Holding back teen charges for stolen property on bar application leads to public censure

On February 25, 2015, the Second Judicial Department, Appellate Division of New York Supreme Court, publicly censured a New York lawyer for not disclosing on her bar application a teen charge for petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

The lawyer falsely answered “No” to Question 12 on her application for admission to the New York Bar, which concerns the disclosure of previous citations, arrests or convictions.

In determining how to discipline the lawyer, the Court considered the Respondent’s genuine remorse, the high regard in which was held by her peers and employer, as well as the affirmative steps that “the respondent took to rectify her conduct, including, but not limited to, having the charges dismissed and the record sealed, and her otherwise unblemished disciplinary history”.

However, the Court ordered public censure for the lawyer noting that “candor and the voluntary disclosure of negative information by an applicant are the cornerstones upon which is built the character and fitness investigation of an applicant for admission to the New York State bar”.

In the Matter of Natasha M. McDougall, admitted as Natasha Maria McDougall an attorney and counselor- at-law (Attorney Registration No. 4427449), 2013-09465 is available at http://www.courts.state.ny…

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