About the Author

Michele D. Hotten

Michele D. Hotten

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: Does an applicant who failed to provide a credible explanation for omitting a criminal charge from her bar application and falsely stated her grade point average on her resume possess the requisite character and fitness to be admitted to the Maryland Bar?

Admitted?: No. An applicant who falsely embellished her resume and who failed to disclose prior criminal charges cannot meet her burden of proving that she possessed the requisite moral character and fitness for admission to the Bar of Maryland.

Citation: Misc. Docket No. 33

  • Decided on .
When the Board of Law Examiners or a Character Committee questions your character and fitness for bar admission, bar applicants should retain an attorney to assist in disclosing information relevant to character and fitness, to guide them through the bar admissions process, and to represent applicants in hearings before the Character Committee, Board of Law Examiners and Court of Appeals of Maryland to determine whether they are fit to practice law. Character and fitness concerns may arise in connection with prior criminal convictions, academic dishonesty and honor code violations, addictions, drunk driving, neglected debts, and a failure to disclose material information on law school applications or on bar applications. If you have a history of misconduct, traffic citations, crimes, arrests and other facts to disclose in response to the character portion of the Maryland Bar Application, you should strongly consider retaining bar admissions counsel if you want to avoid denial of a law license and be granted a license to practice law. This is even true for applicants for admission to law schools as these applications ask similar questions about character. A failure to disclose facts material to your admission could result in a denial of bar admission.

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