On Thursday, October 12, 2023, the Supreme Court of Ohio rejected the application of Washington Attorney Peter Boya Lu to practice law in the state.

The case is titled ‘In re Application of Peter Boya Lu’ with Slip Opinion No. 2023-Ohio-3684.

The Akron Bar Association Admissions Committee conducted an interview with Attorney Lu in August 2022 and initially recommended approval of his character, fitness, and moral qualifications for admission. However, the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness, exercising its authority, initiated an investigation into Lu’s character and qualifications. The board subsequently recommended disapproval of Lu’s application and suggested that he reapply for admission no earlier than January 2024.

The board’s recommendation was based on several factors. Attorney Lu’s employment history raised concerns, as he had left the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office in Washington, and the office reported that they would not rehire him and were uncertain about his character and fitness for the practice of law. Additionally, Lu had previously worked at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office in New York, where the office indicated no opinion on rehiring him or his suitability for the legal profession. Furthermore, Attorney Lu had disclosed that he faced ineligibility to practice law in Utah, but he provided no further explanation.

During the investigation, the board scheduled a hearing to gather testimony and evidence, but Lu refused to cooperate and failed to appear at the scheduled hearing. The Akron Bar Association withdrew its recommendation of approval and instead recommended disapproval of Lu’s application.

The Supreme Court of Ohio concurred with the board’s findings. They emphasized that applicants for admission to the bar bear the burden of proving their character, fitness, and moral qualifications by clear and convincing evidence. Attorney Lu’s evasiveness, lack of cooperation, and failure to address concerns about his employment history and eligibility in Utah constituted a significant deficiency in his honesty, trustworthiness, and diligence. As a result, the court determined that Lu had not met the requirements for admission to the practice of law in Ohio and disapproved his application, allowing him to reapply no earlier than January 2024.

Attorney Lu, a 2018 graduate of Columbia Law School, was already been admitted to practice law in Washington after passing the New York bar exam and transferring his Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) score.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.