Saturday, January 5, 2013

Admission Denied In Maine To F. Lee Bailey

The Lewiston-Auburn Journal reports that F. Lee Bailey's attempt to secure a Maine law license has been turned down:

Bailey, 79, passed the Maine Bar Examination in February. He had been licensed in Massachusetts and, later, in Florida. But he was disbarred in both of those states in the early 2000s following a Florida Supreme Court ruling on seven counts of attorney misconduct stemming from his handling of a case involving an accused marijuana dealer.

Bailey spent 44 days in federal prison before he was released after repaying millions of dollars worth of stock in a pharmaceutical company he had transferred from his former client's assets.

"Mr. Bailey has not met his burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that he possesses the requisite good character and fitness necessary for admission to the Maine Bar," five members of the State of Maine Board of Bar Examiners concluded in a 22-page decision in November.

Four other members of the board wrote a minority opinion in a seven-page dissent.

Hat tip to the Washington Post. (Mike Frisch)

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What's surprising about this is that he garnered four supporters, indeed, had one more member supported him then he would have received the Board's blessing. I would have loved to have seen their reasoning. Did they take issue with the original discipline? Or did they simply ignore his status as having been twice disbarred in other states?

This raises an interesting issue. A suspended lawyer remains a lawyer and it seems that most jurisdictions expect that lawyer to resolve the suspension before seeking admission in another jurisdiction. But Maine, at least, seems to be taking the position that a disbarred attorney does not need to seek readmission in the previous jurisdiction. It seems that there are definite advantages to being disbarred over being suspended.


Posted by: Stephen Williams | Jan 6, 2013 5:47:33 AM

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