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Is Disgraced Journalist Stephen Glass Fit to Practice Law?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 31, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's been years in the making, but disgraced journalist Stephen Glass will finally have his day in court. The California Supreme Court, that is.

Glass rose to infamy in 1998 after the world learned that he had fabricated dozens of stories that appeared in The New Republic and other publications. Though he left journalism, he continued on with his law degree at Georgetown, eventually graduating.

In 2007, he applied to join the California Bar, but the Committee of Bar Examiners denied his application. A legal dispute ensued.

The regulating body is not convinced Glass is morally fit to practice law. It's not even a case of "once a liar, always a liar" -- they don't believe he is sufficiently rehabilitated.

Attorneys for the Bar cite Stephen Glass' 2003 application to the New York Bar. He purported to provide the examiners with a list of every article he fabricated, explains Reuters. It included 23 stories. He added 19 articles to that list in 2009, but only when under investigation by the California Bar.

It took him 11 years to fully admit his lies.

Still, professors, judges, attorneys, friends and his life-partner testified on his behalf when he appealed the Bar's ruling. The judicial panel ruled in his favor, pointing to the psychological trauma he suffered at the hands of his parents.

That trauma, his apologies and his pro bono work were enough to win him a favorable result, reports Reuters. But the Bar appealed.

The California Supreme Court will now decide whether these factors are sufficient enough to render Stephen Glass morally fit to practice law. 

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