Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Missouri prosecutor Nicholas Jain addresses some questions about his drunk-driving record, while executing a nifty sidestep on other queries

Nicholas Jain
Missouri prosecutor Nicholas Jain has a drunk-driving conviction in his background, but that does not seem to have impeded his pursuit of a law degree, big time law-related jobs, even a pilot's license. That raises a number of unsettling questions, especially since Jain is in a position of judging the actions of others.

We sought to pose some of these questions to Jain, and it started with the following email:

Mr. Jain:

I publish Legal Schnauzer, a blog about justice issues in Missouri, Alabama, the South, and beyond. I am preparing a post re: the above-styled DUI case in which you were involved. I wanted to give you an opportunity to comment prior to publication. A few questions that you might want to address:

(1) It appears you were accepted to the MU School of Law while on two years' probation for the DUI case. Did you disclose your criminal record and probationary status on your law school application?

(2) To your knowledge, is it normal practice for the MU School of Law to admit a student who is on probation due to a criminal offense?

(3) My research indicates you worked as a law clerk for at least two state agencies, plus a Jefferson City law firm, either while you were on probation or shortly after your probationary period ended. Did you disclose your criminal record and probationary status on your applications for these positions?

(4) I understand you soon intend to run for prosecuting attorney, probably in your home area of Dunklin County, MO. Do you plan to disclose your criminal history to voters and the local press? What does this mark on your record say about your qualifications to serve in a position of such high public trust?

If you wish to comment on this matter for my articles, you are welcome to do so. Also, I would be glad to arrange a time for an interview (in person or by phone) if that would work better for you.

I ask that you make any response by 5 p.m. Thurs. (12/7/17).

Legal Schnauzer has been ranked among the top 50 law blogs in North America. Again, we welcome any comments you care to make prior to publication.


Roger Shuler (publisher and editor)

Carol Shuler (asst. publisher and editor)

(205) 381-5673.

Here is Jain's response:

Dear Mr. Shuler:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond.

1. Yes, I disclosed the case to the University of Missouri School of Law as well as to the Missouri Board of Law Examiners.

2. I do not have sufficient knowledge to answer questions about the law school’s admission policies. I am only aware of my personal experience, and I was admitted without further question. The Director of Admissions or Admissions Committee may be able to provide more information about their policies and practices.

3. I disclosed the case to those employers. In addition, the record was also publicly available on then, as it is now.

4. I take full responsibility for driving while intoxicated in 2011, and I deeply regret that incident. Prosecutors must exercise sound judgment as it relates to each case they handle. As a prosecutor, I hope to have the wisdom and perspective to do what is in the best interests of the people of the county both individually and as a whole.

Thank you,

Nicholas Jain

Interestingly, Jain avoided the question about his political plans in Dunklin County, Missouri. He did, however, raise the issue of prosecutors showing sound judgment. That prompted more questions from us.

(To be continued)

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