Stephen Glass who was caught fabricating articles while writing for The New Republic as well as other magazines in the late 1990's is continuing his fight to practice law in California, according to Yahoo News. His numerous ethical errors were infamously portrayed in the film "Shattered Glass" as well an autobiographical novel.
Since Glass has attended Georgetown law school and also passed the California Bar Exam back in 2007. Thereafter the California Committee of Bar Examiner's denied him admission to the California State Bar because it felt that Glass was morally unfit to practice law within the state.
Since then, an independent state bar court ruled for Glass and naturally the committee has since appealed. The California Supreme Court has decided to hear the appeal. The date for oral arguments has yet to be set.
Fit To Practice?
The issue on appeal is whether Glass has been rehabilitated from his past dishonest acts.
To practice law in California a lawyer must prove that he or she has the degree of moral character required to practice within the state. There is no exact definition for "moral character" or defined checklist that the committee follows when deciding whether to admit or deny a prospective applicant. Moreover, a past criminal conviction does not automatically bar a lawyer from practicing law in California.
However, acts of dishonesty such as fraud, embezzlement etc. are especially disfavored by the bar. As a result, a potential applicant who was convicted of a dishonest crime must prove that he or she has been rehabilitated in order to gain admittance to the bar.
The independent state bar court believed that Glass was rehabilitated. At the trial before that court he brought forth over 20 character witnesses, including 2 judges, all of whom vouched for his repentance and character rehabilitation.
Glass was in his mid 20's when he fabricated the articles. He is now 39-years-old and works as a law clerk at a Beverly Hills law firm.
We live in a country of second chances. Yet, a lawyer is a position that requires loyalty and trustworthiness, which is why the bar requires every one of its members to be of good moral character. The California Supreme Court must weigh these factors when it attempts to resolve the dilemma of whether Mr. Glass is now fit to practice law in the state.
What do you think?
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