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Legal Ethics

NY Won’t Admit Would-Be Lawyer Due to $430K in Unpaid Student Loans

Posted Apr 16, 2009 5:11 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A written opinion doesn't give his name. But an anonymous would-be New York lawyer with some $430,000 in delinquent student loans dating back to 1985 presumably knows who the New York appeals court is talking about.

In a decision (PDF) today, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court refuses to admit the individual it refers to as "applicant" on character and fitness grounds, even though he passed the state bar in February 2008.

The applicant said he intends in good faith to repay the loans, and attributed his delinquent status to the difficult economy and what the court describes as bad-faith negotiations by some loan servicers. However, he hasn't made "any substantial payments" during the time he has owed the money, and hasn't been "flexible" in negotating with lenders, the opinion states.

"Under all the circumstances herein, we conclude that applicant has not presently established the character and general fitness requisite for an attorney and counselor-at-law," the court writes.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Houston Lawyer Loses License Because of Failure to Pay Debts"

Updated at 10 p.m. to link to related ABAJournal.com post.

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