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Author Topic: Can a person be exclude from the practice of law ........Felony conviction  (Read 1136 times)

grr766_Greg

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How to become a attorney if you have a Felony conviction…… :'(

This might look like a question that says; “Out of the Question” however, you can it and there is some case law...
--
 A State cannot exclude a person from the practice of law or from any other occupation in a manner or for reasons that contravene the Due Process or Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Schware v. Board of Bar Examiners, 353 U.S. 232 (1957). A State can require high standards of qualification, such as good moral character or proficiency in its law, before it admits an applicant to the bar, but any qualification must have a rational connection with the applicant's fitness or capacity to practice law. Douglas v. Noble, 261 U.S. 165 (1923). In In Re Application of Crossley,310 Ark. 435, 839 S.W.2d 1 (1992), this court recognized chemical addiction is a disease, and in terms of the good moral character and mental and emotional stability required for admission to practice law, noted that addiction raises the question of fitness as opposed to moral turpitude. This court continued, saying "nhappily, though, that conclusion on our part does not decide the matter, for our ultimate purpose in resolving admission questions is to assess an applicant's fitness to practice law and to protect the public's interest." Crossley, 310 Ark. at 441.
and
Maryland; 292 Md. 378; 493 A.2d 1107......

My question is this, What do you think should a person be given the chance and if so do you think there are stabilization for that person ……I am looking to publish this paper, and would like to hear from outside the box……

one link to look at also......http://www.law.upenn.edu/conlaw/issues/vol6/num4/keeley.pdf

Thanks Everyone..... ;D
"Whereas the law is passionless, passion must ever sway the heart of man." - Aristotle

grr766_Greg

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You have made some very good points

That is the impression I believe that most people have about a felony conviction.
In the state of Missouri (and other states) a felon can vote under RSMO 115.133, 115.135, and 115.425 only after finally discharged from probation or parole.
  Qualifications to Vote:
•   U.S. citizen and a Missouri resident
•   be at least 18 years old by the election date
•   cannot be adjudged incapacitated
•   cannot be confined under sentence of imprisonment
•   cannot be on probation or parole after conviction of a felony until finally discharged
•   cannot be a person after conviction of a felony or misdemeanor connected with the right of suffrage (RSMo 115.133)


Now I would have to look at ever state to see the civil rights for voting……

I want to go to the point about something you said: “I thought a felony conviction pretty much places someone in a different category altogether, and certain "rights" that are enjoyed by others are not enjoyed by the convicted felon”

I will try to enlighten you from this point; maybe we need to look at “civil rights” and how a felon can have them restored, if it is a federal crime one can get a Presidential pardon for state crimes a Governors pardon is giving to restored civil liberties -- again in Missouri there is 3 kinds of pardons 1st view holds that a pardon obliterated both conviction and guilt, which places the offender in a position as if he has not committed the offense in the first place. The 2nd view is that the conviction is obliterated BUT GUILT REMAINS.  The 3rd view is the neither the conviction nor guilt is obliterated.

Now for the point about being able to hold a professional license I.e. Law, here again I will show how it looks for Missouri;

Missouri Supreme Court Rule 8: Admission to the Missouri Bar

8.04 INELIGIBILITY
(a) Any person, whether sentence is imposed or not, who has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to or been found guilty of any felony of the United States, this state, any other state or any United States territory is not eligible to apply for admission to the bar of this state until five years after the date of successful completion of any sentence or period of probation as a result of the conviction, plea, or finding of guilt.
(b) Any application for admission to the bar from a person who has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to or been found guilty as specified in Rule 8.04(a) shall show affirmatively, in addition to the other requirements of the application, that:
(1) Any sentence or period of probation was completed at least five years ago;
(2) The cause has abated;
(3) Any person injured as a result of the conduct of the applicant has received restitution, the claims have been discharged by operation of law, or that the person has been notified at least ten days, but not more than ninety days, in advance of the filing of the application;
(4) All special conditions, if any, imposed have been accomplished; and
(5) The best interest of the public will be served if the applicant receives a license.
(c) A person whose application has been denied, except as provided by Rule 8.04(a), is not eligible to apply for admission to the bar for a period of five years from the date the Board recommends denial of the application, unless the Board or this Court on appeal specifies a shorter period.
(d) A person having a complaint pending before the licensing authority of any other state or territory or who has been suspended or disbarred from the practice of law by the licensing authority of any state or territory is not eligible to apply for admission to the bar of this state during the time the complaint is pending or the period of such suspension or disbarment. In no instance shall any such person be eligible for admission until the person has been fully reinstated by such authority or otherwise exonerated. Favorable resolution or termination of a complaint or reinstatement shall not bar or in any way prohibit the Board from making an adverse determination as to character and fitness.
Regulations of the Board of Law Examiners
(1) A felony conviction as described in Rule 8.04(a) is a per se disqualification to file an application for admission under Rule 8.07, Rule 8.10 or Rule 8.105 until after the period of ineligibility imposed by Rule 8.04(a) has expired. Once the Rule 8.04(a) period of ineligibility has expired, the Board will consider the felony in reaching a determination as to the applicant’s character and fitness.
(2) As part of its character and fitness determination, the Board considers any criminal conduct not within Rule 8.04(a).

 Now that this is all said most states do have determination as to the applicant’s character and fitness. However, the U.S. Supreme Court I.e. SCHWARE v. BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS, 353 U.S. 232 (1957) is following state cannot exclude a person from the practice of law or from any other occupation in a manner or for reasons that contravene the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

And there is a case from Maryland G.L.S., 292 Md. 378, where this person was aloud to become a member of the Maryland Bar……this person was convicted of a federal crime of armed bank robbery ……you must read the case to see what this person has done to get where he is today.
I know that I did not hit on the person that was convicted of several crimes on separate and unrelated occasions, and these crimes are not exactly crimes that would raise an issue of character and fitness per se. Here is where my question comes to play; should a person be given the chance and if so do you think there should be stipulations for that person?? 
"Whereas the law is passionless, passion must ever sway the heart of man." - Aristotle

grr766_Greg

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Posted this:

I was always under the impression that a felony precludes people from such things as voting, holding a professional license etc.. In essence, I thought a felony conviction pretty much places someone in a different category altogether, and certain "rights" that are enjoyed by others are not enjoyed by the convicted felon. Enlighten me if you can on this. I'm sure you'd know better than me. I haven't taken an inventory, but are there any felonies that don't raise some question regarding chracter and fitness. Even repeat DUI offenders are excluded from practice in some places. I know one personally who lost his ability to practice after his second DUI conviction within five years in the state of IN resulted in a felony conviction. Here's a good question. What if a person has been convicted of several crimes on seperate and unrelated occasions, and these crimes are not exactly crimes that would raise an issue of character and fitness per se. However, the person recieves a felony conviction due to some type of enhancement under a habitual offender statute. Even though the inidividual crimes themselves do not equal a lack of good moral character, does the fact that this person have a track record of an inability to avoid criminal behavior create a situation where they should be discluded from practice. If this is unclear, I'll endeavor to provide an example. 
 
"Whereas the law is passionless, passion must ever sway the heart of man." - Aristotle

fearless1969

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I'm a convicted felon, who has held a job, started a family, not been in any trouble with the law, pays taxes, would like to vote and even own a firearm for hunting but cannot because i dont have enough money to buy a presidential pardon. is there any relief for me or am i condemd for the rest of my life? can anyone help me? fredbgone2002@yahoo.com