Ethics Assignment 1

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Chandler is a third-year law student in the state of Despair and is in the process of filling out his bar application. One question asks if the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime, including traffic-related violations. Chandler has a misdemeanor drunk driving conviction on his record. Chandler convinces himself that the authorities are really concerned only with felony convictions, and he answers no to the question. Six months later, Chandler takes and passes Despair’s bar examination and joins a large downtown law firm as an associate.

Chandler becomes friendly with Ross, another associate at the firm. One night, Chandler and Ross go out to dinner. Over drinks, Chandler confesses that he was once arrested and convicted for drunk driving. Ross asks him, “How did you handle that on your application for the bar?” Laughing, Chandler says, “Those knuckleheads never found out about the conviction. I didn’t put it on my application and they never asked.” The next day, now sober, Chandler notices that Ross is keeping his distance and acting remote and unresponsive. Fearful that Ross will report him to the grievance committee, Chandler goes to see Joey, an old family friend and well-known criminal defense attorney. Chandler asks Joey for advice on what to do now that Ross knows about the drunk driving conviction. Joey advises Chandler to notify the state bar about the conviction. Joey says, “Confession before Ross reports you is the best step. You’ve had a good record since you were admitted and the Committee may take no action. But you have to tell them.” Chandler leaves Joey’s office and does not notify the bar. Neither Ross nor Joey ever reports Chandler to the bar.

A year later, Chandler decides to move to the state of Nirvana. The bar application in Nirvana asks only if there have been any prior felony convictions. Chandler honestly replies no. Chandler asks Joey to write a letter of recommendation for his admission to the Nirvana state bar. Joey consents and sends the letter to the bar. Joey says nothing about his interview with Chandler or about his conviction. Chandler is admitted to practice law in the state of Nirvana.

Are Chandler, Ross, or Joey subject to discipline? Discuss.

    • 21 days ago
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