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If my only record is sealed under CPL 160.50, do I have to answer Yes to the NY Bar licensing's "have you ever been arrested?"

New York |

The NY Court of Appeals, although the highest court in the state, is not a statutorial exception to CPL 160.50(1)(d). Also, it's not a law enforcement agency so DCJS should not let it know that a sealed records exists for it to make an ex parte motion to unseal the record.

People v. Ellis, 184 A.D.2d 307 (1st Dept. 1992): people who only have 160.50 records may deny under oath the existence of the record.

CPL 160.60: "no one shall be required to divulge information pertaining..."

Executive Law 296.16: the state and any subdivision thereof may not inquire about arrests then not pending that did not result in a conviction.

Judiciary Law 53 says that the bar's rules may not be inconsistent with other statutes.

However, law schools and the bar ask for all arrests. Can I say no?

Attorney Answers 1


I don't think sealing has anything to do with answer to the question have you ever been arrested. The fact remains you were arrested and I think you run a serious risk of ethical problems if you lie to the Fitness and Character Committee. If you really want to check this out, I suggest you consult with a lawyer who specializes in defending lawyers before the grievance committee. I can give you a name if you contact me. The above is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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