Law School Discussion

Law Students => Bar Exam Preparation => Topic started by: ngdo2007 on January 02, 2008, 12:22:50 PM

Title: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: ngdo2007 on January 02, 2008, 12:22:50 PM
Hopefully people haven't procrastinated as much as I have on this.  Does anybody know what standards are used to deny people based on traffic violations?  I got a ticket a few years back for making a left turn on a no left turn sign (sign was in a strange area, as the officer admitted, and I didn't see it- promptly paid ticket) and was also stopped earlier this year for no city sticker and no front license plate.  I actually was unaware I needed either of those- again, complied and the tickets were thrown out when I went to traffic court and showed I complied.  I've heard stories of people getting admitted with dozens of outstanding tickets, so I shouldn't be worried- right?
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: thorc954 on January 02, 2008, 12:26:19 PM
I wouldnt worry about tickets for minor offenses, i doubt tickets for pretty much anything (except possibly DUI) will prevent you from passing.  I know I have a few tickets and so do all of my friends, so dont stress it.  Call your career development office if you are really worried though.
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: ngdo2007 on January 02, 2008, 03:02:17 PM
I wouldnt worry about tickets for minor offenses, i doubt tickets for pretty much anything (except possibly DUI) will prevent you from passing.  I know I have a few tickets and so do all of my friends, so dont stress it.  Call your career development office if you are really worried though.
Yeah I'm not super worried about it.  I only have one ticket that is unpaid, it was in 2000 and it was absolutely wrong- the meter maid came on to private property and ticketed about 20 cars.  I was told over the phone that the ticket was improper but that they would not release me, so I refused to pay.  They took it to collections, 8 years later I still haven't paid.  I pulled my credit report and there is nothing bad on it so I guess it was removed.  I still will report it to the bar people.  It was just the principle- no way I'm eating it for something that was clearly improper.  Hope it doesn't come back to bite me!
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: slacker on January 02, 2008, 07:16:55 PM
I wouldn't worry. Just admit whatever and, if they write asking for more info, give them more info. You may have the "you have to go before the committee" experience, but I'm not sure at what level that happens. I know of people with arrest records, another with a DUI during law school, and all passed char & fitness.
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: wardwilliams on January 02, 2008, 08:48:53 PM
Yeah, I mean can you imagine someone passing the bar exam and then being denied bar admission because of a traffic ticket? That would be slightly absurd
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: ngdo2007 on January 03, 2008, 07:02:08 PM
It would be absurd, and yet I would not be shocked for someone with multiple DUIs to be allowed to sit and someone with two minor traffic violations (left turn where there was a no left turn sign and failure to display city sticker) to be denied- that's the way the game works.  It's going to be fun tracking down the "order of disposition" the bar requires- all I did was pay the ticket and it went away.
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: mdd on May 18, 2008, 04:23:05 AM
Don't sweat it -- people pass with garden variety DUIs all the time -- see question 48(?) of the C&F application, it's almost DUI-specific in asking "how many do you have?"  A DUI will get you a 10 minute meeting with an attorney on the C&F committee who lives in your area (there area a LOT on the committee -- hundreds).  Anything lower than a DUI is generally overlooked unless you have an egregious (read: three-digit) list of traffic violations.
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: linquest on March 21, 2009, 08:12:13 AM
It's going to be fun tracking down the "order of disposition" the bar requires- all I did was pay the ticket and it went away.

Reviving an old thread.  I got two tickets and a short license suspension (for failure to respond to a court summons I never received post-address change, rectified quickly) some years ago.  This was in a different state than where I've got my drivers license now.  The tickets/suspension are so old that they are not on my drivers record (abstract).  I don't have any paperwork now.  What am I supposed to send for "order of disposition"?
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: Matthies on March 21, 2009, 09:32:43 AM
It's going to be fun tracking down the "order of disposition" the bar requires- all I did was pay the ticket and it went away.

Reviving an old thread.  I got two tickets and a short license suspension (for failure to respond to a court summons I never received post-address change, rectified quickly) some years ago.  This was in a different state than where I've got my drivers license now.  The tickets/suspension are so old that they are not on my drivers record (abstract).  I don't have any paperwork now.  What am I supposed to send for "order of disposition"?

