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Law School Case Brief

In re Application of Taylor - 293 Or. 285, 647 P.2d 462 (1982)

Rule:

The bankruptcy statutes prevent a rule which would preclude applicant's admission to the Bar solely because he declares bankruptcy. However, an applicant's handling of financial affairs is regularly considered in determining moral fitness.

Facts:

Applicant requested admission to the Oregon State Bar. He passed the Bar examination but was not recommended for admission by the Board of Bar Examiners. On his petition for review, a hearing was held before a trial board pursuant to the Rules for Admission of Attorneys. The trial board recommended that applicant be denied admission to the Bar for lack of good moral character due to a history that included charges of theft, perjury, and bankruptcy. Applicant was acquitted of theft, but the perjury occurred during the theft trial. A disciplinary review board adopted the trial board's recommendation. Applicant then requested review under Or. Rev. Stat. § 9.220, claiming he reformed himself. 

Issue:

Did applicant fail to demonstrate good moral character to be admitted to the Bar?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The court denied the applicant's petition for admission to the state bar, holding that applicant had not proven he sufficiently reformed himself to warrant admission to the Bar. The court found the applicant failed to appreciate the gravity of his conduct nor accepted responsibility for his actions, despite the acquittal. Considering all of the circumstances, the court explained that any doubts as to applicant's moral character were to be resolved in favor of protecting the public.

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