Would you hire this man to be your lawyer?

posted at 10:58 am on December 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

For several years, the case of Stephen Glass has fascinated me.  Even before the excellent film Shattered Glass, I had followed the story of the serial fabulist, who fabricated dozens of stories for The New Republic and other magazines, and who then tried to cash in on his notoriety with a novel called The Fabulist, a thinly-disguised fictionalization of his own antics.  When that failed, Glass decided to pursue a career as an attorney, but found that the state of New York took the requirement for honesty and integrity for admission to the bar a bit too seriously for him to qualify.  He headed to California, and the state Supreme Court will mull over his request for admission to the bar there.

The New York Times’ Joe Nocera says we should all cut the kid a break:

But the record that was assembled during the first judicial proceeding, which took place in the spring of 2010, sends a powerful, and even uplifting, message about how a troubled soul can turn his life around. Enrolled in Georgetown University Law Center when the scandal broke, Glass was unhireable as a lawyer when he got his degree. A sympathetic professor, Susan Low Bloch, helped him land a clerkship with a District of Columbia judge. Then he moved to New York where he passed the bar but withdrew his application when he learned he was going to be turned down. To support himself, he wrote a fictional account of his misdeeds. He underwent intensive psychotherapy and sought out those whom he had wronged to apologize. He fell in love, moved with her to California and took — and passed — the California Bar exam. …

In all, 22 witnesses testified to Glass’s good character, including Professor Bloch, the judge he had clerked for and, most remarkably, Martin Peretz, who was the sole owner of The New Republic when Glass fabricated his stories and was deeply embarrassed by the scandal. “I always thought redemption was within his means because he was fundamentally a good kid,” Peretz told me. …

We like to tell ourselves that we believe in the power of redemption. People can make mistakes — even big mistakes — and, in time, recover from them. Stephen Glass is someone who made a big mistake. The infamy of his misdeeds will follow him forever. But if anyone can be said to have redeemed himself by his subsequent actions, it is Glass.

I believe in the possibility of redemption, especially as a person of faith.  If I didn’t believe people could change and redeem their past mistakes, I would despair for myself and everyone I know; none of us are perfect or free from stain.  However, I’m not so sure that a pathological liar can change his stripes quite so easily, and it’s certainly a good question for the Supreme Court to consider in this case.  For instance, let’s return to The Fabulist for a moment, a novel that flopped despite Glass’ notorious reputation, or perhaps because of it.  Book critic John Moe ripped Glass for not getting the point in a review published by Amazon as the sales lead for the novel:

The Fabulist is a mostly an empty exercise, devoid of strong characters, compelling action, or, finally, a reason to exist. Glass told lies, got caught, got fired, and then wrote a book about it. Why should we care? While interesting possibilities surely existed in tracing the arc of a career of fakery, Glass chooses instead to begin his story just as “Stephen” is being exposed for the first time. He fills the rest of the book by taking us through the character’s dull and lengthy process of recovery as he seeks sanctuary with his parents, changes girlfriends, finds a new job and a new apartment, and avoids the spotlight of his scandal.

The Fabulist is populated with characters seemingly pulled from the scrap heap of numerous failed sitcoms: the Egotistical Boss, the Girlfriend Who Doesn’t Understand, the Pushy Older Jewish Lady with a Single Granddaughter, and the Comically Mysterious Co-workers. Many of the characters are reportedly based on real people and are portrayed, disappointingly, as jerks and fools more deserving of derision than apology. Perhaps the most distressing part of The Fabulist is that there’s no heart and no center. The central character, the only hero we are offered, never seems to understand who he is. He lies, those lies get him in trouble, he searches for an explanation or redemption for his actions, but neither he nor we ever understand what is to be gained from it all.

The Fabulist was published five years after Glass’ exposure as a serial fabricator, which gives some indication that whatever remorse or reform Glass experienced was quite a long time coming.  Jack Shafer can’t believe that anyone would consider admitting someone with Glass’ record to the bar in any state, especially since the application relied heavily on casting Glass as a victim of parental mismanagement:

Glass’s lawyers give his updated side of the story in a September 2011 filing, insisting that their client’s youth at the time of the original scandal should mitigate in favor of his rehabilitation. On this note, a Glass psychiatrist maintains that his patient suffered from arrested development prior to therapy. Witnesses aplenty testified to his moral fitness to work as an attorney, the pleading states, and substantial time has passed since the fabrications, during which Glass has confessed to his wrongdoing on national television (a 2003 60 Minutes segment, in which he promoted his novel) and has repeatedly stated that his journalism is not to be trusted.

