California Bar Moral Character Application

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jptx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jptx » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:27 pm

AttorneyExam wrote:I am licensed to practice law outside of California. I practiced federal law in California for 3 years before taking and passing the bar. I included that info in my moral character application and stressed that I solely appeared before federal judges for federal matters. My analyst informed me that my file needs to be reviewed by another attorney to ensure that I was not engaged in the unauthorized practice of law (Rule 9.40/pro hac vice). I never appeared in state court so I don't understand how/why it would apply to me. On the State Bar website it states that the state bar does not have jurisdiction over federal matters/courts.

Does anyone have any info about this? Any and all input appreciated.

Thanks!


Apparently fairly complex area of the law. This case linked below and the cases cited therein should help you get started. I have had this issue pop up on occasion without much comfort in the correct answer.

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case ... ciodt=3,44

The Sperry [ Sperry v. Florida, 373 U.S. 379 (1963)] decision "stands for the general proposition that where federal law authorizes an agent to practice before a federal tribunal, the federal law preempts a state's licensing requirements to the extent that those requirements hinder or obstruct the goals of federal law." Surrick v. Killion, 449 F.3d 520, 530 (3d Cir. 2006) (emphasis supplied); see also In re Desilets, 291 F.3d 925, 930 (6th Cir. 2002) (holding, in unauthorized practice of law case, that "[w]hen state licensing laws purport to prohibit lawyers from doing that which federal law entitles them to do, the state law must give way.").

But there seems to be exceptions or nuances where "state action does not interfere with the requirements of federal law."

I think you should be OK, but I would be prepared with case law if you have to discuss this issue again.

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rcharter1978

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby rcharter1978 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 am

InterAlia1961 wrote:
Moabit wrote:C'mon, InterAlia, it was funny for sure. At the beginning.
Jman77 will be fine. The Committee only summons and chews on those whose fitness as a lawyer raises genuine questions. With as much experience in the process as you have, you surely know this. :wink:


Funny? What exactly about this process is funny? Clue me in. You have no idea what raises a question for the Committee. I'm in contact with a number of individuals who have been questioned and/or denied for reasons that don't come anywhere near moral turpitude. Lack of candor over the smallest of detail is enough to do it.

If you're reading this thread, it's because you've already been denied or are worried you will be. If you have anything in your past that you think is going to show up, no matter how distant in time it is, at least consult someone with a license before you fill out the application. If you want to know what happens to people who have to update their application more than once, Google Zachary Coughlin + California State Bar. The hearing judge said it showed a lack of candor, inexcusable negligence, and lack of respect for the process. If you did make a mistake, correct it immediately. Don't wait until you're back in country, return from vacation, or whatever other excuse you have. Fix it fast.

If you get called for an informal conference, contact someone with a license if you can afford it. It's a minefield.

Your credibility is an issue as is your character. If you can't handle someone on an anonymous forum pointing out the weaknesses in your argument, you won't do well in front of the Committee. They'll challenge everything.


It was a little funny for you to troll that guy, is what the other poster was saying. I'm not sure.

However, jmans issue is likely one that can be cleared fairly easily. After my experience, I'd get an attorney to help me draft any response because I wouldn't want to open a can of worms, but people have drafted their responses without legal help and have done fine.

Your experience has been awful and it colors your advice and point of view. Personally, I never really felt my investigator had it out for me. She had her job to do so she had to do her due diligence. She couldn't see an issue and not address it. She had to check her boxes and she cleared me within days of getting my response. I think your situation has been a terrible outlier, and I really hope you're able to prevail.

I do, however agree with seeking legal advice if you think something might be an issue. It's not cheap, but nothing is more expensive than having to put your career on hold indefinitely.

yespasscbx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby yespasscbx » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:22 am

Filling out the Moral Character Application on this new AIMS system is driving me crazy ... can anybody help me out?

