Monday, November 20, 2006

Collateral Consequences of White Collar Conviction

Former Mayor Bill Campbell (Atlanta) is feeling the collateral consequences of his recent federal conviction.  Although he was convicted of tax crimes, and acquitted of other charges against him (see here), it did not stop the Georgia Supreme Court from suspending him from the practice of law (See Atlanta Jrl Constitution here).  Although a bricklayer comes out of prison a bricklayer, and a welder remains a welder, a white collar offender often is precluded after prison from resuming the livelihood that he or she had prior to the conviction.

(esp)

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While there may be no official Board of Welders or Society of Licensed Plumbers that literally prohibit blue collar workers from keeping their former employment, I can assure you that many of my non-white collar clients face similar collateral consequences in terms of employment after a conviction. In economic downtimes, employers are always looking for reasons not to hire the many qualified candidates that apply for the few openings available. Criminal history checks are becoming more and more common.

This is especially true for felony convictions, even if it’s “just probation”.

Posted by: Jamie Spencer | Nov 22, 2006 5:54:44 AM

It would seem that one reason that accounts for the disparate treatment of bricklayers and lawyers is that bricklayers do not swear to uphold the law. If a bricklayer serves his time, he can still lay bricks because he did not violate his oath. The lawyer has not only committed a crime; he/she has violated the oath, thereby demonstrating unfitness to serve as an attorney.

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 22, 2006 8:58:31 AM

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