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Author Topic: Character and Fitness Question  (Read 718 times)

angiej

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Character and Fitness Question
« on: October 28, 2008, 01:48:38 PM »
My "ahem" FRIEND, has had 6 speeding tickets, all of which were before she turned 18 (so we are talking 6 years ago) and she had to take defensive driving. 

Her ass hole husband and her separated, her name was NOT on the mortgage papers, but her name was on deed (hubby bought house then quit claimed his interest to both of them as husband and wife).

She moved out, hubby stopped paying mortgage.  Her name was still on title and bank is foreclosing.  They named her as a defendant rather than a non-party.  She called the bank's counsel and asked why she was named, to which they told her "for your own protection since you have an interest in the house, but you are NOT financially responsible." 

So my question is . . . is this a character and fitness issue?  Technically she is named as a defendant in a mortgage foreclosure action, which looks like she is not a financially responsible person, which our Indiana state bar requirements list as being of importance.

Her attorney boss prepared a disclaimer of interest and she took her name off the title, but she is still involved in the action.

What can I tell her?

Kantian

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2008, 02:48:33 PM »
My "ahem" FRIEND, has had 6 speeding tickets, all of which were before she turned 18 (so we are talking 6 years ago) and she had to take defensive driving. 

Her ass hole husband and her separated, her name was NOT on the mortgage papers, but her name was on deed (hubby bought house then quit claimed his interest to both of them as husband and wife).

She moved out, hubby stopped paying mortgage.  Her name was still on title and bank is foreclosing.  They named her as a defendant rather than a non-party.  She called the bank's counsel and asked why she was named, to which they told her "for your own protection since you have an interest in the house, but you are NOT financially responsible." 

So my question is . . . is this a character and fitness issue?  Technically she is named as a defendant in a mortgage foreclosure action, which looks like she is not a financially responsible person, which our Indiana state bar requirements list as being of importance.

Her attorney boss prepared a disclaimer of interest and she took her name off the title, but she is still involved in the action.

What can I tell her?

1) you can ask her to stop talking in 3rd person cuz it's kind of weird.
2) email this to your law school in interest, in first person, and ask if it should be disclosed. law schools generally respond very fast.

angiej

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2008, 02:53:07 PM »
Sorry for the third person, thought it was cute.....

I'm afraid if I email the law school they will put my name on the "do not admit at all costs list."

Legally Brown "Sugah"

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008, 03:31:27 PM »
I have come across exactly one school that has asked if I've ever been a party to a civil proceeding and I thought it caught me off guard.  Haven't seen it again.  I can't even remember what school it was.  I think this will be more of a problem after law school than during the admissions cycle.  You may want to answer the complaint and get yourself removed from the case for the future but I don't think it is something that will come up in your applications.

As for the tickets, there have been a few schools who ask for traffic violations that include speeding tickets (one asked for all, a few others had a minimum fine amount).  Once again, it wont come up on all of your applications, but will need to be addressed before the bar (for example, if there were fines, were they all paid?).

Hope this helps.

angiej

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2008, 03:36:48 PM »
I have come across exactly one school that has asked if I've ever been a party to a civil proceeding and I thought it caught me off guard.  Haven't seen it again.  I can't even remember what school it was.  I think this will be more of a problem after law school than during the admissions cycle.  You may want to answer the complaint and get yourself removed from the case for the future but I don't think it is something that will come up in your applications.

As for the tickets, there have been a few schools who ask for traffic violations that include speeding tickets (one asked for all, a few others had a minimum fine amount).  Once again, it wont come up on all of your applications, but will need to be addressed before the bar (for example, if there were fines, were they all paid?).

Hope this helps.

Yes, thank you, that is the reassurance I was looking for.  Although I better check about the bar requirements. I'd hate to make it all the way through law school and then not be able to apply to sit for the bar.  It seems insignificant considering I'm not "really" a defendant, I didn't do anything wrong and even the mortgage company agrees that I am not financially responsible, but I want to be so sure.

