Disgraced Journalist Stephen Glass: Will He Be Allowed To Practice Law?

Stephen Glass

Disgraced journalist Stephen Glass, who fabricated dozens of articles for a publication, may not be fit to practice law. A number of California Supreme Court Justices are skeptical about Glass being morally fit to practice.

Glass applied to practice law in California after passing the state’s bar exam back in 2007. Since then, state officials have been trying to come to terms with his application. Each of the seven-member court members had a number of questions for Glass and his attorney.

The hearing in Sacramento lasted little more than an hour. The court now has 90 days to approve or deny Glass’s bar application. Glass previously admitted that he had fabricated most of the 42 magazine articles which were published in the New Republic and Rolling Stone publications.

At the time, Glass attempted to cover up his lies by producing business cards, a web site, and having his brother pretend to be the source of his false information. In 1998 Glass graduated from Georgetown University having passed the law exams.

Justice Ming Shin said that the disgraced journalist benefited financially from his lies and fabricated articles, which he has made no attempt to pay back. He also made roughly $140,000 in 2003 for a novel he published about his life.

So will Stephen Glass be allowed to practice law in California or not’? Carol Langford, a lecturer of legal ethics at the University of California said that those lawyers who are opposing Glass’s admission have a strong case:

“He would be in a far better place if he was more active in his rehabilitation. He should have donated all proceeds from his book deal to setting up a journalism ethics class, for instance,” Langford said.

Stephen Glass’s lawyer, Joe Eisenberg, said that documents filed with the court showed that his client had used the proceeds of the money he had received to pay for living expenses, therapy and lawyers:

Sackcloth, ashes and a vow of poverty are not required for Glass to become a worthy member of the California Bar.Glass has done many good deeds during his years in California. That he might be more saintly should not matter.” Eisenberg wrote about his client, the disgraced journalist.