First, in the Former Name or Alias part, I saw a stranger's name that I'm very sure I've never submitted in any previous applications (for Bar Exam). I tried to delete it, but failed. I tried to say something like 'I've never submitted that information', but there is nowhere I can type in any explanations.

Second, I cannot input Street information in the Residential History part. I saw the instruction 'Please include apt./suite/floor on second line', but there is nowhere I can input any words.

Has anybody else experienced the same problems?

Thanks!

nixy

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby nixy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:01 am

InterAlia1961 wrote:If you want to know what happens to people who have to update their application more than once, Google Zachary Coughlin + California State Bar. The hearing judge said it showed a lack of candor, inexcusable negligence, and lack of respect for the process.

This guy had a LOT of C+F problems that weren't just about updating his application more than once.

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rcharter1978

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby rcharter1978 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:54 am

nixy wrote:
InterAlia1961 wrote:If you want to know what happens to people who have to update their application more than once, Google Zachary Coughlin + California State Bar. The hearing judge said it showed a lack of candor, inexcusable negligence, and lack of respect for the process.

This guy had a LOT of C+F problems that weren't just about updating his application more than once.


Wow, that's an interesting case. I definitely think that case is an outlier because his amendments were generally not completely truthful. And it sounds like he was super angry pants during the hearing and never showed up on time. The judge seemed to think it was a totality of the circumstances, and even after that she/he laid out a roadmap for the applicant to eventually gain admittance.

AttorneyExam

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby AttorneyExam » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:48 pm

Thank you!




jptx wrote:
AttorneyExam wrote:I am licensed to practice law outside of California. I practiced federal law in California for 3 years before taking and passing the bar. I included that info in my moral character application and stressed that I solely appeared before federal judges for federal matters. My analyst informed me that my file needs to be reviewed by another attorney to ensure that I was not engaged in the unauthorized practice of law (Rule 9.40/pro hac vice). I never appeared in state court so I don't understand how/why it would apply to me. On the State Bar website it states that the state bar does not have jurisdiction over federal matters/courts.

Does anyone have any info about this? Any and all input appreciated.

Thanks!


Apparently fairly complex area of the law. This case linked below and the cases cited therein should help you get started. I have had this issue pop up on occasion without much comfort in the correct answer.

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case ... ciodt=3,44

The Sperry [ Sperry v. Florida, 373 U.S. 379 (1963)] decision "stands for the general proposition that where federal law authorizes an agent to practice before a federal tribunal, the federal law preempts a state's licensing requirements to the extent that those requirements hinder or obstruct the goals of federal law." Surrick v. Killion, 449 F.3d 520, 530 (3d Cir. 2006) (emphasis supplied); see also In re Desilets, 291 F.3d 925, 930 (6th Cir. 2002) (holding, in unauthorized practice of law case, that "[w]hen state licensing laws purport to prohibit lawyers from doing that which federal law entitles them to do, the state law must give way.").

But there seems to be exceptions or nuances where "state action does not interfere with the requirements of federal law."

I think you should be OK, but I would be prepared with case law if you have to discuss this issue again.

bacillusanthracis

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby bacillusanthracis » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:55 pm

Well, all's well that ends well; I've been approved and I'll be sworn in by sometime next week. And by a wild instance of timing, an attorney I'd interviewed with several had his secretary email me just last night to see if I'd been approved yet. Long story short, I already have a well paying job.

It's weird though. The idea that I wasn't going to get approved has dominated my thoughts for so long that it seems the gloom is going to take some time to lift. I can honestly say that rarely have a few hours gone for the last year + that I haven't thought about what it would mean to be denied. It's been a spirit-crushing experience.

I'm sure though, that within a few hours of starting this new job that this bullshit will fade into Bolivian (see Mike Tyson).

I do sincerely wish everyone here the best of luck on this terrible journey. My advice is to see an attorney who specializes in this stuff. What my attorney told me to write, how to address my issues, and what I've done since then is what put me over the top. I'd call to thank him, but for $500 an hour, he already got thanks enough.