Even if you’re supportive of Glass’s legal quest—as you might have guessed, I’m not—the unsealed documents sketch a cringeworthy picture of him. How many people would make the sort of confessions and excuses that Glass does in this case, just to gain admittance to the bar? Take for example, the passage in Judge Honn’s decision, in which he recounts another high school humiliation of Glass. In a footnote, Honn wrote:

As an example, applicant took a family life class in high school where the boys and girls were paired and assigned to be a “husband” and “wife” to study the development of an egg into a baby. Applicant’s partner was distressed to be assigned to applicant, and she complained to her parents, who in turn, complained to the teacher. The next day, the teacher continued the theme by having the marriage “annulled.” As one would imagine, this caused applicant to be ashamed and humiliated.

I don’t know what’s worse—that Glass’s side introduced these “facts” to create sympathy for him or that the judge appears to have bought them. As high school humiliations go, annulments of family life class marriages rate pretty low. Yet this isn’t the lowest grab for sympathy recorded in the court documents. In another footnote to his decision, Judge Honn writes:

Although applicant has recently established a relationship with his parents by setting boundaries in their interactions, his brother has had more difficulty doing so. In fact, despite his brother having a wife and two-year-old twins, his parents have not actually seen the grandchildren for more than approximately ten hours.

What sort of person would enlist the story of his brother’s estrangement from their parents as legal leverage in a civil proceeding? …

If it weren’t for the paper trail, this decade-long struggle to become an attorney, with all of its emotional striptease and maudlin confessions, might be mistaken for one more Stephen Glass fabrication. Maybe, when it’s all over, he’ll write about that.

Glass has an impressive character witness in Martin Peretz, the publisher of TNR, who suffered the most damage from Glass’ fabrications and who can rightly be called the most victimized single person in the scandal.  However, close behind that would be Glass’ former editor, Charles Lane (now of the Washington Post), who explained that Glass’ fabrications went far beyond the page itself:

Lane joked that people have always wondered which profession has lower ethical standards – law or journalism – and the Supreme Court is set to determine the answer when they hear Glass’ case. The court is basically in a position to figure out when Glass, a person who used to do nothing but lie, stopped lying, Lane said.

“My reaction was, ‘I can’t believe after 13 years this is all still going on,’” Lane said. “It’s an incredible saga.”

There has been a long list of character witnesses who’ve come forward on Glass’ behalf and testified that he’s a changed man who is now honest and straightforward, including two law professors and the owner of The New Republic.

Lane said that Glass’ whole way of life was false, and to really be an honest person he would have had to completely reconstruct himself.

He pointed out that Glass has never come completely clean about the total number of fabrications and lies he told at The New Republic and has minimized the extent of his deceptions in applying to the California Bar, a detail that was cited by a dissenting judge in the California State Bar case.

In the full interview, Lane says he’s not surprised to see character witnesses now support Glass, but says they’re saying the very same things he and his TNR colleagues would have said about Glass before his exposure.

Could Glass have found redemption?  It’s entirely possible.  Has he?  Others will know that more than I would, of course, but the record here doesn’t look promising.  Nocera says that the court shouldn’t destroy the rest of his life.  However, there are plenty of professions that Glass could have chosen that require less risk and trust than as a practicing attorney, and if the court doesn’t admit him to the bar, Glass will have plenty of opportunities to choose one.


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That would be a no

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Figures he’d end up in California…
sounds like he should hook up with Newt’s staff!

KOOLAID2 on December 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM

I am pleasantly surprised the Character & Fitness Committee in New York reviewing his bar application was going to turn him down. He should not have been permitted to withdraw his application, so that California would have been required to take notice that he was rejected. If he claims on his California Bar application that he has never been turned down for admission, it will be technically true, but someone should give State Bar the phone number of the Committee that was considering his application (it varies by which Department he applied in).

CatoRenasci on December 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM

A lawyer with a lying problem is pretty much like a bartender with a drinking problem. There are just too many temptations around.

RBMN on December 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Most lawyers are liars. He’ll do just fine.

