Member Resources

Louisiana Bar HOD Passed Resolution Impacting Consumer Report Usage

by David Szwak, Member of the LSBA Professionalism Committee

At its Mid-Year Meeting, the Louisiana State Bar Association’s House of Delegates considered and passed Resolution No. 4, brought by Attorneys David Szwak and Vercell Fiffie.  The approved Resolution recommended action to the Louisiana Supreme Court “for approval and further orders to issue according and as necessary: That the use of consumer credit reports and credit scores as part of the character and fitness process be terminated. Further, that the use of consumer credit reports and credit scores by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel be terminated. For reasons outlined by the proponents of this Resolution, there are a number of substantial problems which make the use of those reports and scores problematic and lacking as a reliable measure for character, fitness and as an investigative device for discipline.”  The thrust of the Resolution was based on the reliance on both traditional credit reports and public record vendor reports [collectively “consumer credit reports”].  The national credit reporting system has been plagued with gross inaccuracy rates, loose match algorithms, ID theft, mixed files, and other deficiencies, for decades.  Reliance on those reports as a measure to examine character and fitness of a Bar applicant is improper.  Further, usage of the reports in ODC investigations and prosecutions should likewise be stopped.  Movants cited multiple reported examples of the problems created by the reports.  Click below to view a copy of the resolution.