It is not every recent law grad who can claim that he appeared before the state supreme court soon after graduation. Unfortunately, this is one appearance that University of Wisconsin law graduate Joshua Jarrett is unlikely to add to his resume. In a close vote, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that Jarrett could be admitted to the bar so long as he is supervised for two years. Bar officials sought to block Jarrett after concluding that he had misrepresented his grades and credentials in a job application.
Jarrett applied to the New York City Law Department in his second year at Wisconsin and listed his GPA at 2.75 rather than 2.72. That hardly seems a mortal sin. Likewise, he submitted an unofficial transcript that listed B grades in three courses in which he actually had a grade of B-. However, he later submitted a second unofficial transcript that inflated two B- grades to Bs, one B- grade as a B+, and one B grade to a B+. The transcript also listed Jarrett’s GPA as 3.0. Perhaps most seriously he allegedly claimed to be a member of the prestigious law review staff.
What Jarrett later admitted to the misrepresentations to the bar, he did not disclose three speeding tickets and his arrest on a bench warrant for failing to appear on two of the speeding tickets.
Nevertheless, Jarrett was able to pull out a razor-thin victory (of sorts) by convincing the majority that he had shown redemptive behavior. The majority stressed that Jarrett has “completed unpaid legal internships and meaningful legal volunteer work serving economically challenged clients, has mentored students and currently works in a public trust position in Washington, D.C . . . We therefore choose to exercise our prerogative and afford this applicant the benefit of the doubt.”
Jarrett currently works as an analyst for the Federal Aviation Administration.
I think that the majority got this one right. Jarrett faces a career with the shadow of this investigation and the conditioned admission to the bar. I certainly understand the view of the dissenting justices that there were too many acts of dishonesty to give Jarrett the benefited of the doubt. However, there is also some need to allow for redemption and reform in people.
What do you think?
Here is the opinion: Jarrett Opinion
Source: ABA Journal