Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Should bar applicants disclose incidents that did not lead to arrest, citation or charges?

a. Yes - opt for full disclosure
8
38%
b. Yes - They will find it
2
10%
c. No - No reason to
11
52%
 
Total votes: 21

lollawlawl
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Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:16 am

So - Here are two questions from the character & fitness exam:

Have you ever been cited for, arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any violation of any law other than a case that was resolved in juvenile court?

Within the past five years, have you exhibited any conduct or behavior that could call into question your ability to practice law in a competent, ethical, and professional manner?

That's interesting. I know the majority of the population has had interaction with the police - Whether it involve being questioned by police, had police arrive at their home due to a noise complaint, a passenger in a car stopped by police etc. And in those interactions - Most don't result in any formal complaint. The second question seems to try to catch all those incidents.

What are everyone thoughts?

Should a bar applicant disclose an interaction with police that did not lead to arrest?
Should a bar applicant reveal information that call into question their character - when they were not even cited, warned, arrested, charged etc.?
Can the bar examiners even access police incident reports? And do they?

An example, a bar applicant was convicted of an MIP, and during the first year of law school was questioned in relation to a felony - another party found guilty, questioned in relation to theft - was at a house party, questioned in relation to indecent exposure - free to go with no warning, and questioned in relation to broken property - deemed an accident and paid owner of goods. All of these incidents involved alcohol.

Does the bar applicant disclose just the MIP? or Does the bar applicant disclose everything and be at the mercy of the bar examiners rejecting admission due to illegal behavior and/or alcohol abuse? :cry:

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rinkrat19
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:20 am

How on earth do you interpret the second question as trying to get you to disclose interactions with the police in which you weren't arrested or charged?

Running an underground gambling parlor but never being arrested would fall under the second question. Being a passenger in a car pulled over for speeding would not.

lollawlawl
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:13 am

rinkrat19 wrote:How on earth do you interpret the second question as trying to get you to disclose interactions with the police in which you weren't arrested or charged?

Running an underground gambling parlor but never being arrested would fall under the second question. Being a passenger in a car pulled over for speeding would not.


Obviously. What about being questioned for indecent exposure? Your example is pretty 'black or white'. I'm just saying - everyone at my school is interpreting this question as including times you've been questioned by police - even if no charge has resulted.

There are some saying that there's no way the bar examiners are going that deep, others are sure they are. For some of us - having to include police incidents is a large task. Seriously, how do you remember that one time 5 years ago you were at a party and cops came and said turn the music down? Events like this are said to be included in the question.
Last edited by lollawlawl on Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ILoveYou
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby ILoveYou » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:23 am

lollawlawl wrote:Seriously, how do you remember that one time 6 years ago you were at a party and cops came and said turn the music down? Events like this are said to be included in the question.


Uh, you don't. You being at a party where the cops showed up and said turn the music down is neither what they are worried about nor probably even recorded anywhere, especially if it wasn't your house and you didn't get a citation. Do you think being at a loud party years ago calls into question your ability to practice law competently, ethically, or professionally? You're way over-thinking this question.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby MPTPWZ1026 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:28 am

lollawlawl wrote:Within the past five years, have you exhibited any conduct or behavior that could call into question your ability to practice law in a competent, ethical, and professional manner?


You are way, way overthinking that question. In my state, the answer to this is almost always no unless you've got mental health issues or a diagnosis that could really affect your ability to practice.

This is not a question you want to answer "yes" to.

lollawlawl
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:56 am

ILoveYou wrote:
Uh, you don't. You being at a party where the cops showed up and said turn the music down is neither what they are worried about nor probably even recorded anywhere, especially if it wasn't your house and you didn't get a citation. Do you think being at a loud party years ago calls into question your ability to practice law competently, ethically, or professionally? You're way over-thinking this question.


I would love it if I was over-thinking this. That's the portion of the question I've concentrated on as well. I was just going to disclose arrest, but it seems everyone in my class is disclosing every wrong thing they ever done. And there's only about 80 applicants. So that's nice. I don't think the bar examiners would be all the pleased if they found out that a bar applicant was questioned, not arrested or charged, for indecent exposure. Not very professional. And take away candidness b/c it was left out of the character and fitness.