He was operating out of Torrance at the time. I don't even remember his name. I'd have to order up copies of my old, now defunct AMEX bill to find it. But he was on the board for moral character stuff. Good guy.

Again, best of luck to you all.

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rcharter1978

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby rcharter1978 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:39 am

Congrats! Maybe it'll just take some time for it to sink in that you're not in that purgatory anymore.

I just re read your posts and Im like 10x happier for you. Congratulations, and I hope you feel better about everything soon.

ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:50 am

bacillusanthracis wrote:Well, all's well that ends well; I've been approved and I'll be sworn in by sometime next week. And by a wild instance of timing, an attorney I'd interviewed with several had his secretary email me just last night to see if I'd been approved yet. Long story short, I already have a well paying job.

It's weird though. The idea that I wasn't going to get approved has dominated my thoughts for so long that it seems the gloom is going to take some time to lift. I can honestly say that rarely have a few hours gone for the last year + that I haven't thought about what it would mean to be denied. It's been a spirit-crushing experience.

I'm sure though, that within a few hours of starting this new job that this bullshit will fade into Bolivian (see Mike Tyson).

I do sincerely wish everyone here the best of luck on this terrible journey. My advice is to see an attorney who specializes in this stuff. What my attorney told me to write, how to address my issues, and what I've done since then is what put me over the top. I'd call to thank him, but for $500 an hour, he already got thanks enough.

He was operating out of Torrance at the time. I don't even remember his name. I'd have to order up copies of my old, now defunct AMEX bill to find it. But he was on the board for moral character stuff. Good guy.

Again, best of luck to you all.


Double CONGRATULATIONS :!: :!: on a positive moral character determination and on a job!

QContinuum

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:53 am

bacillusanthracis wrote:Well, all's well that ends well; I've been approved and I'll be sworn in by sometime next week. And by a wild instance of timing, an attorney I'd interviewed with several had his secretary email me just last night to see if I'd been approved yet. Long story short, I already have a well paying job.

HUGE congrats - so thrilled for you! What a terrific, more than well-earned conclusion to your long saga. This is like a real-life dream come true.

Mucho thanks for updating us!

bacillusanthracis

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby bacillusanthracis » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:08 am

Thanks for the congratulations everyone. I really appreciate it. And those well wishes are actually directed toward something that turned out to be more important than the bar exam. Just about everybody has some kind of awareness of how difficult the bar exam is. But this moral character app thing is a totally different animal. So it means something.

Over the last 24 hours as I've had some time to reflect, I still have no advice on how to better weather this storm.

I initially want to say to stay away from the internet because the news can be so gloomy. But the support and relatable stories and emotions that I found here were really important to me. Given the situation that we're in, it's not like you can go strike up a conversation with just anyone about it and find a kindred spirit. We're a minority within a minority. That is, law students/grads/lawyers make up a relatively small number of people in society, and we make up a small fraction of that already small number. So this is a particularly unique hell.

Mine lasted for 20+ months from the time I submitted until getting a determination. Now that I'm not paranoid about getting turned down over what I write here, I think it's important to point out that my app "got lost in a glitch" for 7 months. So for those of you who have just submitted your MCA, be sure to check if they received it. I knew mine wasn't going to sail through so I didn't pay much attention to it once it was submitted, but that cost me 7 months. So I suggest that once 30 days passes after you submit, call and make sure they've received it. Had I been diligent, I would've been admitted to the bar in December or January, right after finding out that I'd passed the bar. That would've been sweet. Oh well.

I could go on, but I won't.