IR-MN on December 27, 2011 at 11:07 AM

A lier and a journalist, but I repeat myself…

They ALL fabricate , why single this guy out? Because he admitted it?

the_nile on December 27, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Does it appear that this fella has a better future as an author rather as a lawyer?

ted c on December 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM

His skills at deceit will come in handy in his new profession.

vegconservative on December 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM

He’s a crybaby and a liar who will throw anyone — including his family — under the bus to get what he wants. He’ll make a great lawyer.

Rational Thought on December 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I believe in the possibility of redemption, especially as a person of faith. If I didn’t believe people could change and redeem their past mistakes, I would despair for myself and everyone I know; none of us are perfect or free from stain.

Man is not God. Being redeemed in the eye’s of God is not the same thing as being forgiven in the mortal plane. A criminal still does the time even if they have truly redeemed themselves. It is not important that man forgive us for our sins or mistakes, but that we have redeemed ourselves in the eye’s of God.

We have rules and standards to begin with because it is beyond our abilities to see into the hearts of men.

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Given my recent experience in a serious relationship with a congenital liar, I believe that this is a fundamental character flaw that cannot be fixed.

cane_loader on December 27, 2011 at 11:12 AM

So…. this guy is a pathological liar.

He’s perfectly suited to be a lawyer, IMHO.

That, or a member of the 0bama administration.

UltimateBob on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Most lawyers are liars. He’ll do just fine.

IR-MN on December 27, 2011 at 11:07 AM

His skills at deceit will come in handy in his new profession.

vegconservative on December 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Maybe I am being a bit oversensitive here, but I know many highly moral and honest people in my profession and I resent the implication we are liars and practice deceit in greater percentages than any other group of people in any other profession.

You two, however, must be on the shortlist for sainthood and I am privileged to be posting on the same website as you.

HawaiiLwyr on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Not sure I’d want him as my lawyer but he definitely chose the right state. And maybe he has changed. If he doesn’t pass the bar there are still other options.

With a Georgetown law degree he has a whole host of potential careers He could be general counsel for Solyndra, Lightsquared or ACORN, Pelosi’s press secretary, a White House czar, a congressional staffer, an EPA adviser, head of Corporate Responsibility for Monsanto…the list just goes on and on.

CorporatePiggy on December 27, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Everyone has met a person or two like this, I’ve never known any who have changed this habit. I could never hire this man, I can forgive but I could not turn over any part of my life to his control. I just don’t know any reformed liars.

Cindy Munford on December 27, 2011 at 11:15 AM

For several years, the case of Stephen Glass has fascinated me.

I really wish you’d stop saying that!

YYZ on December 27, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Let him do something else, what I do not know

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Jeez, sounds like a perfect candidate for Obama’s next press secretary.

JimK on December 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM

With a Georgetown law degree he has a whole host of potential careers He could be general counsel for Solyndra…

Wouldn’t that be considered practicing law? And don’t all states bar practicing law without a license?

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM

The state bar is a disgrace. Some steal huge amounts of money from their clients and other members have to foot the bill.

The worse case I’ve seen was a public defender who was porking his 14 and 15 y/o juvenile clients. He was convicted but I don’t think he even did time on it. Then eight years later under the wire, the convictions were reduced to misdemeanors and a judge dismissed them, so now he’s practicing law again.

Blake on December 27, 2011 at 11:18 AM

He would fit right in at this administrations DOJ.

HumpBot Salvation on December 27, 2011 at 11:19 AM

It’s so easy to lie when telling the truth would make things so much harder. A little lie. Who would it hurt? I don’t believe you can develop a healthy conscience later in life. Either you were raised that way, or you weren’t. To the con man, straight-shooters are and always will be chumps.

Paul-Cincy on December 27, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Believe me when I tell you that my client is non-guilty.

Hard to swallow

J_Crater on December 27, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Joe Nocera, who has problems with the Big Lie over the GSEs that includes this chestnut?

These latter mortgages were the ones created by the unholy alliance between subprime lenders and Wall Street.

It seems some lies are more equal than others. Or at least, Stephen Glass thinks all the right thoughts so he should be cut a break.

JeffWeimer on December 27, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Wouldn’t that be considered practicing law? And don’t all states bar practicing law without a license?

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Good point. They could just call him a Senior Legal Adviser.

CorporatePiggy on December 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM

However, close behind that would be Glass’ former editor, Charles Lane (now of the Washington Post), who explained that Glass’ fabrications went far beyond the page itself

You know, I can’t believe I never realized that Charles Lane who occasionally appears on Bret Baier’s Special Report is the same dude who Peter Sarsgaard played in Shattered Glass(maybe because there’s zero resemblance between the two). His performance was by far the best thing about that flick.