Plus, the bar examiners do get local police reports. So do you gamble, and not disclose? or disclose and tell an embarrassing story?

lollawlawl
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:59 am

MPTPWZ1026 wrote:You are way, way overthinking that question. In my state, the answer to this is almost always no unless you've got mental health issues or a diagnosis that could really affect your ability to practice.

This is not a question you want to answer "yes" to.


Yeah, there are other questions for that. There's a mental health and addiction section. This question I'm talking about has been described as the "catch-all, what can we find out about you. What can we scare you into disclosing." question.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:59 am

I mean, the bar's not worried about whether you've ever drunk too much and had the police called to a party. The bar is worried about things like embezzling client funds or maybe sleeping with clients or a serious drug addiction.

lollawlawl
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:02 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I mean, the bar's not worried about whether you've ever drunk too much and had the police called to a party. The bar is worried about things like embezzling client funds or maybe sleeping with clients or a serious drug addiction.


Yeah, maybe in your state. Here, they are very serious about alcoholism. Multiple reports involving alcohol = alcohol dependency to them. So, yeah. Because ya know, they believe that alcohol dependency or drug addiction leads to embezzling client funds/sleeping with clients.

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ILoveYou
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby ILoveYou » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:15 am

Dude, write what you want. We tried to tell you that you don't need to tell them every dumb thing you ever did, but if you want to, go for it. Your state bar is not uniquely strict. They do not care about anything that every other state bar does not care also about. That question is not trying to get you to tell them embarrassing stories, it is trying to make you disclose serious ethical and legal indiscretions. A noise complaint here or there in college won't hold anyone back, no matter what state they're in.
Last edited by ILoveYou on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:16 am

lollawlawl wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I mean, the bar's not worried about whether you've ever drunk too much and had the police called to a party. The bar is worried about things like embezzling client funds or maybe sleeping with clients or a serious drug addiction.


Yeah, maybe in your state. Here, they are very serious about alcoholism. Multiple reports involving alcohol = alcohol dependency to them. So, yeah. Because ya know, they believe that alcohol dependency or drug addiction leads to embezzling client funds/sleeping with clients.

I get that (in my head it was under "serious drug addiction"), but I don't think police called to a loud party = alcoholism.

I do think that being questioned by the police 4x in law school in alcohol-related incidents might legitimately raise red flags, come to think of it (if that's what the hypothetical in the OP suggested).

And yes, contacting the bar and asking for guidance is probably the best solution here.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:18 am

lollawlawl wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I mean, the bar's not worried about whether you've ever drunk too much and had the police called to a party. The bar is worried about things like embezzling client funds or maybe sleeping with clients or a serious drug addiction.


Yeah, maybe in your state. Here, they are very serious about alcoholism. Multiple reports involving alcohol = alcohol dependency to them. So, yeah. Because ya know, they believe that alcohol dependency or drug addiction leads to embezzling client funds/sleeping with clients.


1) I bet this isn't true

2) but if you really think this stuff calls into question your character and fitness (it doesn't, but oh well) you have to disclose.

lollawlawl
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:29 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
lollawlawl wrote:I get that (in my head it was under "serious drug addiction"), but I don't think police called to a loud party = alcoholism.

I do think that being questioned by the police 4x in law school in alcohol-related incidents might legitimately raise red flags, come to think of it (if that's what the hypothetical in the OP suggested).

And yes, contacting the bar and asking for guidance is probably the best solution here.


Thank you, that's what I was originally trying to get at. But it seemed to trail off. Yes that's what I'm asking. If a bar applicant has been questioned by/has interaction with police 4X in law school. Nothing resulting in arrest, citation, etc. Do you disclose that? All but one can be explained away by being in the wrong place at the wrong time - but failing to disclose looks horrible.

So what do you do - disclose one and leave the rest? Gamble and disclose nothing. I know everyone seems to think its petty shit - but it may look like a pattern to bar examiners.
Last edited by lollawlawl on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:31 am

ILoveYou wrote:Dude, write what you want. We tried to tell you that you don't need to tell them every dumb thing you ever did, but if you want to, go for it. Your state bar is not uniquely strict. They do not care about anything that every other state bar does not care also about. That question is not trying to get you to tell them embarrassing stories, it is trying to make you disclose serious ethical and legal indiscretions. A noise complaint here or there in college won't hold anyone back, no matter what state they're in.


