Friday, August 18, 2006
State Bar Committee Votes for Stricter Disbarment Rules
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The State Bar Committee on Regulations, Admissions and Discipline Oversight Committee yesterday afternoon voted to recommend that the Board of Governors adopt stricter standards for attorney disbarment and reinstatement.
In a two-and-a-half hour session, the committee discussed and voted on three proposed amendments to the California Rules of Court pertaining to permanent disbarment, the minimum waiting period for seeking reinstatement, and passage of the attorney bar examination as a requirement for reinstatement.
The committee voted 3-1 to recommend that the full board adopt a provision authorizing the State Bar Court to recommend permanent disbarment for attorneys who have previously been disbarred or have engaged in certain categories of serious misconduct.
With one member abstaining, the committee voted 2-1 to recommend that disbarred attorneys be required to take and pass the bar examination as a condition of reinstatement.
Also in a 2-1 vote with one abstention, the committee acted to recommend extending the current five-year waiting period for disbarred attorneys to seek reinstatement to seven years.
State Bar President James O. Heiting told the MetNews yesterday:
“It was a very good debate. A lot of thoughtfulness went into it on all sides, and it’s going to be a long process.”
The full board is scheduled to convene tomorrow to hear the committee’s report and further debate the issue.
The full committee is comprised of Chair Paul S. Hokokian, Ruthe C. Ashley, Jeannine English, Holly J. Fujie, Jo-Ann Grace, Thomas T. Haider, and Danni R. Murphy. Grace is also co-publisher of the MetNews.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company