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Judge McDonald

Judge McDonald

Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland

APPLICATION OF KNIGHT

Issue: Did an applicant who did not respond fully and candidly to questions on her original bar application and later responded evasively and deceptively to requests for clarification prove that she possessed "good moral character and fitness for the practice of law?"

Admitted? No. Although a history of credit issues, litigation, run-ins with the law, traffic citations, academic hiccups, and the like, would not disqualify one forever from joining the legal profession, lack of candor and forthrightness in the bar admission process may convert a stumbling block into a road block. In this case, the lack of candor on the application precluded admission.

Citation: Misc. Docket AG No. 27

  • Decided on .
When the Maryland Board of Law Examiners, DC Bar Committee on Admissions, or any 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 character committee hearings and in hearings before the Court of Appeals 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 or the DC Bar's NCBE application, you should strongly consider retaining bar admissions counsel if you want to avoid denial of a law license and get 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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