Monday, March 30, 2009

Case of the Week 3/30/09

The bar examiners may be concerned by an applicant's troubled personal relationships.

Domestic relationships are a frequent pattern. In one case, when a law school applicant filed his application in 1979, he included a list of 21 criminal and disciplinary actions taken against him between 1958 and 1976, including a guilty plea to an assault and battery arising out of a domestic dispute, which he later mischaracterized on his bar application as a technical and minor assault. Years later, the student’s application to take the Iowa bar examination was denied. The court held, “we must recognize the seriousness of his long history of law violations and felony convictions, his assault and battery of [the victim,] and his failure to testify truthfully before this court…This testimony displays a callous and indifferent attitude toward an explosive personal confrontation.” In re Patterson, 439 N.W. 2d 165 (Iowa, 1989).

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