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View Diary: Senator Whitehouse Busts Gonzales for Burying the DOJ Internal Investigation (251 comments)

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  •  nahhh, done at the state level (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UniC, inclusiveheart, LNK, Joelarama

    The ABA is a voluntary organization.  Its your State Bar that licenses a lawyer to practice law, and the one that can investigate and disbar an unethical lawyer.  
    for lawyers licensed in multiple states, if one state disbars you-- the rest will follow suit almost automatically.

    Gonzales and his old Texas cronies will be licensed there, most of the Regent crowd will be VA bar members.  IIRC, DC makes it easy for lawyers licensed in other states to become a DC bar member without taking the bar exam again. So if they all have that ticket, maybe the DC Bar could investigate all of them.

    •  The state bars were meant to be implied. (7+ / 0-)

      Jesselyn Radack might be able to give some insight as to whether or not some of the lackeys even have law licenses.  Goodling it seems held primarily an administrative position and it is conceivable that she doesn't even hold a law license anywhere.  Just because the foot soldiers went to law school does not mean that they actually are licensed.  Particularly in this administration.

      •  Many of the resumes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, inclusiveheart

        released in the document dumps had no information about what Bar an attorney was admitted to, or date of admission.  I thought that strange.  Most attorneys would definitely put that info on a resume.  That is, if they are in fact admitted to practice.

        •  Yeah, I noticed on a cursory search (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          of some of the names of the DOJ employees that they don't have much info on the DOJ website either.

        •  that would be beyond unusual (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rhfactor, Creosote, KenBee

          I can't imagine the Justice Department hiring a law school graduate who wasn't a member of a state bar,  and I mean even for non-lawyer positions.  When I was in law school, I talked to an FBI recruiter and he said a special agent job offer to a law school grad was contingent on the grad passing the bar exam.  

          As an aside, you're not allowed to take the exam until the bar investigators has done a background investigation.  Its beyond just a criminal record check, they want a list of all your financial assets and obligations and a list of everywhere you've lived and worked the previous 10 years.  And yes, they end up calling college roommates and high school summer job bosses to check on you.  I have a low level government security clearance that was a less intensive process (of course the top secret clearance folks are put through the ringer, so I shouldn't complain).

          I suspect there are as many law school graduates that fail the background check than actually fail the exam.

    •  OPR is like in-house corporate ethics probe (5+ / 0-)
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      emptywheel, UniC, LNK, KenBee, dotsright

      An OPR investigation is almost never a report made public.  OPR can and will, however, refer on to the appropriate State Bar that licenses an attorney if OPR believes there have been violations - I can't really imagine an OPR referral to a state bar that wouldn't result in disciplinary action by the bar.

      Moreover, OPR does provide a summary format annual report from which some info can be gleaned.  Interesting, then, that the 2005 annual report is not available on their site.


      •  disbar...I found 2 things (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nancelot, KenBee

        only for willful, reckless, or grossly incompetent covered opin- ion violations,
        the potential penalties include censure, suspension, or disbar- ment from ...

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Disbarment is a penalty for lawyers. It consists of no longer being allowed to practice law or argue cases. For most lawyers, this can essentially mean no longer having a livelihood.

        Generally disbarment is imposed as a sanction for conduct indicating that an attorney is not fit to practice law, such as being convicted of a felony, willfully disregarding the interests of a client, or engaging in fraud which impedes the administration of justice.

        In the United States legal system, disbarment is specific to regions; one can be disbarred from some courts, while still being a member of the bar in another jurisdiction. However, under the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which have been adopted in most states, disbarment in one state or court is grounds for disbarment in a jurisdiction which has adopted the Model Rules.

        Disbarment is quite rare. Instead, lawyers are usually sanctioned by their own clients through civil malpractice proceedings, or via fine, censure, suspension, fines, or other punishments from the disciplinary boards. To be disbarred is considered a great embarrassment and shame, even if one no longer wishes to pursue a career in the law; it is akin, in effect, to a dishonorable discharge in a military situation.

        Notably, the 20th Century saw two U.S. presidents and one U.S. vice-president disbarred. Vice President Spiro Agnew, having pleaded no contest to charges of bribery and tax evasion, was disbarred from Maryland, the state of which he had previously been governor.

        Presidents Clinton and Nixon have been disbarred from their home states. President Richard Nixon was disbarred from his home state of New York for obstruction of justice, while Bill Clinton was disbarred from his home state of Arkansas for his evasive and unbecoming conduct under oath during the Monica Lewinsky and Whitewater scandals. Clinton, like Agnew, had been governor of the state from which he was later disbarred.

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