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California Supreme Court Denies Disgraced Journalist Right to Practice Law
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Former journalist Stephen Glass who was disgraced 15 years ago for fabricating features on The New Republic, George and Rolling Stone, was denied a law license by the California Supreme Court which was not convinced of Glass’s moral fitness to practice law. After Glass’s fabrications were discovered by an editor at Forbes Digital tool, The New Republic fired him and more of his features were found to be wholly or partially fabricated.

After publishing houses closing the doors to him for journalistic work, Glass went on to write a novel “The Fabulist.” His scandal was so big that he received an advance of $175,000 for his novel, and in 2003, a film titled “Shattered Glass” was made about his false journalistic work.


In 2004, after release of the movie, Glass moved to California where he joined a law firm as a clerk. He passed the bar exam but was found morally unfit to practice law. Even though he won an appeal following a trial, the California Supreme Court was asked to reconsider his case. And the court’s decision is that Glass should not be allowed to practice law.

The unsigned opinion released by the court mentions that Glass had “failed to carry his heavy burden of establishing his rehabilitation and current fitness.”

The 33-page opinion found that Glass had not been transparent in a previous application to the New York Bar, and despite noting that he had sent at least 100 handwritten apologies to “journalists affected by his fabrications” and despite character witnesses testifying in Glass’s favor, the court said no to his bid to become a lawyer in California.

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The court also observed about Glass that “Many of his efforts from the time of his exposure in 1998 until the 2010 hearing, however, seem to have been directed primarily at advancing his own well-being rather than returning something to the community.”


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