California Bar Moral Character Application

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ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:58 am

I received a request for further information regarding a 2-1/2 year job gap back in the early 2000s during which I was seeking other employment. I will respond with information about the efforts I undertook during the time, but would appreciate any advice from this group.

The email asked for any additional information I deem relevant to make the determination...I am not sure how to respond to this. I don’t want to not respond, so I thought just a summary paragraph about my general character. Your thoughts...?

They also reminded me of my “continuing duty to update responses to questions in the application” so I will include information about my activities since January when I submitted the MCD. Again, any thoughts on this?

Moabit

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby Moabit » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:38 pm

They are interested not as much in why you did not work at the time, as in whether you might be hiding something (mental health problems, substance abuse, actual employment that went awry, etc.). So if you explain your efforts to find employment and reasons you were not able to find one, that should work to dispel their concerns. But this is probably something you understand without external advice.
I would avoid being too brief and also being too wordy. A concise but thorough explanation would be appropriate.

InterAlia1961

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby InterAlia1961 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:03 am

ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:I received a request for further information regarding a 2-1/2 year job gap back in the early 2000s during which I was seeking other employment. I will respond with information about the efforts I undertook during the time, but would appreciate any advice from this group.

The email asked for any additional information I deem relevant to make the determination...I am not sure how to respond to this. I don’t want to not respond, so I thought just a summary paragraph about my general character. Your thoughts...?

They also reminded me of my “continuing duty to update responses to questions in the application” so I will include information about my activities since January when I submitted the MCD. Again, any thoughts on this?


They're checking to see if you were incarcerated, in the throes of a mental illness, or were unemployed because of an alcohol or drug problem.

InterAlia1961

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby InterAlia1961 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:56 pm

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.


Just saw this. Been incredibly busy. Congratulations, man. Spirit-crushing is the exact right way to describe it.

ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:45 am

Moabit wrote:They are interested not as much in why you did not work at the time, as in whether you might be hiding something (mental health problems, substance abuse, actual employment that went awry, etc.). So if you explain your efforts to find employment and reasons you were not able to find one, that should work to dispel their concerns. But this is probably something you understand without external advice.
I would avoid being too brief and also being too wordy. A concise but thorough explanation would be appropriate.


Thanks for your response...it moved me away from explaining (ad nauseam) why I didn’t find a job immediately to showing that I am not hiding anything such as health problems, substance abuse, and unreported jobs.

ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:49 am

InterAlia1961 wrote:
ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:I received a request for further information regarding a 2-1/2 year job gap back in the early 2000s during which I was seeking other employment. I will respond with information about the efforts I undertook during the time, but would appreciate any advice from this group.

The email asked for any additional information I deem relevant to make the determination...I am not sure how to respond to this. I don’t want to not respond, so I thought just a summary paragraph about my general character. Your thoughts...?

They also reminded me of my “continuing duty to update responses to questions in the application” so I will include information about my activities since January when I submitted the MCD. Again, any thoughts on this?


They're checking to see if you were incarcerated, in the throes of a mental illness, or were unemployed because of an alcohol or drug problem.


Thanks for your response. It gave me the correct perspective in responding to the inquiry. It is not about the sufficiency of efforts to find employment back then, but about my moral character.

InterAlia1961

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby InterAlia1961 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:21 pm

rcharter1978 wrote:
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.


It is an interesting case, and had he not published it on Scribd.com, we may never have any insight into what goes on in a State Bar Court Moral Character hearing. What fascinated me was the judge's opinion that anyone of his infractions would not have been enough to deny him admittance, but when taken as a whole, he could not met his burden.

Also, it's apparent that a hearing is SBC is an evidentiary hearing. Coughlin had no evidence, none.

ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:01 pm

I just received a positive determination on my moral character application from the State Bar—SWEET!
I submitted a comprehensive answer to their request for more information about a lengthy employment gap, and within 33 minutes received a positive determination! :D

Internationalist

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby Internationalist » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:45 pm

ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:I just received a positive determination on my moral character application from the State Bar—SWEET!
I submitted a comprehensive answer to their request for more information about a lengthy employment gap, and within 33 minutes received a positive determination! :D


Congrats!! I just received my positive determination as well. Now what do we do? I haven't received any information about the oath ceremony.

Moabit

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby Moabit » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:17 pm

ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:I just received a positive determination on my moral character application from the State Bar—SWEET!
I submitted a comprehensive answer to their request for more information about a lengthy employment gap, and within 33 minutes received a positive determination! :D

Awesome! Really happy for you!

yespasscbx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby yespasscbx » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:05 pm

ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:I just received a positive determination on my moral character application from the State Bar—SWEET!
I submitted a comprehensive answer to their request for more information about a lengthy employment gap, and within 33 minutes received a positive determination! :D


Congrats :!: :!:

jc9812

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jc9812 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:59 am

Can someone explain the difference between an investigator and an analyst? I received a notice of "Introduction to Investigator" email this week. Trying to figure what I need to do, if anything.

jc9812

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jc9812 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:11 pm

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:
Hammoud25 wrote:Has anyone received a letter stating??