Sure, thanks. I get what you're saying. I'm worried about numerous interactions with the police - in law school - that did not result in any formal charges. I think the question got a little misconstrued - I'm not asking bout one isolated incident.
Last edited by lollawlawl on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:34 am

lollawlawl wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
lollawlawl wrote:I get that (in my head it was under "serious drug addiction"), but I don't think police called to a loud party = alcoholism.

I do think that being questioned by the police 4x in law school in alcohol-related incidents might legitimately raise red flags, come to think of it (if that's what the hypothetical in the OP suggested).

And yes, contacting the bar and asking for guidance is probably the best solution here.


Thank you, that's what I was originally trying to get at. But it seemed to trail off. Yes that's what I'm asking. If a bar applicant has been questioned by/has interaction with police 4X in law school. Nothing result in arrest, citation, etc. Do you disclose that? All but one can be explained away by being in the wrong place at the wrong time - but failing to disclose looks horrible.

So what do you do - disclose one and leave the rest? Gamble and disclose nothing. I know everyone seems to think its petty shit - but it may look like a pattern to bar examiners.


You are presuming a standard that is way way way higher than C&F is. If you run into the police and they don't even give you a ticket, let alone arrest you, you aren't doing anything seriously wrong. If they wanted every time you talked to the cops, they'd ask for it.

I disclosed two alcohol related incidents and I got into two bars C&F without out even being INTERVIEWED about it.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:38 am

Desert Fox wrote:
You are presuming a standard that is way way way higher than C&F is. If you run into the police and they don't even give you a ticket, let alone arrest you, you aren't doing anything seriously wrong. If they wanted every time you talked to the cops, they'd ask for it.

I disclosed two alcohol related incidents and I got into two bars C&F without out even being INTERVIEWED about it.


That's exactly how I felt about it. Until, fellow students casted a shadow of doubt over the whole process. Then, I spoke to our state's director of the Lawyer Assistance Program. He recommended I disclose. IDK, what to do.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:42 am

lollawlawl wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
You are presuming a standard that is way way way higher than C&F is. If you run into the police and they don't even give you a ticket, let alone arrest you, you aren't doing anything seriously wrong. If they wanted every time you talked to the cops, they'd ask for it.

I disclosed two alcohol related incidents and I got into two bars C&F without out even being INTERVIEWED about it.


That's exactly how I felt about it. Until, fellow students casted a shadow of doubt over the whole process. Then, I spoke to our state's director of the Lawyer Assistance Program. He recommended I disclose. IDK, what to do.


1) If you are going to worry just disclose it. Nobody cares and it'll save you the stress.

2) fellow students are retarded.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:42 pm

lollawlawl wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
You are presuming a standard that is way way way higher than C&F is. If you run into the police and they don't even give you a ticket, let alone arrest you, you aren't doing anything seriously wrong. If they wanted every time you talked to the cops, they'd ask for it.

I disclosed two alcohol related incidents and I got into two bars C&F without out even being INTERVIEWED about it.


That's exactly how I felt about it. Until, fellow students casted a shadow of doubt over the whole process. Then, I spoke to our state's director of the Lawyer Assistance Program. He recommended I disclose. IDK, what to do.

Your fellow students sound pretty dumb, if that's how they're construing a simple question. I hope you're all better at reading caselaw and statutes.
If you want to disclose, by all means disclose every time you got within 50 feet of a uniformed police officer. Whoever reads your app will probably get some entertainment out of your paranoia.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:11 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
lollawlawl wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
You are presuming a standard that is way way way higher than C&F is. If you run into the police and they don't even give you a ticket, let alone arrest you, you aren't doing anything seriously wrong. If they wanted every time you talked to the cops, they'd ask for it.

I disclosed two alcohol related incidents and I got into two bars C&F without out even being INTERVIEWED about it.