Again, thanks everyone, and the very best of luck.

alliwantis

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby alliwantis » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:54 pm

Hey everyone,

Thought I'd share my experience to pay it forward since I was staring at this forever.
I was a December grad (part time student) and I submitted my application November 19 by mail. They asked me a question about my business (which I had already provided an answer to...), and I was marked complete January 9. I passed the February bar exam, and I started calling that Monday. Called May 20 and they said I hadn't been assigned to an investigator yet. I submitted a online general request on May 28 via the status check system they have and never received a response (so I don't recommend doing that). I called again Monday June 3 since my school's swearing in ceremony was the next day, and they told me I had been assigned to an investigator. I called her and left a voicemail asking if she need anything. She approved me 2 hours later. I went to the State Bar office the next morning to see if it was possible to get my admissions packet to actually get sworn in at my school's ceremony. They told me that it would be at least 2 weeks to get placed on motion and for them to get the info back from the Supreme Court. I participated in my swearing in ceremony without getting the card signed (just for fun).

Interesting note is that during the 2 weeks after the bar exam, they expedite getting people on motion to the Supreme Court who are approved late, so that you can make your school's ceremony (one of my friends got approved on Thursday 5/30 and got her packet in time for the 6/4 ceremony. I unfortunately was the Monday of the third week after bar results, so I didn't get that luxury.

Good luck and happy waiting around!

Daisyred

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby Daisyred » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:28 pm

yespasscbx wrote:Filling out the Moral Character Application on this new AIMS system is driving me crazy ... can anybody help me out?

First, in the Former Name or Alias part, I saw a stranger's name that I'm very sure I've never submitted in any previous applications (for Bar Exam). I tried to delete it, but failed. I tried to say something like 'I've never submitted that information', but there is nowhere I can type in any explanations.

Second, I cannot input Street information in the Residential History part. I saw the instruction 'Please include apt./suite/floor on second line', but there is nowhere I can input any words.

Has anybody else experienced the same problems?

Thanks!


I have similar problems.

1. Change of info: I can not change the info on the law school part. The system ( I do not think it was me) entered a law school in my legal education part which I have never attended. When I click to edit, it says you can not change the name. I sent a request to the Bar via AIMS end of May. No response yet.

2. Address edit: you can click the button after the word "view" at the end of each address entry. The select edit to complete the address. Hope this helps.

yespasscbx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby yespasscbx » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:48 pm

Daisyred wrote:
yespasscbx wrote:Filling out the Moral Character Application on this new AIMS system is driving me crazy ... can anybody help me out?

First, in the Former Name or Alias part, I saw a stranger's name that I'm very sure I've never submitted in any previous applications (for Bar Exam). I tried to delete it, but failed. I tried to say something like 'I've never submitted that information', but there is nowhere I can type in any explanations.

Second, I cannot input Street information in the Residential History part. I saw the instruction 'Please include apt./suite/floor on second line', but there is nowhere I can input any words.

Has anybody else experienced the same problems?

Thanks!


I have similar problems.

1. Change of info: I can not change the info on the law school part. The system ( I do not think it was me) entered a law school in my legal education part which I have never attended. When I click to edit, it says you can not change the name. I sent a request to the Bar via AIMS end of May. No response yet.

2. Address edit: you can click the button after the word "view" at the end of each address entry. The select edit to complete the address. Hope this helps.


Thanks, Daisyred!

I submitted a request about the Former Name / Alias that was entered by the system five days ago via AIMS, too. Just like your experience, no response yet.

When trying to edit the address, I clicked the button 'view'. The problem is that while there are boxes for 'Date From' 'Date To' etc. where I can edit, there is no box for 'Address Details' where I can input words or make changes. I also submitted a request about this and again no response yet.

I'm wondering if the Request function of AIMS really works ...

apprentice2020

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby apprentice2020 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:38 am

The State Bar's most recent public meeting (webcast) regarding the Moral Character process: http://calbar.granicus.com/MediaPlayer. ... lip_id=467

Section D discusses the process.

ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:11 pm

apprentice2020 wrote:The State Bar's most recent public meeting (webcast) regarding the Moral Character process: http://calbar.granicus.com/MediaPlayer. ... lip_id=467

Section D discusses the process.


