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Temperament Bars Man From Law Test

September 29, 1999

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ The Nebraska State Bar Commission describes Paul Converse as abusive and hostile. Even his lawyer calls Converse a ``pain in the neck.″

But Jay Denne asked the Nebraska Supreme Court on Tuesday whether ``a person be prevented from taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer in this state for basically being a pain in the neck?″

Denne is asking the court to reverse the commission’s refusal to let his client take the bar exam.

Converse, 47, graduated from law school at the University of South Dakota in 1998. His application to take the Nebraska exam was denied because he was consistently ``abusive, disruptive, hostile, intemperate, intimidating, irresponsible, threatening or turbulent″ while in school, the commission said in a letter to Converse last year.

The commission said that, among other things, Converse created T-shirts with an obscene caricature of the law school’s dean, threatened to sue over various situations and put up a photograph of a nude woman’s backside at his work station.

The commission’s lawyer said Converse appears unwilling to change his behavior, which could lead to sanctions if he were allowed to practice law.

``Converse should be encouraged to expend his energies in positive directions which could be considered as indicative of rehabilitation or reform of his character or fitness, if he is allowed by this court to reapply for admission,″ Michael Lessmann said.

Denne said his client’s civil rights are being violated.

``He has no criminal history, no history of fraud or other types of dishonesty and no history of violence,″ he said.

The high court did not indicate when it would rule.

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