journalist Stephen Glass
makes appeal to CA Supreme Court
about moral character are in the spotlight this month as the California Supreme
Court holds oral argument on whether a disgraced journalist should be admitted
to practice law.
Glass rocked the journalism world in the late 1990s when he was fired from The
New Republic for fabricating material in dozens of articles and inventing more
lies to cover his tracks. The magazine described it as “a breathtaking web of
deception that emerged as the most sustained fraud in modern journalism.”
being exposed, Glass continued studying law at Georgetown University Law
Center, where he excelled. He passed the New York bar exam, but withdrew his
application for a law license in 2004 after learning he would not pass the
moral fitness test.
then moved to California, passing the California bar exam in 2006, but the
Committee of Bar Examiners denied his admission on moral character grounds. A
State Bar Court hearing judge and a 2-1 panel of the bar court’s Review
Department disagreed and recommended his admission.
California Supreme Court, which has the final say over admission and discipline
issues, agreed to hear the case in 2011 at the request of the Committee of Bar
court papers, Glass’ attorneys describe him as deeply remorseful for the admittedly
appalling conduct that occurred when he was in his mid-20s.
cite a decade of psychotherapy, exemplary work as a law clerk at the Los
Angeles firm of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley and a stable and fulfilling
personal life as evidence that he has rehabilitated himself.
has committed himself to unrelenting honesty,” his lawyers wrote, urging the
Supreme Court to defer to the State Bar Court’s findings.
Committee of Bar Examiners calls Glass’ attempts at redemption opportunistic
and self-serving, pointing out that he overstated his efforts to correct his
journalism record to New York bar officials. It was only when he sought
admission to the California bar 11 years later that he took steps to identify
all the fabrications in other publications, including Harper’s Magazine.
timing of his self-proclaimed acts of contrition all center around
circumstances that are aimed at benefiting him rather than his victims,” the
committee’s attorneys wrote.
high court’s oral argument is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 6 at the Stanley Mosk
Library and Courts Building, 914 Capitol Mall, Sacramento. Senior Assistant General
Counsel Rachel S. Grunberg will argue on behalf of the Committee of Bar
Examiners. Appellate lawyer Jon B. Eisenberg of Horvitz & Levy LLP will
argue on behalf of Glass. A live webcast will air on The California Channel.
more information, read the briefs in In re
Stephen Randall Glass on Admission, S196374. A decision is expected by