Thanks for posting. It is good find out names and faces of some of the staff. One did admit that there has been a period of adjustment to the AIMS system. Also interesting that a letter is signed every Wednesday putting names on motion to the California Supreme Court.

Daisyred

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby Daisyred » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:06 pm

yespasscbx wrote:
Daisyred wrote:
yespasscbx wrote:Filling out the Moral Character Application on this new AIMS system is driving me crazy ... can anybody help me out?

First, in the Former Name or Alias part, I saw a stranger's name that I'm very sure I've never submitted in any previous applications (for Bar Exam). I tried to delete it, but failed. I tried to say something like 'I've never submitted that information', but there is nowhere I can type in any explanations.

Second, I cannot input Street information in the Residential History part. I saw the instruction 'Please include apt./suite/floor on second line', but there is nowhere I can input any words.

Has anybody else experienced the same problems?

Thanks!


I have similar problems.

1. Change of info: I can not change the info on the law school part. The system ( I do not think it was me) entered a law school in my legal education part which I have never attended. When I click to edit, it says you can not change the name. I sent a request to the Bar via AIMS end of May. No response yet.

2. Address edit: you can click the button after the word "view" at the end of each address entry. The select edit to complete the address. Hope this helps.


Thanks, Daisyred!

I submitted a request about the Former Name / Alias that was entered by the system five days ago via AIMS, too. Just like your experience, no response yet.

When trying to edit the address, I clicked the button 'view'. The problem is that while there are boxes for 'Date From' 'Date To' etc. where I can edit, there is no box for 'Address Details' where I can input words or make changes. I also submitted a request about this and again no response yet.

I'm wondering if the Request function of AIMS really works ...


Hi Yespasscbx, not the view button, but the arrow button after view button. when you click the arrow button, the word edit pops up and you can edit from there.

I am thinking to give the bar a call regarding my request, and will update here with my result.

Daisyred

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby Daisyred » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:22 pm

Hi yespasscbx, I got your pm, but the system told me I am not senior enough to compose a pm. I only have a few posts.

yespasscbx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby yespasscbx » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:28 pm

Daisyred wrote:
yespasscbx wrote:
Daisyred wrote:
yespasscbx wrote:Filling out the Moral Character Application on this new AIMS system is driving me crazy ... can anybody help me out?

First, in the Former Name or Alias part, I saw a stranger's name that I'm very sure I've never submitted in any previous applications (for Bar Exam). I tried to delete it, but failed. I tried to say something like 'I've never submitted that information', but there is nowhere I can type in any explanations.

Second, I cannot input Street information in the Residential History part. I saw the instruction 'Please include apt./suite/floor on second line', but there is nowhere I can input any words.

Has anybody else experienced the same problems?

Thanks!


I have similar problems.

1. Change of info: I can not change the info on the law school part. The system ( I do not think it was me) entered a law school in my legal education part which I have never attended. When I click to edit, it says you can not change the name. I sent a request to the Bar via AIMS end of May. No response yet.

2. Address edit: you can click the button after the word "view" at the end of each address entry. The select edit to complete the address. Hope this helps.


Thanks, Daisyred!

I submitted a request about the Former Name / Alias that was entered by the system five days ago via AIMS, too. Just like your experience, no response yet.

When trying to edit the address, I clicked the button 'view'. The problem is that while there are boxes for 'Date From' 'Date To' etc. where I can edit, there is no box for 'Address Details' where I can input words or make changes. I also submitted a request about this and again no response yet.

I'm wondering if the Request function of AIMS really works ...


Hi Yespasscbx, not the view button, but the arrow button after view button. when you click the arrow button, the word edit pops up and you can edit from there.

I am thinking to give the bar a call regarding my request, and will update here with my result.


