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Stephen Glass, journalist fired for fake stories, denied law license

Monday, January 27, 2014

Disgraced former journalist Stephen Glass was denied a license to practice law in California in a state supreme court ruling on Monday. The court ruled unanimously against Glass, a magazine writer who was fired after 31 of 42 high-profile stories were determined to contain fabrications and falsehoods.

Glass, 41, was fired from the The New Republic magazine in 1998 after working there for three years. After being exposed, he continued to cover up his work by creating fake business cards, websites and notes supposedly culled from interviews with non-existent sources. Glass' reluctance to cooperate with the magazine in identifying false stories was a substantial reason for the court's decision, according to a court statement.

The California Supreme Court said its review "indicates hypocrisy and evasiveness in Glass' testimony at the California State Bar hearing." Glass applied for a California Bar license in 2007 after unsuccessfully applying in New York state in 2002. Glass applied to practice law in California after passing the state's bar exam in 2007. But divided state bar officials grappled with his application, finally appealing to the California Supreme Court to decide.

The California Supreme Court cited Glass' aborted efforts in New York as a major reason for rejecting his latest application to practice law. The seven-judge California Supreme Court said he had "failed to carry his heavy burden of establishing his rehabilitation and current fitness.

Glass argued that he had undergone years of psychotherapy since being exposed. He also pointed to several former teachers, judges he clerked for, and others who testified on his behalf at the 2010 state bar court hearing as proof he was fit to practice law.

"The ruling today vindicates the idea that honesty is of paramount importance in the practice of law in California," California State Bar President Luis J. Rodriguez said.

Attorney Jon Eisenberg said his client, Glass, "appreciates the court's consideration of his application and respects the court's decision." Glass, 41, now works as a paralegal for a Los Angeles law firm and lives in a suburb.

Glass' misdeeds stunned the profession when they were uncovered in 1998. His widely publicized fall from grace earned the rising star a prominent place in the pantheon of journalistic cheats and scoundrels such as Janet Cooke and Jayson Blair - two prominent reporters caught fabricating quotes, sources and entire stories. His ethical missteps were turned into the Hollywood movie "Shattered Glass" and recounted in his novel "The Fabulist," for which he earned $190,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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