That's exactly how I felt about it. Until, fellow students casted a shadow of doubt over the whole process. Then, I spoke to our state's director of the Lawyer Assistance Program. He recommended I disclose. IDK, what to do.

Your fellow students sound pretty dumb, if that's how they're construing a simple question. I hope you're all better at reading caselaw and statutes.
If you want to disclose, by all means disclose every time you got within 50 feet of a uniformed police officer. Whoever reads your app will probably get some entertainment out of your paranoia.


Considering that the State Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program and the Dean agreed to disclose all conduct that warrants questioning from the police. Seems little overboard to call them all dumb. I'm with you in not disclosing questioning. An example the Direct of the LAP gave was if a bar applicant did not disclose they were a passenger in car that was in a felony stop - even though nothing came of the arrest - it's a red flag. So there's that.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby encore1101 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:39 pm

lollawlawl wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
lollawlawl wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
You are presuming a standard that is way way way higher than C&F is. If you run into the police and they don't even give you a ticket, let alone arrest you, you aren't doing anything seriously wrong. If they wanted every time you talked to the cops, they'd ask for it.

I disclosed two alcohol related incidents and I got into two bars C&F without out even being INTERVIEWED about it.


That's exactly how I felt about it. Until, fellow students casted a shadow of doubt over the whole process. Then, I spoke to our state's director of the Lawyer Assistance Program. He recommended I disclose. IDK, what to do.

Your fellow students sound pretty dumb, if that's how they're construing a simple question. I hope you're all better at reading caselaw and statutes.
If you want to disclose, by all means disclose every time you got within 50 feet of a uniformed police officer. Whoever reads your app will probably get some entertainment out of your paranoia.


Considering that the State Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program and the Dean agreed to disclose all conduct that warrants questioning from the police. Seems little overboard to call them all dumb. I'm with you in not disclosing questioning. An example the Direct of the LAP gave was if a bar applicant did not disclose they were a passenger in car that was in a felony stop - even though nothing came of the arrest - it's a red flag. So there's that.



/groan

No, they're all dumb. Like the State Director of the LAP or the Dean is really going to say "Oh no, you don't have to disclose that!"

Look, you got your answer. The majority of people who responded in this thread say you don't have to disclose. I interpreted that second question to mean things that reflect on your professional+ethical conduct, not criminal record. If you want to play it safe and disclose everything, more power to you, but you could have reached that conclusion without coming here.

That time the police came to my apartment because my downstairs neighbor complained of noise? I didn't disclose. That time I got pulled over for using a cell phone, but didn't get cited or a ticket? I didn't disclose.

But there are some things that are unethical but not illegal. For example, sitting on a client's case for months without doing any work on it, then charging him $10,000.

So by the Director of LAP's example, does that mean if you're a passenger in a misdemeanor stop (whatever that is), you don't have to disclose? What if you're in a misdemeanor stop 4 times in the past year?? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
Last edited by encore1101 on Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:41 pm

encore1101 wrote:
lollawlawl wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
lollawlawl wrote:
That's exactly how I felt about it. Until, fellow students casted a shadow of doubt over the whole process. Then, I spoke to our state's director of the Lawyer Assistance Program. He recommended I disclose. IDK, what to do.

Your fellow students sound pretty dumb, if that's how they're construing a simple question. I hope you're all better at reading caselaw and statutes.
If you want to disclose, by all means disclose every time you got within 50 feet of a uniformed police officer. Whoever reads your app will probably get some entertainment out of your paranoia.


Considering that the State Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program and the Dean agreed to disclose all conduct that warrants questioning from the police. Seems little overboard to call them all dumb. I'm with you in not disclosing questioning. An example the Direct of the LAP gave was if a bar applicant did not disclose they were a passenger in car that was in a felony stop - even though nothing came of the arrest - it's a red flag. So there's that.



/groan

No, they're all dumb. Like the State Director of the LAP or the Dean is really going to say "Oh no, you don't have to disclose that!"

Look, you got your answer. The majority of people who responded in this thread say you don't have to disclose. I interpreted that second question to mean things that reflect on your professional+ethical conduct, not criminal record. If you want to play it safe and disclose everything, more power to you, but you could have reached that conclusion without coming here.