Tell them exactly what you just told us. I had some stuff like this, even a DUI from many years ago that shows up nowhere on my police or driving records. I just said something like ď I am very sure that 12 years ago I got a DUI in state X, I canít find any records on it, the city, state courts  and police have no record of it, but its not one of those things you just forget, so Iím disclosing this incident even though I cannot provide you with any records that it actually occurred or was disposed of. All I can say is that according to this state nothing about this incident is on my record, thus it may have been expunged after I completed all the required classes (see enclosed driving record from state, courts summaries showing no cases in my name). Should you need anything else to help you with this issue please contact me, but every avenue I have taken (list steps taken) to get some record has come up with nothing listed.Ē
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: brinkmtf on March 21, 2009, 11:20:18 AM
So, I just got a letter from my state bar saying that I should have disclosed to my law school a jaywalking that I received after admission but before matriculation. I actually did disclose it to the law school eventually (when I realized that there was a $100 cutoff--the ticket was $128). I wondering how much a problem this is going to be...
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: Matthies on March 21, 2009, 11:48:19 AM
So, I just got a letter from my state bar saying that I should have disclosed to my law school a jaywalking that I received after admission but before matriculation. I actually did disclose it to the law school eventually (when I realized that there was a $100 cutoff--the ticket was $128). I wondering how much a problem this is going to be...

If it was me, I would hire a lawyer at this point. I seem to remember someone at our school at some presentation said if they send you a letter then next step is calling you in, and if they call you in then you should have counsel. If it was me I would find a lawyer who has disciplinary experience and ask for a consultation. My gut says not a big deal, but my brain says cross every t and dot every I before you proceed. So if I was in this situation I would at least call a lawyer and see what their advice would be just so I did not sweat it or so I did it right so it did not become a bigger issue.
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: jacy85 on March 22, 2009, 06:04:34 AM
So, I just got a letter from my state bar saying that I should have disclosed to my law school a jaywalking that I received after admission but before matriculation. I actually did disclose it to the law school eventually (when I realized that there was a $100 cutoff--the ticket was $128). I wondering how much a problem this is going to be...

If it was me, I would hire a lawyer at this point. I seem to remember someone at our school at some presentation said if they send you a letter then next step is calling you in, and if they call you in then you should have counsel. If it was me I would find a lawyer who has disciplinary experience and ask for a consultation. My gut says not a big deal, but my brain says cross every t and dot every I before you proceed. So if I was in this situation I would at least call a lawyer and see what their advice would be just so I did not sweat it or so I did it right so it did not become a bigger issue.

As usual, I agree with Matthies on this one.  May as well make sure you do everything possible to fix this asap, and the only one who can really advise you on that is an attorney who represents attorneys and bar applicants in C&F matters.
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: brinkmtf on March 22, 2009, 09:36:10 AM
you guys really think so? the letter from the bar instructed me to write a letter to the school explaining the incident (which I did, but which was also moot b/c I told them 2 years ago). then it asked me to write a letter back to the bar explaining my failure to disclose. I did all this, and my school sent a letter to the bar saying essentially that it was no big deal.

so I really need a lawyer?
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: jacy85 on March 22, 2009, 10:31:35 AM
you guys really think so? the letter from the bar instructed me to write a letter to the school explaining the incident (which I did, but which was also moot b/c I told them 2 years ago). then it asked me to write a letter back to the bar explaining my failure to disclose. I did all this, and my school sent a letter to the bar saying essentially that it was no big deal.

so I really need a lawyer?

Well, on the basic facts you provided in your first post, you didn't say that you complied with any instructions given to you by the bar.  It might not be a big deal b/c you complied with those instructions and your school has said it's not a big deal for them. But you may want to check with the bar to see what usually happens in cases like this.  If the bar suggests that it may be an issue, then you may want to seek out some more professional advice.
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: chi2009 on June 25, 2009, 09:12:04 AM
Slightly more serious offense - was charged with a city ordinance violation of shoplifting less than $20 (totally stupid, won't go into details).  It was 4 years ago and I disclosed everything on my law school app.  Will this prevent me from passing the C&F test??
Title: Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
Post by: ryanjm on July 05, 2009, 11:32:56 AM
lol at all the traffic offense worrying, and jaywalking. Are you serious? These are violations worthy of denying someone to practice law after they spent $100k+ on a law school education? That's a joke. The whole C&F process is a joke unless you have serious offenses that would cause someone to not put their trust in you with important matters. If you told a client you got caught jaywalking, do you think he would suddenly say "Oh, well I guess I can't trust you to handle this real estate contract?"  It's a ridiculous anal-retentive line of thinking.

In response to chi2009, that is a more serious offense imo because it goes to trustworthiness. Although you won't go into details, I'm thinking you probably will have to explain this if you get called in to interview for it. Still, if you got into law school, you'll likely get through the bar admissions process. It would be pretty cruel to admit someone to law school while knowing all the while that they'll be denied admittance to practice. I wouldn't worry about it much, but I'd expect to have to explain myself to an attorney, so just be ready for that.