Thanks, Daisyred! I tried that arrow button, and the response was 'You cannot modify previously submitted records here' (but I've never created that entry; it was created by the system) :roll:

Surprised to know that you have not received a response yet. It's almost two weeks, isn't it? Please update here if you call the bar, thank you!

Daisyred

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby Daisyred » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:42 am

yespasscbx wrote:Thanks, Daisyred! I tried that arrow button, and the response was 'You cannot modify previously submitted records here' (but I've never created that entry; it was created by the system) :roll:

Surprised to know that you have not received a response yet. It's almost two weeks, isn't it? Please update here if you call the bar, thank you!


Yay! I received an email response from the bar yesterday (roughly 2 weeks timeline). Basically, when the system tells you you can not edit the info, you can not. They ask you to submit as is, and then file an amendment with the correct info.

Hopefully this helps. I guess soon you will receive an response too. :) Good luck!
Last edited by QContinuum on Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to fix quote formatting.

yespasscbx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby yespasscbx » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:03 am

Daisyred wrote:
yespasscbx wrote:Thanks, Daisyred! I tried that arrow button, and the response was 'You cannot modify previously submitted records here' (but I've never created that entry; it was created by the system) :roll:

Surprised to know that you have not received a response yet. It's almost two weeks, isn't it? Please update here if you call the bar, thank you!


Yay! I received an email response from the bar yesterday (roughly 2 weeks timeline). Basically, when the system tells you you can not edit the info, you can not. They ask you to submit as is, and then file an amendment with the correct info.

Hopefully this helps. I guess soon you will receive an response too. :) Good luck!


Great to know that they respond!! :lol: Well, it seems like I need to wait for one more week. Thanks, Daisyred, and good luck!

amari

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby amari » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:21 pm

caitlin1016 wrote:How can you tell if they're going through your character and fitness application? My status currently says "submitted" (I submitted in February) and I've heard from some of my reviewers that they've been contacted. Does the status change to "processing" or anything like that when it's being reviewed? Also, any thoughts on how being licensed in another jurisdiction in good standing (Illinois) for about two years affects the speed of processing? Thanks!



I'd like to know the answer to this as well. I'm licensed in several other states (including NY and IL and IN - IN for over 10 years now) and the process there has never been so opaque. I submitted my c/f app in early March 2019, and it still says "submitted." I sent a message in "AIMS" and have heard nothing (I sent a message asking if the application was complete). I also had to email about my exam ticket - it seems they are incredibly short staffed. For the amount of money we all spent to take this test, I'm disappointed (comparing to three other states where I went through the same process).

yespasscbx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby yespasscbx » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:48 am

ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:My status on the new AIMS (Admissions Information Management System) is “Pending Internal Review.” I want to believe that means the background investigation is complete —does anyone know if that is true?


May I ask when you submitted the application? Thanks.

ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:36 am

yespasscbx wrote:
ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:My status on the new AIMS (Admissions Information Management System) is “Pending Internal Review.” I want to believe that means the background investigation is complete —does anyone know if that is true?


May I ask when you submitted the application? Thanks.


I sent it in mid-Jan 2019 (along with 1600+ applicants) and they marked it received (in the legacy system) on Jan 24. I received an email in late March saying it appeared to be complete and was in Filed status. Nothing since then.

One of my classmates who filed several days before me, received a positive determination last week. I hope that means mine is imminent. : :)

yespasscbx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby yespasscbx » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:57 am

ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:
yespasscbx wrote:
ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:My status on the new AIMS (Admissions Information Management System) is “Pending Internal Review.” I want to believe that means the background investigation is complete —does anyone know if that is true?


May I ask when you submitted the application? Thanks.


I sent it in mid-Jan 2019 (along with 1600+ applicants) and they marked it received (in the legacy system) on Jan 24. I received an email in late March saying it appeared to be complete and was in Filed status. Nothing since then.

One of my classmates who filed several days before me, received a positive determination last week. I hope that means mine is imminent. : :)


Thanks! Looks like your positive determination is coming very soon! Good luck :!:



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