What court ruling or statute exempts the BAR from section ORC 2953.33 Section A (Sealing and Expungement of Records)

Asked 6 months ago - Columbus, OH

Also, what court ruling or statute exempts law schools from ORC 2953.33 and 2953.32, especially section B1 of ORC 2953.32?

Can the Ohio Supreme Court and BAR examiners issue guidelines that are contrary to the ORC?

Even though it is quite clear that the BAR examiners can question someone in regards to ORC 2953.32, I do not think that the BAR examiners can consider a sealed record ordered sealed or expunged under ORC 2953.32 because ORC 2953.33 explicitly restores "all privileges" not already restored to the individual whose record was ordered sealed under ORC 2953.32

I am looking for specific exemptions in the law for law schools and the BAR (DO NOT CONFUSE THE TWO AS BEING THE SAME).

From what I understand, the power to legislate is not a power the OH Supreme Court has?

Additional information

I am curios as to whether a law school can actually inquire about this because the question seems to be in direct violation of ORC 2953.33. Keep in mind that studying law is not the same as practicing law. Also, a sealed or expunged record does not bear a direct and substantial impact on studying law (being a student). In fact, if it did, I would go so far as to assert that a record might as well not be expunged or sealed because then any profession or institution can claim that the record in question bears the same. I require thorough answers and specific case/legal examples because I intend to petition the ACLU for assistance; however, I want to have a good understanding of the facts before I proceed. This seems to be a matter of civil liberties (which are supposed to be restored) and discrimination against the poor and disadvantaged by the legal profession (ensuring that only the most privileged can practice law)

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Elizabeth Emelia Osorio

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I recognize your question and I think you received good answers the last time it was posted. There is a key part of ORC 2953.33 that you may be overlooking, specifically, 2953.33(B)(1), which provides that: (B)

    " In any application for employment, license, or other right or privilege, any appearance as a witness, or any other inquiry, except as provided in division (E) of section 2953.32 and in section 3319.292 of the Revised Code and subject to division (B)(2) of this section, a person may be questioned only with respect to convictions not sealed, bail forfeitures not expunged under section 2953.42 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to June 29, 1988, and bail forfeitures not sealed, UNLESS the question bears a direct and substantial relationship to the position for which the person is being considered."

    Any conviction of ANY kind bears a direct relationship and substantial relationship to the position for which you are being considered - an attorney and counselor at law. That is why candidates who are open and honest about their past are regularly admitted to law school, and likewise, approved to sit for the bar. The key inquiry is your level of honesty and integrity, because the bar must believe that you can be trusted with a client's life, liberty, and property - especially money.

    I encourage you follow up with the advice you received before to reach out to the school admissions department - you will find them open and willing to discuss your concerns with you. Good luck!

    DISCLAIMER: Confidential Information should not be shared on the internet. Anonymous posts can be traced back... more
  2. Peter Stephen Kirner

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You seem to be asking this question over and over. I am not sure what happened, or if you have been denied the right to sit for the bar or what. If you failed to disclose something, trying to rely on your reading of the law, you may have shot yourself in the foot. HONESTY is what they are looking for. It is all about your character and fitness to practice law. You made a mistake, got a conviction, what have you done about it since then ?? If you are doing everything right, then you should have no issues, but you NEED to be honest. If you want to fight the system on this one, you are going to lose.

    The above information is not, nor intend to be, legal advice. You SHOULD consult an attorney for specific advice... more
  3. David Keith Greer

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Great question, and many people have asked the same question. Let me give it a shot.

    The practice of law is a learned profession, not a trade. Applying for admission to the Ohio Bar isn't like applying for a job at Wal-Mart. At Wal-Mart, you're entitled to answer "No" to the job interview question regarding a conviction that was expunged, or a charge that was sealed. If you're applying to be a certified legal intern or admission to the practice of law, the Ohio Supreme Court, which controls the admission of candidates to the practice of law, can know about your entire relevant past, even if it was sealed or expunged.

    The reason is because entry to the practice of law is not just about getting a law degree and passing the Bar exam. There is also a character and fitness aspect. The reason is because courts often need to rely on an attorney's representations without verification. An attorney handles money from clients. An attorney also has access to detention facilities that the general public can't. These examples and countless others are reasons why character and fitness are a requirement to enter the legal profession or become a certified legal intern as a law student.

    If it makes you feel any better, it's not just the Ohio Supreme Court which has "the power to legislate", according to you, in this regard. Other professions are asking for all information about someone's past, sealed or expunged or not. Potential nurses from what I understand also want to know everything. I know this because I got a similar question on Avvo sometime ago from someone about to enter the nursing profession who complained about having to disclose a certain expunged conviction.

    The best advice I can give you is to disclose the conviction, or whatever it is you feel you otherwise don't have a duty to disclose. More than likely, it won't be a problem, as long as you're forthright about it. The Bar examiner will take into account that it was sealed or expunged. The worst thing you can do is not be truthful about this particular aspect of your past, whether you are motivated by deception or by principle. That will almost certainly cause you problems with the Ohio Supreme Court.

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