"The processing of your application for determination of moral character is continuing. The analyst assigned to your file is
Analyst Name / Phone Number

Most applications for Determination of Moral Character will be processed within a minimum of 180 days. If in the course of the investigation further information or documentation is required, you will be contacted. Written notification will be sent to you when the investigation has been completed.

If you have any questions, please contact the analyst assigned to your file.

Sincerely,

The committee of bar examiners "




Yes, I received that same letter sometime late June. Then about two weeks later I got my approval letter. That surprised me. I was ready to wait 3 more months.


Reading back through the thread – I received this email, except it said "investigator" instead of "analyst." I'm wondering if there's any substantive difference between the two.

On other hand, seems like some people ITT have received a positive determination without receiving this (or any) notification, so I'm not sure what to think. My file went complete at the end of April, haven't heard anything since then until now.

ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:30 pm

jc9812 wrote:
FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:
Hammoud25 wrote:Has anyone received a letter stating??

"The processing of your application for determination of moral character is continuing. The analyst assigned to your file is
Analyst Name / Phone Number

Most applications for Determination of Moral Character will be processed within a minimum of 180 days. If in the course of the investigation further information or documentation is required, you will be contacted. Written notification will be sent to you when the investigation has been completed.

If you have any questions, please contact the analyst assigned to your file.

Sincerely,

The committee of bar examiners "




Yes, I received that same letter sometime late June. Then about two weeks later I got my approval letter. That surprised me. I was ready to wait 3 more months.


Reading back through the thread – I received this email, except it said "investigator" instead of "analyst." I'm wondering if there's any substantive difference between the two.

On other hand, seems like some people ITT have received a positive determination without receiving this (or any) notification, so I'm not sure what to think. My file went complete at the end of April, haven't heard anything since then until now.


My understanding is that there are a least 3 levels. The lowest is analyst and they can approve apps that are very ordinary, simple, straight forward. Anything beyond that, including a divorce, misdemeanors, bankruptcy, or any other life events goes to a first level investigator. Probably nothing to worry about. If the first level investigator encounters anything, it goes to a second level investigator who may ask for further information. Take that request seriously and provide a comprehensive answer.

After that, I am not sure...But probably time to consult an attorney.

jc9812

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jc9812 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:04 pm

Thanks, that’s helpful.

jman77

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jman77 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:12 pm

I am breaking my self-imposed moratorium on posting on this forum as I believe what I am posting now will be helpful to others who are in a similar situation (i.e., licensed in another state and trying to get licensed in CA).

The issue I posted on a few months ago was a complete non-issue (despite what some self-proclaimed/self-styled "experts" -- ok, one in particular -- spouts here). All I did was submit a certification from the local court with jurisdiction over the traffic citation that no records of the citation were available anymore, and that was that. As I indicated before (based on what my analyst told me), they simply needed more information on the citation because one of the reports they came across referenced the citation without providing any more details. They just wanted to know what it was about. Once I submitted the certification from the court, that matter was closed.

Having said that, I am still not admitted, unfortunately, and now, the Committee seems to be zoning in on the issue of whether I have not been engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. They've now sent me two follow-up inquiries asking me to describe my current duties in my law firm in CA, whether my work is supervised by a CA licensed attorney, what my email signature and business cards look like, etc. The second follow-up inquiry was essentially the same questions, but with respect to when I was still in NY.

I also want to share that my analyst looked at my Linkedin profile and suggested that I put something there that clearly indicates that I am not admitted in CA. I didn't have anything on there that indicated that I was admitted, but I didn't have a disclaimer either. So now, I've added that disclaimer.

Hopefully this is helpful to a few people who frequent this thread: at the very least, put a disclaimer on your Linkedin profile if you have not already done so. On hindsight, it would have been best if I had submitted my C&F application while I was still in NY and before moving to CA. However, my move happened pretty quickly (decided to move early May, actually moved last week of May and took the CA bar in July). It was an inter-office transfer.

Nope, I will not be engaging the troll regardless of what doomsday outrageous claims he may make at this point. Misery loves company, but I am not inclined to keep him company. Just wanted to help out (and not worried about this at all). Good luck to all!

Edit: I received the second inquiry last night and will provide my response tonight.

jman77

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jman77 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:35 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!


