About the Author

Robert C. Murphy

Robert C. Murphy

Former Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland


Issue: Did a lawyer who was convicted of a stabbing just after enrolling in law school, but who ultimately graduated many years later and practiced law in the District of Columbia without incident for more than two years persuade the Court that he was rehabilitated and fit to practice law?

Admitted?: Yes.  Observing that the applicant has been ethically discharging his duties as an attorney and member of the District of Columbia Bar for over two years, the majority of this Court considered the nature of the offenses for which the applicant was convicted, the time of their commission, the circumstances involved, and what they regarded as "convincing evidence of the applicant's rehabilitation" to conclude that he had the present good moral character to permit him to be granted the privilege of admission to the Bar of Maryland.

Area of Concern: Serious Criminal Misconduct, Misconduct After Enrolling in Law School, Rehabilitation.

Citation: 296 Md. 310, 462 A.2d 1198 (1983)

  • 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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