose my main point was that he's not blameless. He knew what he was doing and is now pooping himself over it. He could have disclosed and nobody would have cared. His post-hoc rationalization that he didn't think he needed to disclose it because the courthouse didn't have the files just smacks of "nobody will find out, so I don't need to disclose." I have no sympathy.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:10 pm

PKSebben wrote:
aPosseAdEsse wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
jdubb990 wrote:Looked up my application...it says:

You must disclose each instance even though the charges may have been dismissed or you were acquitted or allowed to plead nolo contendere or an adjudication was withheld, or you were pardoned or a conviction was reversed, set aside or vacated, or the record sealed or expunged and regardless of whether you have been told you do not need to disclose such an instance. You must provide documentation of each instance.


Let me get this straight:

1) You knew of the incident
2) You even went to get documentation
3) You knew this was within the call of the question (not like it matters)
4) You didn't disclose

Have fun explaining this, friend.


Since you're clearly trying to scare him further, it seems you are not really a friend of his, are you.


To the OP:
As far as I know, you're only obligated to pay the tuition on the current semester(or quarter). It doesn't matter that you signed a promissary note for more loans than that. The loan money (less what you owe the school) that was dispursed to you can be returned at no charge or fee (assuming federal loans). Also, your landlord is likely obligated to find a replacement for you once you vacate, and once that person has moved in, he's only entitled to the difference he lost because of the vacancy (assuming the security deposit was "refundable" in the first place.) So in the worst case scenario, you won't be as bad off financially as you seem to now think.


I suppose my main point was that he's not blameless. He knew what he was doing and is now pooping himself over it. He could have disclosed and nobody would have cared. His post-hoc rationalization that he didn't think he needed to disclose it because the courthouse didn't have the files just smacks of "nobody will find out, so I don't need to disclose." I have no sympathy.


Wait, so we have to disclose when we were arrested as a teenager, even if no charges were pressed and all that was given was community clean-up at a local park? Crap, let me look at my damn application to see what it says. I'm sure I read it carefully the first time around.

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PKSebben
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby PKSebben » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:12 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:Wait, so we have to disclose when we were arrested as a teenager, even if no charges were pressed and all that was given was community clean-up at a local park? Crap, let me look at my damn application to see what it says. I'm sure I read it carefully the first time around.


Depending on the questions the school asks you, yes. Many apps make you disclose if you were ever in custody by the police. Most bar apps, too.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:17 pm

PKSebben wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:Wait, so we have to disclose when we were arrested as a teenager, even if no charges were pressed and all that was given was community clean-up at a local park? Crap, let me look at my damn application to see what it says. I'm sure I read it carefully the first time around.


Depending on the questions the school asks you, yes. Many apps make you disclose if you were ever in custody by the police. Most bar apps, too.



Ok! Here is what I am being asked:

Have you ever been charged with, pleaded guilty to, or
convicted of a crime, including juvenile and expunged
offenses, other than a minor traffic violation, or are any
criminal or civil charges pending?


Ok, since we're on the subject, is an arrest a crime charge?

I was arrested, but then let go and given community service. No charges of any kind. However, my arrest, I'm assuming, would be on file even though I was a teenager.

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jdubb990
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby jdubb990 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:19 pm

I'm not claiming to be blameless. Just simply laid out the facts.

pocket herc
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby pocket herc » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:20 pm

Disclose it now. You likely have an ongoing obligation to disclose if you discover at any point during attendance at law school inaccuracies on your application. I forgot two incidents from undergraduate (there was a 7 yr gap between law school and undergraduate) and the moment I discovered my failure to disclose I contacted the school and provided the information. The school amended my application accordingly, and there were no other repercussions. I think it is in your best interest to take an affirmative step now. I really think you will be alright. G'luck.

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PKSebben
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby PKSebben » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:20 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:Wait, so we have to disclose when we were arrested as a teenager, even if no charges were pressed and all that was given was community clean-up at a local park? Crap, let me look at my damn application to see what it says. I'm sure I read it carefully the first time around.


Depending on the questions the school asks you, yes. Many apps make you disclose if you were ever in custody by the police. Most bar apps, too.



Ok! Here is what I am being asked:

Have you ever been charged with, pleaded guilty to, or
convicted of a crime, including juvenile and expunged
offenses, other than a minor traffic violation, or are any
criminal or civil charges pending?


Ok, since we're on the subject, is an arrest a crime charge?

I was arrested, but then let go and given community service. No charges of any kind. However, my arrest, I'm assuming, would be on file even though I was a teenager.


an arrest is not a charge.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:23 pm

PKSebben wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:Wait, so we have to disclose when we were arrested as a teenager, even if no charges were pressed and all that was given was community clean-up at a local park? Crap, let me look at my damn application to see what it says. I'm sure I read it carefully the first time around.


Depending on the questions the school asks you, yes. Many apps make you disclose if you were ever in custody by the police. Most bar apps, too.



Ok! Here is what I am being asked:

Have you ever been charged with, pleaded guilty to, or
convicted of a crime, including juvenile and expunged
offenses, other than a minor traffic violation, or are any
criminal or civil charges pending?


Ok, since we're on the subject, is an arrest a crime charge?

I was arrested, but then let go and given community service. No charges of any kind. However, my arrest, I'm assuming, would be on file even though I was a teenager.


an arrest is not a charge.


