Long time lurker, first time poster.
It’s just been reported that everyone’s favourite insane anti-video game litigant Jack Thomson has been Disbarred.
I’ve read comments in a couple of places(including the link above) suggesting that he’ll merely apply to another state bar and carry on his wacky crusade somewhere else.
Is this possible? Would anyone else take him?
He can apply. That’s a matter of filling out the proper forms and paying the required fee.
Actually gaining admission is a different proposition. Generally, most bar applications I’ve seen require you to list and provide details of any disciplinary actions in other jurisdictions, along with tons of other information. With his record, getting admitted in another state would be very difficult.
The late Roy Cohn (crroked NYC mob lawyer) always kept his bar admission in connecticut, in case he was disbarred in NY.
Cohn was a pretty slimey character-he said of the CT bar exam" they have a section on ethics-I just filled in the OPPOSITE of what i would have done-I passed!"
In every state I’m aware of, getting disbarred anywhere else triggers a process whereby you have to show why you shouldn’t also be disbarred in that state. In other words, there’s a de facto reciprocal system, where if you’re disbarred once, the burden is on you to convince any other state in which you’re licensed to not kick you off the rolls as well.
Of course, some of this relies on self-reporting… but it’s a disbar-able offense to NOT report that fact to a state you’re licensed in.
The same situation occurs in other state-regulated professions. when I graduated from Veterinary School, I took a national exam to be able to practice. I had the results reported to the state where I planned to work. Many of my colleagues also applied for licensure in additional states, such as Florida, if they thought they might one day retire there. It was easier to obtain and keep a license then to retake the test in the future.
A few of my colleagues were less professional in their thinking. One obtained licensure in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and a few other states. He planned on practicing in NY, but figured if he lost his license in that state, he could move to an adjacent state.
For states which have adopted the ABA’s (American Bar Association) Model Rules of Conduct, a disbarment in another Model Rules state is grounds for disbarment in your state too. That’s what Bricker is talking about, and Florida has adopted the Model Rules. Wiki says NY, California and Maine are the only states which haven’t.
In non-ABAMRPC states, it would basically up to a committee at the Bar Association. Unless a disbarment was obviously political (which it’s not clear this one was), I think it would be safe to say other state bars will agree.