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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LAW SCHOOL CONDUCT & THE BAR

Marcia Denise Jordan successfully passed the February 1997 Louisiana bar exam, but on the day before her admission ceremony, her law school rescinded her Dean's Certificate due to allegations that she had embezzled student funds while SBA president. She also destroyed her financial records in her possession from her tenure as SBA president, failed to cooperate with the investigation into these matters and forged the signature of her attorney on a letter directing her bank to not comply with a subpoena issued by the law school.  Based on this information, her application for admission was denied in 1999. 

In 2000, she reapplied but essentially re-argued the law school embezzlement issue and was again rejected.  In 2004, she applied for a third time and argued that she had now shown a significant change in her circumstances, namely that she had made repayment to the law school.  Her law school had also now issued her a new Dean's Certificate.  However, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, while investigating Ms. Jordan's application, discovered that she had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and improperly shared attorney fees paid to her boss, attorney Richard Garrett, since 1999.  This eventually led to Mr. Garrett's disbarment.  Jordan's third application was again denied in 2009.

Jordan did eventually file a 4th application in 2012.  The Supreme Court stated, "[s]tanding alone, the unauthorized practice of law conclusively demonstrates that petitioner lacks the moral fitness to be admitted to the bar.  The improper fee-sharing and the conduct arising out of the incident in law school simply serve to underscore the conclusion that petitioner possesses serious and fundamental character flaws."  Accordingly, the court denied her application for a fourth time.  It also barred her from re-applying again in the future. 

The opinion can be found here.

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