Doughboy on December 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM

That would be like a bank robber suing to be allowed to get a job as a security guard, because “Hey, it’s been a few years and I’ve changed, trust me”.

Mord on December 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM

So, he’s a serial liar? Sounds like he’d be a perfect lawyer.

clearbluesky on December 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM

So…. this guy is a pathological liar.

He’s perfectly suited to be a lawyer, IMHO.

That, or a member of the 0bama Ron Paul administration.

UltimateBob on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

There…all fixed up and shiny.

timberline on December 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Everyone has met a person or two like this, I’ve never known any who have changed this habit. I could never hire this man, I can forgive but I could not turn over any part of my life to his control. I just don’t know any reformed liars.

Cindy Munford on December 27, 2011 at 11:15 AM

+1.
You put what I am thinking into words so much better than I can.

herm2416 on December 27, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Let him do something else, what I do not know

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Politics, with perhaps a run for the presidency down the road. A perfect fit.

a capella on December 27, 2011 at 11:27 AM

He’s supremely qualified to become a democrat Congressman.

darwin on December 27, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Glass decided to pursue a career as an attorney, but found that the state of New York took the requirement for honesty and integrity for admission to the bar a bit too seriously for him to qualify.

Putting aside Glass’s experience with the New York bar, I can’t believe you wrote this with a straight face, Ed.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Either you were raised that way, or you weren’t. To the con man, straight-shooters are and always will be chumps.

Paul-Cincy on December 27, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Yup, the only deterrent to lying, especially if you are halfway intelligent, is shame. If you are not ashamed of lying, you won’t be honest when it really counts.

Personally, I like to say that I always tell the truth because once you build up a good reputation of always telling the Truth, you can blow it on something really big. /s

Mord on December 27, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I don’t know what the big deal is. He sounds quite a bit more honest than the majority of lawyers in California. Just look at the 9th Circuit, or all the lawyers in the State legislature.

NOMOBO on December 27, 2011 at 11:28 AM

My opinion of the legal profession being what it is, I say “why not”?

NoDonkey on December 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM

His little pants are on fire.

vcferlita on December 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM

I didn’t make the connection….thanks Doughboy

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 11:32 AM

He was born too soon. He would have felt right at home with the JournoLister crowd. His style of journalism would be lauded today.

Fallon on December 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM

He should run for Congress.

Better yet, he should run for Presidency of the United States!
He seems born for it!!

Herald of Woe on December 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM

He peaked too soon. He would have felt right at home with the JournoLister crowd. His style of journalism would be lauded today.

Fallon on December 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM

My bad.

Fallon on December 27, 2011 at 11:37 AM

HawaiiLwyr on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name. Welcome to the 1%!

VegasRick on December 27, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Maybe I am being a bit oversensitive here
HawaiiLwyr on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Dang, I had some good lawyer jokes to share…..

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Glass should fit right in, given the ‘ethics’ of most lawyers – just look at the ones in Congress.

GarandFan on December 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM

In fact, despite his brother having a wife and two-year-old twins, his parents have not actually seen the grandchildren for more than approximately ten hours.

Whaaaaaaaa……?

playblu on December 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM

There is a simple solution to this:

They should admit him to the bar but place him on several years probation.

Should he fail the conditions set for him, they kick him out.

TheRightMan on December 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM

With a Georgetown law degree he has a whole host of potential careers He could be general counsel for Solyndra…

Wouldn’t that be considered practicing law? And don’t all states bar practicing law without a license?

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM

I believe that, in some states anyway, one can work in-house without being admitted to the bar.

That said, IMHO, Glass should have never been admitted into law school in the first place.

As an (honest) attorney, I hate that there are so many dishonest attorneys who both make my job more difficult and give the profession a black eye.

And I have to agree with the posters here who opined that someone like Glass cannot be reformed sufficiently to be trusted to practice law.

Syzygy on December 27, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Actions have consequences. Actions speak louder than words. Actions define you.

Glass didn’t just commit a single dishonest act in a moment of weakness. He lived a life built on lies and deception. He is a liar and a thief who stole the truth and substituted lies for a living. Now, having pimped one profession, he seeks to be placed in a position where he can pimp another, and do far more damage to people’s lives than he ever could before. Even though every applicant to any bar must meet certain standards of character and fitness, all too many fall short of the ethical standards we expect them to meet as attorneys. How could anyone with this man’s record of deception and dishonesty be seriously considered for admission?