Expanding on the arrest, I was booked and fingerprinted and then they called my parents to come pick me up. :roll:
Then, they dropped all my charges, no charges were pressed against me, and I was given community service in the form of cleaning-up a public park.

Was I supposed to disclose this arrest?

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:29 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
Depending on the questions the school asks you, yes. Many apps make you disclose if you were ever in custody by the police. Most bar apps, too.



Ok! Here is what I am being asked:

Have you ever been charged with, pleaded guilty to, or
convicted of a crime, including juvenile and expunged
offenses, other than a minor traffic violation, or are any
criminal or civil charges pending?


Ok, since we're on the subject, is an arrest a crime charge?

I was arrested, but then let go and given community service. No charges of any kind. However, my arrest, I'm assuming, would be on file even though I was a teenager.


an arrest is not a charge.


Expanding on the arrest, I was booked and fingerprinted and then they called my parents to come pick me up. :roll:
Then, they dropped all my charges, no charges were pressed against me, and I was given community service in the form of cleaning-up a public park.

Was I supposed to disclose this arrest?


Okay, so here's my logic:
My application is asking a lot, but it asks if I've ever been charged.
I was arrested as a teenager, but didn't plead guilty to anything since no charges were brought against me.

It's seems kinda borderline whether I should disclose or not. The main thing is that I was arrested and then let go (my parents picked me up from the police station) after they fingerprinted and put me in a holding cell.

All this as a teenager, mind you.


My verdict:
Since I was not charged, I don't disclose this arrest.
Last edited by SwollenMonkey on Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Renzo
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby Renzo » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:34 pm

disco_barred wrote:Somebody was kicked out of my school for this (failing to disclose in the application, sitting in on the intro lecture, freaking out, disclosing). I think it was something worse though. This is serious, you need to handle it professionally and promptly.

At my orientation the Dean said that every year come bar exam time they have to retroactively amend a bunch of applications and it's a huge PITA for the administration, and he asked that if anyone needed to amend their application would they please do it asap. So, YMMV

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:37 pm

Renzo wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Somebody was kicked out of my school for this (failing to disclose in the application, sitting in on the intro lecture, freaking out, disclosing). I think it was something worse though. This is serious, you need to handle it professionally and promptly.

At my orientation the Dean said that every year come bar exam time they have to retroactively amend a bunch of applications and it's a huge PITA for the administration, and he asked that if anyone needed to amend their application would they please do it asap. So, YMMV


It doesn't make logical sense that they would deny an applicant to the bar admission because she failed to disclose something that happened as a teenager. I know the world is not logical at times, but give me a break.

A person sacrifices a lot to become an attorney, and sometimes people forget things - even things that no one would assume we could forget.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:39 pm

To the OP, read your application carefully and see if you were supposed to disclose. Keep in mind all of your information is still anonymous, so see if you can wiggle out of something that is vague. If there is no wiggle room in the language of the application in relation to whatever mishap(s) you performed, then disclose it as soon as possible.
First thing in the morning when possible.

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PKSebben
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby PKSebben » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:42 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:To the OP, read your application carefully and see if you were supposed to disclose. Keep in mind all of your information is still anonymous, so see if you can wiggle out of something that is vague. If there is no wiggle room in the language of the application in relation to whatever mishap(s) you performed, then disclose it as soon as possible.
First thing in the morning when possible.


You don't "wiggle" out of shit that is vague, you err on the side of caution.

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PKSebben
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby PKSebben » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:44 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:
Renzo wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Somebody was kicked out of my school for this (failing to disclose in the application, sitting in on the intro lecture, freaking out, disclosing). I think it was something worse though. This is serious, you need to handle it professionally and promptly.

At my orientation the Dean said that every year come bar exam time they have to retroactively amend a bunch of applications and it's a huge PITA for the administration, and he asked that if anyone needed to amend their application would they please do it asap. So, YMMV


It doesn't make logical sense that they would deny an applicant to the bar admission because she failed to disclose something that happened as a teenager. I know the world is not logical at times, but give me a break.

A person sacrifices a lot to become an attorney, and sometimes people forget things - even things that no one would assume we could forget.


Uh, failing to disclose something is dishonest. Generally, bar examiners don't like to admit dishonest people. It doesn't matter when the offense happened, the dishonesty happened like, what, 4 months ago?

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: After sitting through ethics orientation

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:46 pm

PKSebben wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:
Renzo wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Somebody was kicked out of my school for this (failing to disclose in the application, sitting in on the intro lecture, freaking out, disclosing). I think it was something worse though. This is serious, you need to handle it professionally and promptly.

At my orientation the Dean said that every year come bar exam time they have to retroactively amend a bunch of applications and it's a huge PITA for the administration, and he asked that if anyone needed to amend their application would they please do it asap. So, YMMV


It doesn't make logical sense that they would deny an applicant to the bar admission because she failed to disclose something that happened as a teenager. I know the world is not logical at times, but give me a break.

A person sacrifices a lot to become an attorney, and sometimes people forget things - even things that no one would assume we could forget.




Uh, failing to disclose something is dishonest. Generally, bar examiners don't like to admit dishonest people. It doesn't matter when the offense happened, the dishonesty happened like, what, 4 months ago?



Sorry, I messed up the post.
I meant to say:
For the OP, I'm guessing the offenses happened a few years ago.

Mine, several years ago. Teenage years. I think I was 15 at the time, not sure. I forgot exactly when it happened. I just know I was arrested and not charged. :mrgreen:




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