Law School Discussion

Duty to Disclose

Duty to Disclose
« on: February 09, 2006, 08:22:39 AM »
Two duty to disclose questions:

1.  I was found guilty of a non-moving traffic violation in December while home from law school.  Am I required to disclose this?  Should I do it anyway just to be on the safe side, especially since it was received in the state in which I plan to take the bar?

2.  This one is longer.  My roommate is a drug addict and abuses prescription medication such as painkillers, antidepressants, and barbituates on an almost daily basis.  In addition, that person binge drinks daily, often driving to classes under the influence.  Occassionally, that person snorts cocaine and smokes pot.  This is in blind disregard to my repeated requests to keep these elements out of my view since I am a recovering alcoholic.  My question is, do I have the duty to report this now, even though we are probably taking the bar in different states?  More importantly, should I, from a moral standpoint, report this?  I am considering this for a number of reasons, primarily because this person has been a total a-hole and completely disrespectful as of late, and were it not for the sheer impracticability of the matter at this juncture in the semester I would have moved out already.  I'd like to think that, as a future attorney, character and fitness would demand that I disclose something like this, possibly to get this person help now, before it's too late and it affects the gestalt.  People who blatently disregard the law should not, in my opinion, be lawyers.  They're usually called criminals, but in some cases there appears to be a very fine line between the two as wrong and right.


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Re: Duty to Disclose
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2006, 09:29:06 AM »
I say disclose the traffic violation, it's not a big deal.

As for your roommate, I'd check with your school's honor code, and what they expect from you.  Emory explicitly states that they expect you to report any illegal activity that you witness a classmate participating in.  Theoretically, you can be culpable for not reporting this person's behavior to the dean.

Further, if your roommate's illegal drugs were ever discovered by police in your apartment for whatever reason, you may in some way be liable, which would be detrimental to your own chances at being admitted to the bar.

This is all aside from the fact that your roommate needs some serious help, and in the long run, they may thank you for your intervention.

Re: Duty to Disclose
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2006, 10:17:19 AM »
The traffic violation, who cares... non-moving as in like parking ticket?  Doesn't matter if you disclose it or not in my opinion... especially since most law school applications themselves have clauses in them that say please disclose any criminal wrongdoings EXCEPT for non-moving or minor traffic offenses.  So I personally don't think they give a crap.

Second, let your roommate screw up his own life and move out at the next best opportunity.  If it's affecting you academically just go to the library or starbucks.  Try and be as far away from him as much of the time as you can until you can make other arrangements.  I think the best thing is to not get yourself involved in his bad mistakes.  People like that usually don't want to change and won't unless they hit rock bottom.  I don't think that at this point in your life i.e. being in law school you have the where with all to make that kind of long and emotional committment on your time.  Especially if you aren't even friends with them.  And further I personally wouldn't want his dismissal from law school to be hanging over my head... don't need that kind of responsibility.