Glass should never be admitted to the bar of any jurisdiction this side of Hell.

novaculus on December 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM

While I appreciate the article it would have been nice if just a little background on what the stories he did fabricate were. That way I could have some context as to the severity of what he did.

For instance if a reporter who worked for the National Enquirer were to attend law school and pass the bar I wouuld not really have a probelm with the fact that he posted a fictitious article about Aunt Mabel in a small town in Iowa being visited by Space Aliens who were Elvis impersonators.

Evidently the things he did at the New Republic were more serious but I missed what they were. If they were buried soemwhere in the article I apologize but it seemed mostly people talking about why he did what he did and how it was OK or not OK. I’d rather know the facts and make up my own mind.

Individualist on December 27, 2011 at 11:46 AM

F him.

docflash on December 27, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Maybe I am being a bit oversensitive here
HawaiiLwyr on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM
Dang, I had some good lawyer jokes to share…..

A grade school teacher was asking students what their parents did for a living. Timmy stood up and said, “My mom is a doctor!” Sarah stood up and said, “My father is a professor!” Little Johnny stood up and said, “My dad is a piano player in a whorehouse!”

The teacher couldn’t believe what she’s had just heard, so she made a point of calling Little Johnny’s father that evening to discuss the situation. Little Johnny’s father explained, “Actually, I’m an attorney, but how am I supposed to explain that to a seven year old kid!”

Herald of Woe on December 27, 2011 at 11:49 AM

You two, however, must be on the shortlist for sainthood and I am privileged to be posting on the same website as you.

HawaiiLwyr on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

OK, that right there was pretty danged funny.

Ed Morrissey on December 27, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Most lawyers are liars. He’ll do just fine.

IR-MN on December 27, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Cynic!

(a little sarcasm) : )

listens2glenn on December 27, 2011 at 11:51 AM

I’m guessing he got booted as a journalist not for lying, if that were the case then Chris Matthews and the whole PMSNBC crowd as well as the other alphabet channel propaganda arms of the DNC would be unemployable. He was booted because he did it poorly such that people could ferret out the lies and he wasn’t famous enough yet to get professional courtesy cover (see Dan Rather, TNG files).

AZfederalist on December 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM

For several years, the case of Stephen Glass has fascinated me.

Ed Morrissey

Me, not so much. Call me when he actually does something redeeming.

M240H on December 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM

You can usually determine in your first year of Law School which students are going to be the slime of the class that will use the law to further their own selfish agenda and could care less about the merits of integrity. Some of the most successful lawyers are complete liars and thieves and then they progress into politics. You cannot pervert the law until you understand how to pervert the law…….Unknown Law Professor.

volsense on December 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Glass will need to become active in California Democrat campaigns to establish cred as a victim and earn favors with the serial liars in charge there.

WhatNot on December 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM

According to my faith, sin has consequences, even if you repent.

LouBob1980 on December 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

In fact, despite his brother having a wife and two-year-old twins, his parents have not actually seen the grandchildren for more than approximately ten hours.

Whaaaaaaaa……?

playblu on December 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM

They’re really, really fond of the grandkids.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

A Lawyer Named Strange

A lawyer named Strange died, and his friend asked the tombstone maker to inscribe on his tombstone, “Here lies Strange, an honest man, and a lawyer.”

The inscriber insisted that such an inscription would be confusing, for passersby would tend to think that three men were buried under the stone. However he suggested an alternative:

He would inscribe, “Here lies a man who was both honest and a lawyer.” That way, whenever anyone walked by the tombstone and read it, they would be certain to remark: “That’s Strange!”

Herald of Woe on December 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Great. just what we need here in California. Yet another lying democrat lawyer.

Ed – with so many other great topics – why did you waste your time on this?

deadite on December 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Wait…isn’t the Liar-in-Chief a lawyer?

Christian Conservative on December 27, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Cry me a river Douche Nozzle!

wkrp-in-cincy on December 27, 2011 at 12:01 PM

What’s the problem? At least he’s found a profession where he fits in best.

MNHawk on December 27, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Ed States: I believe in the possibility of redemption, especially as a person of faith. If I didn’t believe people could change and redeem their past mistakes, I would despair for myself and everyone I know; none of us are perfect or free from stain. However, I’m not so sure that a pathological liar can change his stripes quite so easily, and it’s certainly a good question for the Supreme Court to consider in this case.

