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In re Stern

943 A.2d 1247 (2008)

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In re Stern

Maryland Court of Appeals

943 A.2d 1247 (2008)

Facts

Beginning in 1993, Kevin Stern (plaintiff) accrued and defaulted on tens of thousands of dollars of debt. Stern felt that making minimum payments on his debt was pointless and chose not to use his assets of $65,000 to pay his creditors. Stern applied for admission to the Maryland bar in 2005 and subsequently settled with his creditors for amounts that were far less than he owed. Stern paid off most of his reduced debt with graduation gifts and a loan from his mother, who had previously paid off other debt for Stern. Stern attempted to show that he had mended his irresponsible ways by putting his mother in charge of his finances and consulting a financial advisor. The bar examination committee rejected Stern’s application, finding that Stern (1) disingenuously omitted debts and related lawsuits from his law school and bar applications, (2) falsely claimed ignorance of some of his debts, (3) settled and paid off his debts solely for the purpose of obtaining a law license, (4) had made only insincere and inadequate attempts at rehabilitation, (5) had accrued even more debt since applying for bar membership, and (6) was unfit to manage potential clients’ funds. The Board of Law Examiners denied Stern a law license based on the committee’s recommendation, and Stern appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Battaglia, J.)

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