In re DeBartolo Case Brief

Summary of In re DeBartolo, 111 Ill.2d 1 (1986)

Facts: Pet. graduated from law school and passed the bar exam the same year. The following year the admissions committee informed the Pet of its refusal to certify that he possess the minimum level of character and fitness. That decision was based on the Pet’s sworn application which contained inaccurate educational information and failed to include some of his residences. The application also listed 200 – 400 parking tickets while in law school. In addition, the committee found he had twice falsely represented himself to others as a police officer.

Issue: Whether a candidate for entrance into the legal profession can be denied based on minor infractions, omissions and inaccurate information on the application to the Bar?

Holding: The petitioner did not demonstrate the good moral character and general fitness that are necessary to qualify for admission to the bar of this State.

Procedure: After an investigation and hearing, the Committee on Character and Fitness for the 1st Judicial District refused to certify that the Petitioner possessed good moral character and gen. fitness to practice law. Petitioner filed for relief from that refusal. S.Ct Illinois – Denied Relief.


Rationale: The applicant dismissed the 200- 400 parking tickets as an important source of city revenue or discounted the fact by claiming overzealous patrols where he parked. He provided conflicting testimony at the hearing versus the information in his application regarding his residency. The petitioner then claimed that he thought the application wanted his domicile, but he used several different addresses when registering to vote, drivers license, and gun registration. On at least two occasions he misrepresented himself to police officers, that he was either a police officer or a former police officer. The petitioner has shown a disregard for the law.

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