In context of personal redeption between one’s self and God, I completely agree.

In context of legal authorization to assume responsiblity for other’s legal woes in a court of law, I also agree.

The court room isn’t the place to give him the chance to change. Yeah, changing one’s stripes is great, but let’s see some proof prior to authorizing him responsiblity for other’s legal woes.

Lawrence on December 27, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Validating an individual’s alleged redemption is not the interest of the Supreme Court. Protecting the integrity of the state’s system of laws and justice and the people who live there is. Mr. Glass is still seeking his fortune in professions where integrity and honesty are an absolute requirement and the reputation of the entire profession will be hurt if he fails, and this makes me both worried and doubtful. Let him seek it somewhere else where the only one he can hurt should he lie is himself. The court should turn him down.

But, then again, this is California we’re talking about.

Socratease on December 27, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I think the best approach would be to figure out if he would be allowed to pass the bar had he committed similar offenses but not been famous. I would imagine there wouldn’t be an issue in that case, though I could be mistaken.

Mister Mets on December 27, 2011 at 12:12 PM

…However, there are plenty of professions that Glass could have chosen that require less risk and trust than as a practicing attorney…

He would fit right in as a climate scientist!

belad on December 27, 2011 at 12:17 PM

However, there are plenty of professions that Glass could have chosen that require less risk and trust than as a practicing attorney, and if the court doesn’t admit him to the bar, Glass will have plenty of opportunities to choose one.

That makes me laugh.

Interesting that this guy chose law and not architecture. You can’t “lie” on a drawing and get a building built. Designing a building is truth that results in physical creation, something a lawyer would never understand.

If a lawyer walks into my office and asks me to design something for them, I tell them no.

MichaelGabriel on December 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Cindy Munford on December 27, 2011 at 11:15 AM

The ever-reliable Cindy has put her finger on the real issue. The question isn’t whether he has reformed his character, or if such reformation is possible. The question is whether the bar should place it imprimatur on him by granting him a license to practice law, thereby informing people that he is competent and trustworthy.

The answer is no.

novaculus on December 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM

“However, I’m not so sure that a pathological liar can change his stripes quite so easily,…”

Ummmmmm…

… Eric Holder?

Seven Percent Solution on December 27, 2011 at 12:22 PM

“Many of the characters are reportedly based on real people and are portrayed, disappointingly, as jerks and fools more deserving of derision than apology.”

The novel is about leftists?

Given how sleazy this nation has become (when 52% of voters chose zer0, my estimation of my fellow Americans dropped precipitously), I’m surprised Glass hasn’t found some lucrative outlet for his shenanigans.

MisterElephant on December 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Glass will need to become active in California Democrat campaigns …

WhatNot on December 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Wouldn’t that corrupt his character?

AZfederalist on December 27, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Unfortunately, the CA board will probably pass him. He’s a grown man – time to stop blaming his parents; time for his attorney to stop blaming his parents. This blame behavior alone indicates the problem still exists. People hire people like themselves: he hired an attorney to take his excuses forward to the next level. Certain traits are hard to correct – zebras don’t change their stripes; leopards don’t change their spots.

I thought he’d been raised by overly permissive parents; turns out, they were overly strict. Regardless, it appears he never learned right/wrong, lie/truth. He is responsible for his actions – whether he wants to admit it or not.

Forgiveness is one thing, behaving foolishly is something else – I wouldn’t trust him IF I knew his background. We’ll see if his records “disappear” in the future. Other comments above are spot on.

MN J on December 27, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I think Judge Smails said it best, “The world needs plenty of ditch-diggers, too.”

reaganaut on December 27, 2011 at 12:31 PM

This is a pretty interesting casebecause it not only puts us, as Lane says, in a position to guesss when Glass stopped lying, but it requires us to balance our belief in redempton with our instinct to protect ourselves and others from the pathological.

Speaking for myself, I believe that redemption is between the person and his/her God. Only He can see inside man’s soul and know if there has been true repentance. The rest of us can only make our best guess.

I think we can forgive when there is true repentance but forgiveness does not include being stupid.

I think we should forgive Mr. Glass and wish him the best of luck with the rest of his life, but that we are not gong to put him…and potential clients…at risk of the same thing happening again.

