New York Penal Law: Case Study

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QUESTIONS PRESENTED

1. Under New York Penal Law, false statements or failure to disclose material facts may result in denial of an application to the bar. William Gould admits to withholding information on his application for admission to the New York State Bar, and has no intention of remedying these omissions. Given that Mr. Gould has left important information from his bar application, is he likely to be admitted to practice law in the state of New York?

2. Mr. Gould has divulged information to us that he did not include in his application to the New York State Bar. Mr. Gould further claims that he has no intention of telling the truth regarding these matters during his upcoming hearing before the Character and Fitness Committee. In light
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Gould was held in the bookstore after trying to shoplift a book. Letter from William Gould to Bernard Murphy, Esq., Murphy, Daugherty, and Smith, LLP. (September 1, 2016) (on file with Murphy, Daugherty, and Smith, LLP.). The police were called, but before they made an arrest the store owner decided to let Mr. Gould off with only a warning. Id. Mr. Gould did not disclose this information on his bar application, nor is required to do so. The bar application asks specifically for arrests, convictions, and citations, but makes no mention of detentions. N.Y. Bar Application, F (2010). In this particular instance, Mr. Gould was detained but not actually arrested or convicted of any crime. Similar to the issue surrounding Ms. Fisher’s drug dealing allegations, Mr. Gould should not be held accountable for failing to disclose this information on his application. He should, however, be prepared to answer questions about this detainment truthfully in the event that the Committee asks if there is any relevant information he would like to disclose that was not included anywhere in the bar …show more content…
Gould’s initial letter seeking legal advice and representation is protected by the aforementioned attorney-client privilege. Here, because Mr. Gould has not waived his right to the privilege, the information revealed in his initial correspondence with this firm cannot be used against him, including the information that he plans to lie to the Committee about. N.Y. C.P.L.R.(a)(1) (McKinney 2016). The best that this firm could do would be to suggest that Mr. Gould amend his application to the bar and be truthful at his Committee hearing, both of which we cannot compel him to actually do. Expanding on this premise, this firm can choose not to represent Mr. Gould on the grounds that it believes his actions to be criminal or fraudulent. N.Y. Jud. Law (1.16)(c)(2) (McKinney 2016). The fact that the firm has knowledge of Mr. Gould’s intentions to suppress evidence that he has a legal obligation to reveal or produce to the Appellate Division on his bar application is the foundation on which representation should be refused. N.Y. Jud. Law (3.4)(a)(1) (McKinney

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