That time the police came to my apartment because my downstairs neighbor complained of noise? I didn't disclose. That time I got pulled over for using a cell phone, but didn't get cited or a ticket? I didn't disclose.

But there are some things that are unethical but not illegal. For example, sitting on a client's case for months without doing any work on it, then charging him $10,000


thats fraud bro

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encore1101
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby encore1101 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:44 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
thats fraud bro


only if they find out

jk fair enough. when i say illegal, i meant criminally illegal, which, in context of this thread, is covered by the first question. my bad for not making myself clear.

fine, bad example. how about having sex with the divorcee you're representing.

my approach when confronted with this question "What did I learn/cover in Professional Responsibility/MPRE? Did I do any of those things?"

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby lollawlawl » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:57 pm

encore1101 wrote:

/groan

No, they're all dumb. Like the State Director of the LAP or the Dean is really going to say "Oh no, you don't have to disclose that!"

Look, you got your answer. The majority of people who responded in this thread say you don't have to disclose. I interpreted that second question to mean things that reflect on your professional+ethical conduct, not criminal record. If you want to play it safe and disclose everything, more power to you, but you could have reached that conclusion without coming here.

That time the police came to my apartment because my downstairs neighbor complained of noise? I didn't disclose. That time I got pulled over for using a cell phone, but didn't get cited or a ticket? I didn't disclose.

But there are some things that are unethical but not illegal. For example, sitting on a client's case for months without doing any work on it, then charging him $10,000.

So by the Director of LAP's example, does that mean if you're a passenger in a misdemeanor stop (whatever that is), you don't have to disclose? What if you're in a misdemeanor stop 4 times in the past year?? SO MANY QUESTIONS.


LOL. Whoa. Didn't mean to get on your nerves, sorry for wasting your time! WOW! I must be confused isn't this forum is to discuss the bar application? To ask questions? To seek others' opinions? You might think all my classmates are dumb and that's great. I sure hope the majority of future lawyers don't have an attitude like yours. Many bar applicants struggle with what to disclose/what not to disclose. Especially when failure to disclose is considered lack of candor. And especially when lack of candor can result in denial of admission. I'm glad you're so far above everyone else to have figured it out and you don't have to seek legal advice, post on a forum or consult the Lawyer Assistance Program! So happy for you!

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encore1101
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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby encore1101 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:13 pm

lollawlawl wrote:
encore1101 wrote:

/groan

No, they're all dumb. Like the State Director of the LAP or the Dean is really going to say "Oh no, you don't have to disclose that!"

Look, you got your answer. The majority of people who responded in this thread say you don't have to disclose. I interpreted that second question to mean things that reflect on your professional+ethical conduct, not criminal record. If you want to play it safe and disclose everything, more power to you, but you could have reached that conclusion without coming here.

That time the police came to my apartment because my downstairs neighbor complained of noise? I didn't disclose. That time I got pulled over for using a cell phone, but didn't get cited or a ticket? I didn't disclose.

But there are some things that are unethical but not illegal. For example, sitting on a client's case for months without doing any work on it, then charging him $10,000.

So by the Director of LAP's example, does that mean if you're a passenger in a misdemeanor stop (whatever that is), you don't have to disclose? What if you're in a misdemeanor stop 4 times in the past year?? SO MANY QUESTIONS.


LOL. Whoa. Didn't mean to get on your nerves, sorry for wasting your time! WOW! I must be confused isn't this forum is to discuss the bar application? To ask questions? To seek others' opinions? You might think all my classmates are dumb and that's great. I sure hope the majority of future lawyers don't have an attitude like yours. Many bar applicants struggle with what to disclose/what not to disclose. Especially when failure to disclose is considered lack of candor. And especially when lack of candor can result in denial of admission. I'm glad you're so far above everyone else to have figured it out and you don't have to seek legal advice, post on a forum or consult the Lawyer Assistance Program! So happy for you!



Thanks! The fact that I have basic literacy skills helped a lot! And sorry, the majority of future lawyers will think your classmates are dumb.

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Re: Character and Fitness Investigation - Police Incident Report

Postby underthirty » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:17 pm

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