Just saw this and it's on point to my latest post. Looks like they have been scrutinizing situations like this (licensed in other jurisdictions, transfer to and work in CA pre-admission to the CA bar) with a fine toothed comb of late. I believe (and I can provide a more definitive answer once my own inquiry is resolved) that as long as you are able to respond and convince them that any CA-specific work you do is properly supervised by a CA-licensed attorney, you should be fine. Based on my interactions with my analyst that is what they are looking at (unauthorized practice of law in CA).

jman77

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jman77 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:38 pm

ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:I just received a positive determination on my moral character application from the State Bar—SWEET!
I submitted a comprehensive answer to their request for more information about a lengthy employment gap, and within 33 minutes received a positive determination! :D


Congratulations!

jc9812

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jc9812 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:50 pm

gonna post my stats since i found others' helpful

Submitted early January 19
notice of application complete: 2/20/19
"Notice: introduction to investigator" email: 7/12/19
Positive determination: 7/17/19

jman77

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jman77 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:48 pm

Happy to post that I just received notice of a positive moral character determination. Took a little over 11 months for me (I did have extensive work experience here and abroad prior to law school). Per my quoted post below, the last few follow-up inquiries had to do with them probing into the matter of unauthorized practice of law in CA. I provided my last response last night and made it clear that all my work related to CA law is appropriately supervised by CA licensed attorneys.

Glad to finally be able to move on. Good luck to all still waiting and thank you again for those who helped me with my question when I was traveling internationally and could not access a copy of my application.

jman77 wrote:I am breaking my self-imposed moratorium on posting on this forum as I believe what I am posting now will be helpful to others who are in a similar situation (i.e., licensed in another state and trying to get licensed in CA).

The issue I posted on a few months ago was a complete non-issue (despite what some self-proclaimed/self-styled "experts" -- ok, one in particular -- spouts here). All I did was submit a certification from the local court with jurisdiction over the traffic citation that no records of the citation were available anymore, and that was that. As I indicated before (based on what my analyst told me), they simply needed more information on the citation because one of the reports they came across referenced the citation without providing any more details. They just wanted to know what it was about. Once I submitted the certification from the court, that matter was closed.

Having said that, I am still not admitted, unfortunately, and now, the Committee seems to be zoning in on the issue of whether I have not been engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. They've now sent me two follow-up inquiries asking me to describe my current duties in my law firm in CA, whether my work is supervised by a CA licensed attorney, what my email signature and business cards look like, etc. The second follow-up inquiry was essentially the same questions, but with respect to when I was still in NY.

I also want to share that my analyst looked at my Linkedin profile and suggested that I put something there that clearly indicates that I am not admitted in CA. I didn't have anything on there that indicated that I was admitted, but I didn't have a disclaimer either. So now, I've added that disclaimer.

Hopefully this is helpful to a few people who frequent this thread: at the very least, put a disclaimer on your Linkedin profile if you have not already done so. On hindsight, it would have been best if I had submitted my C&F application while I was still in NY and before moving to CA. However, my move happened pretty quickly (decided to move early May, actually moved last week of May and took the CA bar in July). It was an inter-office transfer.

Nope, I will not be engaging the troll regardless of what doomsday outrageous claims he may make at this point. Misery loves company, but I am not inclined to keep him company. Just wanted to help out (and not worried about this at all). Good luck to all!

Edit: I received the second inquiry last night and will provide my response tonight.

ReasonablePersonSSC

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:23 pm

jman77 wrote:Happy to post that I just received notice of a positive moral character determination. Took a little over 11 months for me (I did have extensive work experience here and abroad prior to law school). Per my quoted post below, the last few follow-up inquiries had to do with them probing into the matter of unauthorized practice of law in CA. I provided my last response last night and made it clear that all my work related to CA law is appropriately supervised by CA licensed attorneys.

Glad to finally be able to move on. Good luck to all still waiting and thank you again for those who helped me with my question when I was traveling internationally and could not access a copy of my application.


CONGRATULATIONS!!! :D

yespasscbx

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby yespasscbx » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:12 pm

jc9812 wrote:gonna post my stats since i found others' helpful

Submitted early January 19
notice of application complete: 2/20/19
"Notice: introduction to investigator" email: 7/12/19
Positive determination: 7/17/19


Congrats and thanks for the timeline! So an 'introduction to investigator' does not always mean another 3 months :lol:

Moabit

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby Moabit » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:05 am

Congratulations!
I am sure InterAlia will soon offer the same :wink:

jman77

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jman77 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:06 pm

Moabit wrote:Congratulations!
I am sure InterAlia will soon offer the same :wink:


Thanks!

Hah. Based on his self-styled expert prognostications, I should have been prepping myself for my inevitable interview with the C&F committee (on such a trivial matter as the analyst needing clarification on a minor traffic citation).

jman77

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Postby jman77 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:07 pm

ReasonablePersonSSC wrote:
jman77 wrote:Happy to post that I just received notice of a positive moral character determination. Took a little over 11 months for me (I did have extensive work experience here and abroad prior to law school). Per my quoted post below, the last few follow-up inquiries had to do with them probing into the matter of unauthorized practice of law in CA. I provided my last response last night and made it clear that all my work related to CA law is appropriately supervised by CA licensed attorneys.

Glad to finally be able to move on. Good luck to all still waiting and thank you again for those who helped me with my question when I was traveling internationally and could not access a copy of my application.


CONGRATULATIONS!!! :D


Thank you! You were one of the most helpful people here and I truly appreciate it.



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