The practice of law is not a matter of simple academic knowledge of what the law is. It is a daily, stressful series of complicated judgement calls that functions because Lawyers maintain their ethical duty of honesty to clients, courts, colleagues and the system in general (the guy above who said all lawyers are liars is not just cynical, he is factually wrong). This is just too much to put on Glass and his clients.

Let him go write screenplays…he wll probably be good at it.

Blaise on December 27, 2011 at 12:33 PM

MN J on December 27, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Board rejected him. That is why this is before the California Supreme Court. Glass is suing to override the board.

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I’d rather know the facts and make up my own mind.

Individualist on December 27, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Perhaps instead of complaining that Ed failed to give you the long list of facts you could have googled Stephen Glass for yourself, and read.

Yoop on December 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM

fabricated dozens of stories

Hmmm…. Lawyer sounds like the correct profession for him.

jeffn21 on December 27, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Just F’ing great… Glass moves to California to become a lawyer, and will no doubt, considering his greatest strength is his love of lying, end up as a California Congressman or Senator.

SWalker on December 27, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Let’s see. A troubled family life. A propensity for lying to the public. A law degree. Writes a book about himself. That reminds me of…hm-m-m-m, ah-h-h-h-h… I’ll come up with it in a minute…

Yoop on December 27, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Maybe I am being a bit oversensitive here, but I know many highly moral and honest people in my profession and I resent the implication we are liars and practice deceit in greater percentages than any other group of people in any other profession.

You two, however, must be on the shortlist for sainthood and I am privileged to be posting on the same website as you.

HawaiiLwyr on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Oh please… If lawyers couldn’t lie, to a man they would all be unemployed. Next you are going to suggest that politicians can be trustworthy honest people as well.

SWalker on December 27, 2011 at 12:50 PM

SWalker on December 27, 2011 at 12:50 PM

I don’t know that this comment is entirely fair. While lawyers are certainly advocates for their clients and use their language carefully in representing them, they still have to follow the rules of the court and are expected to be totally honest and open about the evidence they bring into the court room. I assume most follow these rules honestly. Would Glass? Or would he fabricate and/or suppress evidence to support his clients?

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Mr. Glass is still seeking his fortune in professions where integrity and honesty are an absolute requirement and the reputation of the entire profession will be hurt if he fails, and this makes me both worried and doubtful. Let him seek it somewhere else where the only one he can hurt should he lie is himself. The court should turn him down.

But, then again, this is California we’re talking about.

Socratease on December 27, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Stephen glass is seeking his fortune now in a profession where the appearance of integrity and honesty are a requirement, and are regularly waived anyway. Don’t kid yourself, Soc.

gryphon202 on December 27, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Glass is eminently qualified to be a lawyer look at how large and often and repeatedly he lies. I’m thinking Glass should be a criminal defense or tax attorney. Those two areas are especially attractive to the morally vacuous.

Your Mamma loves me on December 27, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I don’t know that this comment is entirely fair. While lawyers are certainly advocates for their clients and use their language carefully in representing them, they still have to follow the rules of the court and are expected to be totally honest and open about the evidence they bring into the court room. I assume most follow these rules honestly. Would Glass? Or would he fabricate and/or suppress evidence to support his clients?

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Does the name “Orenthal James Simpson” ring a bell, NotCoach? You wanna tell me that his lawyers were totally honest and open about the way they conducted themselves? Bah.

gryphon202 on December 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM

College Republican National Committee and D.A.R.E unavailable for comment?

Caper29 on December 27, 2011 at 1:01 PM

volsense on December 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I don’t know about usually being able to tell in 1st year law which ones will be crooked, but sometimes it is pretty clear. I know one such. Some of my classmates caught him hoarding reserved class materials at the library, concealing them in his carrel so only he had access to them for extended periods. I’m sure most of us recognized in the first year that he had no conscience and held the rest of us in contempt. He is now a PI lawyer and a rich man. He has also been disciplined and suspended several times for ethics violations. He is known in the profession to be ruthless and unscrupulous. In one case, he was caught red-handed snooping in opposing counsels’ files when they stepped out of the room during a deposition. I’ve often wondered if they didn’t set him up for that. No one I know would have left that guy alone with their files, period. He should have been disbarred long ago.

novaculus on December 27, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Maybe I am being a bit oversensitive here, but I know many highly moral and honest people in my profession and I resent the implication we are liars and practice deceit in greater percentages than any other group of people in any other profession.

You two, however, must be on the shortlist for sainthood and I am privileged to be posting on the same website as you.

