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florida
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character and fitness question
« on: May 18th, 2006, 2:11pm »
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Has anyone had any experience with character and fitness inquiries??  How long does it take?  What kind of things are automatic denials?
 
I am aware that there is a similar thread on the top page, but it is side tracked on a peripheral issue.  I passed the patent bar in the Spring.  I thought when I got the letter saying I could take the exam, that this included my background check.  I was extremely happy to pass because the test was very hard, and I was very soon thereafter let down when my letter said "You recieved a passing score, however due to your answers to questions..."  It took about a month for them to send me a follow up letter detailing the info that they wanted.  This was a standardized letter, and it took them a month to send it to me, so I am worried about how long a character inquiry is going to take.  Does anyone have any helpful information?
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John Simmons
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Re: character and fitness question
« Reply #1 on: May 19th, 2006, 10:19am »
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Check out the article I referenced in the other C & F thread.  As far as a time frame; well, at least in my sister's case it took her about 2 years to resolve the D.U.I. issue.  She went through a substantial amount of back and forth with the Board and also had to attend what she described as an extremely adversarial hearing.  
 
But a word of caution, this was a state bar.  Most people do not get singled out, but unfortunately, some do.  Out of curiousity, I read all of the published C & F decisions up to January 2005.   I've seen states admit multi-pound cocaine traffickers and then a few sessions later deny people for excessive absenteeism at work.  I've come to the conclusion that it really just depends on luck and who happens to be on the review board at that time.
I haven't come across any appeals concerning USPTO C & F decisions (the only way to really glimpse these otherwise closed proceedings).
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florida
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Re: character and fitness question
« Reply #2 on: May 19th, 2006, 10:30am »
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on May 19th, 2006, 10:19am, John Simmons wrote:
 I've come to the conclusion that it really just depends on luck and who happens to be on the review board at that time.

 
Isn't it amazing how that can ruine someone's career, even their life?
 
I mean, we are talking about people who invested tens of thousands of dollars and three years of their life in an education, and then someone else gets to decide their future based on how they feel that day, with no accountability... its just amazing to me.
 
It is one thing if you are endangering someone's life, such as a DUI.  Even there, if it is only a one time thing I think the person should be licensed immediately and put on several years of probation.  With a violent felony, I can see that being a permanent disqualification.  Other than that, I really don't see the reason behind it, especially if we are talking about isolated incidents.  It just seems like they are arbitrarily trying to narrow out the competition.
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Isaac
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Re: character and fitness question
« Reply #3 on: May 19th, 2006, 11:35am »
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on May 19th, 2006, 10:30am, florida wrote:
I can see that being a permanent disqualification.  Other than that, I really don't see the reason behind it, especially if we are talking about isolated incidents.  It just seems like they are arbitrarily trying to narrow out the competition.

 
With respect to violent felonies including murder, I've been told that state bars take a different view.   For someone who has done their time after a single incident and has demonstrated compliance with the law thereafter, a license is frequently granted.  However a single incident involving dishonesty or theft is far less likely to be forgiven.
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Isaac
florida
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Re: character and fitness question
« Reply #4 on: May 19th, 2006, 12:34pm »
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on May 19th, 2006, 11:35am, Isaac wrote:

 
With respect to violent felonies including murder, I've been told that state bars take a different view.   For someone who has done their time after a single incident and has demonstrated compliance with the law thereafter, a license is frequently granted.  However a single incident involving dishonesty or theft is far less likely to be forgiven.
 

 
That doesn't make any sense in my book.  So much for putting human life above personal property.
 
I can understand denying someone for a pattern of behavior, but as long as it is only one or two isolated incidents I don't see how you can make any character judgement unless it was a violent or malicious act toward another.
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