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In Re Bar Application of Tarra Simmons

What is sufficient evidence of rehabilitation to establish "character and fitness" to practice law

Court

Petition for review to WSSC following denial of application to take the Washington State Bar Exam

Issue

Despite evidence that following a criminal conviction Ms. Simmons served her sentence, paid her fines, completed treatment, complied with all conditions of her plea, completed law school, established herself in the community, committed no further criminal offenses and had full support from numerous members of the community including family, friends prosecutors, judges and other members of the bar she was denied the opportunity to take the bar examination.

WACDL Amicus

Whether evidence of rehabilitation is sufficient, despite past criminal conduct, to establish "character and fitness" to practice law. Entrance to the Bar for a new applicant should be considered by the same criteria as re-entry for a disbarred attorney. In no case has a disbarred attorney been denied re-entry simply because of an insufficient passage of time.

WACDL Amicus Author

Rita Griffith

Appellate Authors

T. David Copley, Laura Gerber, Tana Lin

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