Navigating the florida bar application 2012v2

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This is a powerpoint to assist Florida Bar applicants in filling out their Bar application. By Steven Pinkert and Calrie Marsh of Pinkert and Marsh PA, Miami, Florida. cmarsh@pinkertlaw.com. 305-670-9000

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Navigating the florida bar application 2012v2

  1. 1. NAVIGATING THE FLORIDA BAR APPLICATION AVOID COMMON PITFALLS! PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  2. 2. TOP 5 ISSUES <ul><li>CANDOR </li></ul><ul><li>FELONIES (CONVICTION) </li></ul><ul><li>MULTIPLE ARRESTS (DUI ETC.) </li></ul><ul><li>DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE/ADDICTION </li></ul><ul><li>FINANCIAL IRRESPONSIBILITY </li></ul><ul><li>MENTAL HEALTH HISTORY </li></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida.
  3. 3. DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE!! <ul><li>WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CANDID? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BE COMPLETELY HONEST/TRUTHFUL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DISCLOSE EVERYTHING IN COMPLETE DETAIL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DO NOT LEAVE OUT FACTS BECAUSE YOU ARE EMBARRASSED OR WANT TO MAKE YOURSELF LOOK GOOD! </li></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  4. 4. DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE!! <ul><li>Ways to Avoid Candor Pitfalls </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do self background check </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GET RECORDS BEFORE COMPLETING BAR APPLICATION!! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Undergraduate records, court records, police records, employment history, credit report, medical records etc. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DO NOT RUSH!!! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Take your time to complete the bar application accurately the first time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allow ample time for multiple reviews </li></ul></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  5. 5. DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE!! <ul><li>Red Flags for Candor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Law School Application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Amend early </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Amend with complete disclosure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bar Application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be candid the first time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid multiple amendments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resumes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior Statements </li></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  6. 6. FELONIES (CONVICTIONS) <ul><li>Not Automatically Disqualifying </li></ul><ul><li>It Depends…on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crime/Offense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remoteness of Conduct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rehabilitation (community service) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must Restore Civil Rights (check jurisdiction) </li></ul><ul><li>Must Disclose even if no conviction!! </li></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  7. 7. MULTIPLE ARRESTS/LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTACTS <ul><li>Zero is Best. Less is Better. </li></ul><ul><li>Not Automatically Disqualifying </li></ul><ul><li>It Depends…on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of arrests/law enforcement contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature of offense/law enforcement contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disposition/Resolution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remoteness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rehabilitation (community service) </li></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida.
  8. 8. DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE/ADDICTION <ul><li>IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE A PROBLEM ADDRESS IT NOW! </li></ul><ul><li>RESOURCES: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Lawyer’s Assistance (FLA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.fla-lap.org </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>800 282-8981 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FLA Contract is a SERIOUS commitment – DO NOT ENTER INTO IT LIGHTLY </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rehabilitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  9. 9. DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE/ADDICTION <ul><li>Mitigating Factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation and Diagnosis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FLA Contract </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Candid Disclosure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited Law Enforcement Consequences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TIME!! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conditional Admission </li></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  10. 10. FINANCIAL IRRESPONSIBILITY <ul><li>Lack of Wealth is NOT Disqualifying, but… </li></ul><ul><li>Poor Financial Management may delay your admission to the Florida Bar </li></ul><ul><li>Red Flags for Financial Irresponsibility: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delinquent Debts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bankruptcy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NSF (check or debit) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure to File Tax Returns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Fix = BUDGET AND TIME! </li></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  11. 11. MENTAL HEALTH <ul><li>Conditional Admission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually for specified length of time (2-5 years) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strict Compliance with terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must Reside in FL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must submit quarterly reports by mental health professional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FLA Contract </li></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida.
  12. 12. TIPS! <ul><li>Reading is Fundamental on Bar Application </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to be a lawyer when answering Bar Application Questions </li></ul><ul><li>If you are unsure of how to answer a question, select YES and explain in detail </li></ul><ul><li>Review Application, COMPLETELY, at least TWO times before executing </li></ul><ul><li>Submit Application Early!! </li></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  13. 13. TRICKY QUESTIONS PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  14. 14. TRICKY QUESTIONS PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  15. 15. MENTAL HEALTH <ul><li>Not automatically disqualifying </li></ul><ul><li>Test = Does it impair/impact ability to practice law? </li></ul><ul><li>Focus of Inquiry: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation and Diagnosis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental Health History </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  16. 16. HEART OF CANDOR PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  17. 17. PROCESS OF INVESTIGATION <ul><li>Background Investigation – up to 9 months </li></ul><ul><li>Request for Additional Information and/or Documents </li></ul><ul><li>Investigative Hearing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your chance to explain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their chance to look you in the eye </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May cause delay </li></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  18. 18. PROCESS OF INVESTIGATION <ul><li>Formal Hearing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your burden to prove character and fitness by clear and convincing evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your character is on Trial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delay of 9 months or more before actual hearing date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further delay depending on outcome of hearing </li></ul></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  19. 19. WORDS TO LIVE BY <ul><li>MORE TIME NOW </li></ul><ul><li>MAY MEAN </li></ul><ul><li>LESS DELAY LATER! </li></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida
  20. 20. CONTACT INFORMATION <ul><li>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. </li></ul><ul><li>1500 SAN REMO AVENUE </li></ul><ul><li>SUITE 275 </li></ul><ul><li>CORAL GABLES, FL 33146 </li></ul><ul><li>305 670-9000 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>PINKERT & MARSH, P.A. 305-670-9000 Miami, Florida

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