HawaiiLwyr on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Give it up all lawyers are scumbags the job attracts those types its why so many politicians are lawyers. Only the mentally diseased and the morally bankrupt are attracted to the bar.

Your Mamma loves me on December 27, 2011 at 1:05 PM

The legal profession is filled with all kinds of filthy scumbags so why shouldn’t Glass be able to participate.

Besides, the idea that you have to be admitted by the Bar Association in order to practice law is stupid in the first place. Such trade guilds are a thing of Old Europe that have largely been rejected in modern times. I see no need to keep any vestige of that old system around.

Let the man practice law and let his prospective clients decide if he is trustworthy.

dczombie on December 27, 2011 at 1:06 PM

It’s horrible that the gov’t is in a position to decide whether this man can work in his chosen profession. If he’s a terrible lawyer he will fail on his own. The gov’t shouldn’t be acting as a gatekeeper.

phadedjaded on December 27, 2011 at 1:09 PM

If I was so clearly guilty that I needed an attorney willing to lie for me to get acquitted, and if he was the best attorney I could afford: maybe.

WhatNot on December 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I don’t know that this comment is entirely fair. While lawyers are certainly advocates for their clients and use their language carefully in representing them, they still have to follow the rules of the court and are expected to be totally honest and open about the evidence they bring into the court room. I assume most follow these rules honestly. Would Glass? Or would he fabricate and/or suppress evidence to support his clients?

Lawyers are devils; however, they have been overtaken in recent years in their “race to the bottom” by thieving realtors and bankers, while the ruling class works at a fevered pace to destroy the wealth and institutions of this country. So, the answer to your quandry, counselor, is that your courts are corrupt and perverted, and so no-one cares if you follow their g-ddamned rules.

Now go release so more criminals into the streets of Calfornia, or whatever unhelpful but self-righteous thing strikes your fancy.

Herald of Woe on December 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM

D

oes the name “Orenthal James Simpson” ring a bell, NotCoach? You wanna tell me that his lawyers were totally honest and open about the way they conducted themselves? Bah.

gryphon202 on December 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM

There are a few famous attorneys who have made it difficult for the profession:

John Edwards, attorney, liar.

Bill Clinton, attorney, liar.

Eric Holder, attorney, liar.

Yoop on December 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Can someone point me to where Nocera argues that we should give James O’Keefe a break for doing far less damage to the integrity (LOL) of journalism?

TheLastBrainLeft on December 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Does the name “Orenthal James Simpson” ring a bell, NotCoach? You wanna tell me that his lawyers were totally honest and open about the way they conducted themselves? Bah.

gryphon202 on December 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Anecdotal evidence makes for a poor case study. One case involving a handful of celebrity attorneys.

I understand why lawyers have the reps they do and often times they deserve it. But I have never met an attorney like the O.J. attorneys. Perhaps I hang in the wrong circles.

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM

There are a few famous attorneys who have made it difficult for the profession:

John Edwards, attorney, liar.

Bill Clinton, attorney, liar.

Eric Holder, attorney, liar.

Yoop on December 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM

And there are quite a few not-so-famous attorneys that I’d place in the same league. Disdain for the study of law as a profession is nothing new.

gryphon202 on December 27, 2011 at 1:15 PM

“Nocera says that the court shouldn’t destroy the rest of his life.”

Ridiculous. I’m sure Glass would be eligible for admission somewhere to get a PHD in Beclowning. In the, meantime, he can work the community/church festival circuit selling fried dough. I hear it pays fairly well, if you serve the dough up piping hot with cinnamon and return the proper change to the customers.

Dusty on December 27, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I understand why lawyers have the reps they do and often times they deserve it. But I have never met an attorney like the O.J. attorneys. Perhaps I hang in the wrong circles.

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM

So you counter my anecdotal evidence with more anecdotal evidence. Great. Would it perhaps give you pause to rethink the fact that the vast majority of congressional representatives and senators are career lawyers? Or is that just more “anecdotal evidence” to you?

In the end, you have about as much proof for your assertion that lawyers are fundamentally honest people as I have for my assertion that most are not. I’ll give you that, but I would lay dime-to-dollar you’re the kind of person who also thinks most “constitutional scholars” actually believe in following the constitution.

gryphon202 on December 27, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Everyone is a “liar” to one extent or another.

A very tiny handful of people are irredeemable sociopaths.

Don’t ever get those two things confused.

logis on December 27, 2011 at 1:23 PM

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