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In re Lindmark

March 23, 2000

IN RE ROGER MICHAEL LINDMARK, APPLICANT.


Before Schwelb and Reid, Associate Judges, and Belson, Senior Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reid, Associate Judge

On Application for Admission to the District of Columbia Bar

Argued October 8, 1999

On March 1, 1999, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Committee on Admissions ("COA") recommended that the application of Roger Michael Lindmark for admission to the District of Columbia Bar be denied. In response to this court's order to show cause why his application should not be denied, Mr. Lindmark argued, inter alia, that the record before the COA contains clear and convincing evidence of his "present day good moral character and fitness to practice law" in the District. Following oral argument, we asked Mr. Lindmark to submit documentation regarding the disposition of any complaints made against him in the State of California in connection with his law practice in that jurisdiction. We also asked for a current verification of his "good standing" as an attorney in California. We now conclude that Mr. Lindmark satisfies the requirements of D.C. App. R. 46 (d) and (e) and thus order his admission to the District of Columbia Bar.

FACTUAL SUMMARY

In recommending that Mr. Lindmark's application for admission to the D.C. Bar be denied, the COA stated, inter alia: "In this case, the combination of Mr. Lindmark's past conduct and his present attitude toward that conduct demonstrates that he does not sufficiently understand a lawyer's obligation to refrain from making baseless allegations against his adversaries." More specifically, the COA asserted that:

Mr. Lindmark's conduct during the Pennsylvania bar admission proceedings is the primary ground for our recommendation to deny his application. He repeatedly made factual statements and legal arguments that he either knew were inaccurate or for which he had no reasonable basis. *fn1

Although the COA's primary basis for recommending a denial of admission centered on the proceedings before the Pennsylvania bar authorities in 1990, it also took into consideration events that occurred in 1982 while Mr. Lindmark was a law student in California, *fn2 declaring that:

Mr. Lindmark . . . refuses to recognize that his actions were wrong, even after a judge ruled that the dean's factual allegations were true. Instead, his testimony sought to evade the issue, as he repeatedly (and unconvincingly) claimed not to be able to identify the factual statements to which the court referred. His lack of candor about the court's ruling shows that his ability to confront unfavorable findings about his own conduct remains problematic. Moreover, his efforts to dismiss the incidents that led to his disciplinary probation as the equivalent of a parking ticket betrays a fundamental lack of appreciation for the seriousness of his lies, including lies about his class standing, lies about his authority to represent other students, and the other lies detailed in the dean's letter.

Despite Mr. Lindmark's 1982 law school history, the COA recognized that "[d]ue to the passage of time, the [law school] incidents by themselves might be insufficient to preclude Mr. Lindmark's admission." Nonetheless, based on his history before the Pennsylvania Board and, in part, his law school history, the COA recommended denial of his bar admission because "Mr. Lindmark has failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he possesses the requisite good moral character and general fitness to practice law in the District of Columbia. . . ."

Contending, in part, that the record shows by clear and convincing evidence that he possesses the requisite moral character and fitness to practice law, Mr. Lindmark challenges the COA's recommendation. He points to record evidence supporting his admission to the D.C. Bar. Indeed, as the COA's brief acknowledges, Mr. Lindmark "submitted a number of references praising his character." In fact, on December 29, 1992, Mr. Lindmark sent eighteen letters of reference to the COA which had been submitted to the Pennsylvania Board. For example, a former law school classmate and then practicing attorney in New York wrote on November 20, 1991:

I have only known [Mr. Lindmark] to be hardworking, diligent, and serious minded. In addition, I highly regard [Mr. Lindmark's] moral character and sense of honesty and integrity.

A California attorney in whose behalf Mr. Lindmark had rendered legal services, stated in November 1992:

I have known Mr. Lindmark for approximately eight (8) years, within the legal community of Los Angeles. On occasion, over those years, Mr. Lindmark has performed various legal work for me and my firm as a ...


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