In Re Stephen Glass, It’s Chuck Lane’s Opinion that I’m Interested In

Charles Lane being the New Republic editor at the time of Glass’s principal “fabulisms.”  Jack Shafer has done an excellent job going through documents in the matter of Stephen Glass seeking a license to practice law in California; once it was taken up by the California Supreme Court, the documents related to the bar matter became public, and Shafer has read them.  It’s a lengthy and, if you have a taste for therapeutic explanations, fascinating tale; Glass seems to be pleading mostly a bad childhood with Tiger Mom & Dad creating insecurity and deep phobias that made it seemingly irresistible to say whatever was needed to succeed.

The concern of the California bar committee that originally rejected his application seemed to have been rather more concerned with what it saw as sparse evidence that he was actually sorry for what he did or was instead merely strategic in the aftermath.  “Fabulism,” after all, is a remarkably loaded, or if you like, unloaded way of describing what one might otherwise call bare-a***d lying.  Shafer is circumspect in his own views, but notes that a slew of law partners and law professors – including Opinio Juris’ very own Kevin Jon Heller – have all endorsed his fitness to practice.  He also, however, notes just how deeply unattractive a lot of Glass’s arguments are.  Let’s just say I’m not persuaded; however, the person whose opinion most interests me is the eminently decent and sensible Chuck Lane.

Glass actually won his appeal and had the bar’s panel rejection overturned by a California appellate judge; it takes four justices of the seven person California Supreme Court to take an appeal, so it suggests that there is some contrary concern there.  In any case, perhaps it’s in the original article and I missed it, and I do not know if this is true, but someone tweeted me to say that even without benefit of a law license, Glass is currently earning $154k as a paralegal.  Comments are open.

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