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Louisiana Bar Aspirant Rejected for the Fourth Time
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On April 9, the Louisiana Supreme Court turned down the application of Marcia Denise Jordan for admission to the Louisiana bar for the fourth time. This time, the court said the rejection was permanent. In an unsigned opinion, the court held “Given the egregious nature of petitioner’s wrongdoing, as well as a pattern of conduct occurring over many years, we can conceive of no circumstances under which we would ever grant her admission to the practice of law in the state.”

So, what had she done? A mistake she made in law school in 1995 that created an indelible blot on her character. The evidence against her shows that while serving as the president of Loyola University New Orleans School of Law’s Student Bar Association she embezzled funds in her trust and later engaged in unauthorized practice of law. According to the court, the fact that Jordan had repaid the student organization did not count.

Jordan had enrolled at Loyola in 1993 and became the president of the student organization in 1995-96 academic year. She subsequently graduated in May 1996, passed the Louisiana bar examination, but her dean’s certificated was rescinded after clearing the bar exam. One day before the bar admission ceremony, it was proved that she had graduated without resolving allegations of embezzlement.

  
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Jordan applied for admission to the bar again in 1999 but a court investigation revealed that Jordan had used funds of the student organization for her personal purposes. The investigation also found that she had destroyed financial records when the law school launched its own investigation into the matter.

She applied again in 2000 and was refused. In 2004, she applied for a third time and submitted that she had repaid the money of the organization and the law school had reissued her dean’s certificate. Following the changes in circumstance the court referred the matter to the state bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Though, following another investigation, a commissioner recommended Jordan’s admission to the bar, the Committee on Bar Admissions refused.

During court arguments, it was further found that Jordan had engaged in unauthorized practice of law and had shared fees improperly with a New Orleans attorney for whom she was working as a legal assistant. While the court denied Jordan’s application for third time in 2009, her senior, Richard Garett was disbarred because of sharing fees with her and allowing her to represent clients.

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In its latest rejection of Jordan’s application for admission to the bar the court wrote, “Standing 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 at the law school simply serve to underscore the conclusion that petitioner possesses serious and fundamental character flaws.”

A bit harsh, maybe? Considering all the flawless characters from the bar and the bench who regularly make it to news headlines?





 

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