Legally Brown "Sugah"

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 03:42:04 PM »
I have come across exactly one school that has asked if I've ever been a party to a civil proceeding and I thought it caught me off guard.  Haven't seen it again.  I can't even remember what school it was.  I think this will be more of a problem after law school than during the admissions cycle.  You may want to answer the complaint and get yourself removed from the case for the future but I don't think it is something that will come up in your applications.

As for the tickets, there have been a few schools who ask for traffic violations that include speeding tickets (one asked for all, a few others had a minimum fine amount).  Once again, it wont come up on all of your applications, but will need to be addressed before the bar (for example, if there were fines, were they all paid?).

Hope this helps.

Yes, thank you, that is the reassurance I was looking for.  Although I better check about the bar requirements. I'd hate to make it all the way through law school and then not be able to apply to sit for the bar.  It seems insignificant considering I'm not "really" a defendant, I didn't do anything wrong and even the mortgage company agrees that I am not financially responsible, but I want to be so sure.

No problem.

Yeah, I would definitely check the requirements for the state you want to practice in.  It would suck to have law school debt and not be able to sit. It seems like it would be something that would come under scrutiny during your interview with the examiners and require explanation more than a reason to be denied, but I would still check and get your name off that case sooner rather than later.

angiej

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2008, 03:48:00 PM »
My boss filed a Disclaimer of Interest, and there were no responsive pleadings filed, so apparently the other parties are not contesting it.  I also wrote down who I spoke to and the time/date the rep of the mortgage company said I was not financially responsible.  I had once many years ago called to ask for clarification and they wouldn't even speak to me b/c my name wasn't on the loan docs, go figure, yet they can name me as a defendant!  I just wish they would clarify in the court proceedings that I am a non party rather than a defendant.

Thanks again!  And if anyone else wants to add two cents, please do!

angiej

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2008, 03:53:09 PM »
If anyone is interested, this is the exact language on Indiana's character and fitness:

The applicant has the absolute duty to inform the Board with full candor of any facts which bear, even remotely, upon the question of the applicant's character and fitness and general qualifications to practice law, which obligation continues from the date of application to the time of admission, and includes the obligation to promptly and to fully inform the Board of any such facts occurring or discovered prior to admission. The term "good moral character" includes, but is not limited to, the qualities of honesty, fairness, candor, trustworthiness, and observance of fiduciary responsibility of the laws of this State and of the United States, and a respect for the rights of other persons and things, and the judicial process. Anyone who has been convicted of a felony prima facie shall be deemed lacking the requisite of good moral character as defined in this section. The term "fitness" includes, but is not limited to, the physical and mental suitability of the applicant to practice law in Indiana. In satisfying the requirements of good moral character and fitness, applicants should be persons whose record of conduct justifies the trust of clients, adversaries, courts and others with respect to the professional duties owed to them, and whose record demonstrates the qualities of honesty, trustworthiness, diligence, or reliability. In the determination of good moral character and fitness, relevant considerations may include, but are not limited to the following: unlawful conduct; academic misconduct; making of false statements, including omissions; misconduct in employment; acts involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; abuse of legal process; neglect of financial responsibilities; violation of an order of a court; evidence of mental or emotional instability; evidence of drug or alcohol dependency; denial of admission to the bar in another jurisdiction on character and fitness grounds; and disciplinary action by a lawyer disciplinary agency or other professional disciplinary agency of any jurisdiction.

Kantian

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2008, 04:29:47 PM »
Sorry for the third person, thought it was cute.....

I'm afraid if I email the law school they will put my name on the "do not admit at all costs list."

you don't have to disclose any identifying info in the email. i don't think they are, and for the most part they are extremely polite. besides, if they really wanted to track you down, they would just save your avatar pic.

angiej

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Re: Character and Fitness Question
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2008, 04:36:47 PM »
Sorry for the third person, thought it was cute.....

I'm afraid if I email the law school they will put my name on the "do not admit at all costs list."

you don't have to disclose any identifying info in the email. i don't think they are, and for the most part they are extremely polite. besides, if they really wanted to track you down, they would just save your avatar pic.

LOL, very good point!