Law Student’s Refusal to Fess Up RE: Petty Disturbances = Denied Admission to RI Bar
The Supreme Court’s Committee on Character and Fitness denied Floyd Edmond Webb, III’s, request to be a member of the RI Bar. He asserted that the committee erred in denying his request to be an attorney in Rhode Island. The RI Supreme Court sitting in Providence agreed with the committee and squashed his effort to be a RI lawyer.
In my opinion, If this guy had fessed up and told the whole truth and nothing but the truth, apologized and stated he was getting help, he probably would have been admitted. I have always believed that there are only two ways to be denied bar admission!
(1)being a really bad dude including serious criminal convictions or a criminal history involving dishonesty
(2) lying or misleading statements on a bar application / lack of candor to the character and fitness committee
It is very hard to be denied admission to the bar for character issues considering that they are depriving a man of an occupation and the person has already invested 3 years in law school. Since none of the infractions in themselves involved dishonesty and none were felony convictions it seems that he would be a Rhode Island attorney now if he had come clean sought help for his issues and thrown himself at the mercy of the board!
This guy did not have any serious criminal offenses and no criminal offenses involving dishonesty, lying or stealing. Most of his alleged criminal actions were petty disturbances and petty misdemeanor offenses.
In re Application of Floyd Edmond Webb, III. : http://www.courts.ri.gov/Courts/SupremeCourt/Opinions/13-3.pdf
“Further, the committee found that applicant displayed a lack of candor and truthfulness both in failing to fully and accurately disclose past arrests, traffic issues, and civil litigation, and in giving false, misleading and evasive answers about the underlying incidents. In addition, the committee found that applicant displayed repeated issues with authority figures, because applicant admitted in his initial interview that he did not fully disclose all prior arrests and charges, nor fully identify the disposition of those arrests and charges, he was advised to supplement his application to include such disclosure.” Id.
“The committee forwarded its recommendation to this Court, finding that applicant willfully concealed full and accurate information requested in his applications, gave false, misleading and evasive answers, demonstrated a lack of candor and sincerity,” Id.
“the committee found that the amendment, which applicant filed immediately prior to the October 25 hearing, failed to address those issues.”Id.
“The information provided encompassed thirteen items, including “prior arrests, traffic issues, police incident reports, and civil litigation.””Id.
The man had a bunch of petty arrest and incidents such as becoming belligerent, and calling the police troopers “losers.”
For Example: “The charges stemmed from an incident in which applicant allegedly had tied his dogs to the door handle of a bank, and when Providence police officers removed the dogs, telling applicant that he was obstructing the entrance of the bank, applicant “had a few choice words” for the officers and the situation rapidly deteriorated.” Id.