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Law School Case Brief

In re Mustafa - 631 A.2d 45 (D.C. 1993)

Rule:

In order to gain admission to the District of Columbia Bar, an applicant must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence, that the applicant possesses good moral character and general fitness to practice law in the District of Columbia at the time of the applicant's admission.

Facts:

A District of Columbia bar applicant served as a co-chief justice of his law school's moot court program and shared access to and control over the program's checking account. Over a five-month period, the applicant converted some of the funds to his personal use. The applicant passed the bar examination and was recommended for admission by the Committee on Admission, despite his misconduct. The admissions committee's report and recommendation was submitted to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Issue:

Should the applicant be admitted to the bar on the report and recommendation of the admissions committee?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals denied the application for admission to the bar of the District of Columbia. The court held that the applicant failed to establish the good moral character and present fitness required for admission and stated that a short time had elapsed since he abused his position of trust. The court stated that it did not hold as a matter of law that an applicant for admission was subject to the mandatory five-year waiting period applicable to disbarred attorneys before seeking admission to the bar. The court stated that it appeared likely that the applicant would be able to establish the requisite good moral character at some future time, given his outstanding law school record and conduct since the embezzlement incident.

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