Is a Serial Fabulist Fit to Practice Law?

Stephen Glass, the disgraced writer for The New Republic who penned stories that were too good to be true (and whose exploits inspired the movie “Shattered Glass”) wants to be a lawyer.  But is a journalist exposed as a serial fabricator fit to practice law?  The New York Bar said no.  Now, The Recorder reports, Glass is trying California, and his case is going to the state supreme court.

Glass moved to California and passed the bar exam here. But in 2009 the Committee of Bar Examiners declined to certify his moral fitness, noting, like New York, his history of lies. Glass then petitioned the State Bar Court’s hearing department, which disagreed with the committee and found the would-be lawyer had the necessary “good moral character.” The hearing officer declared Glass’ 22 supporting witnesses to be “outstanding” and credible.

The committee took the case to the three-judge review department, which in July, on a 2-1 vote, found that Glass had indeed rehabilitated his moral shortcomings and should be certified for admission to the Bar. Now the Committee of Bar Examiners has successfully asked the state Supreme Court to step in.

“In light of the serious misconduct that occurred, albeit a decade ago, [Glass] did not show in the commission’s eyes significant rehabilitation,” Grunberg said. “He just hasn’t shown that he holds those values that we hold dear.”

The question is likely to be decided in early 2012.

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