The Wall Street Journal Law Blog muses on an issue that has troubled me for a long time: the fact that the legal profession allows people to keep practicing law whose conduct would have kept them out of the profession had it occurred before they were lawyers.
The reason for the current examination is the apparent inconsistency of disgraced New Republic journalist Stephen Glass continuing to fight and uphill battle (and, I think, doomed) to be admitted to the California bar, while lying scum-of-the-earth John Edwards still has his law license and is opening up a new practice in North Carolina. I wrote about Glass here, and Edwards here.
In the Journal piece, estimable legal ethicist Stephen Gillers opines that the different standards applied to Glass and Edwards are paradoxical, with the law grads entering the profession being held to more stringent ethical standards than a veteran attorneys. “If anything, you might say it should be the opposite,” he says.
Especially if the veteran lawyer is a high-profile, national figure who makes every other lawyer want to crawl under a rock…
You can read the article here.
The answer is that neither Glass nor Edwards is trustworthy, nor possess the minimal degree of honesty and integrity to practice law.
Pointer: Legal Ethics Forum