Friday, June 1, 2007

Disbarred, but Not Barred from Work

Disturbingly enough, in some states, disciplined lawyers can still work as paralegals or clerks.

There are states that absolutely ban disciplined attorneys from even coming near legal work, such as Massachusetts. Here, suspended or disbarred attorneys cannot be employed in any capacity in any capacity, even as a janitor, by another member of the bar.

California and Colorado, however, allow suspended attorneys to work as paralegals, as long as the supervising attorney notifies clients about the disciplinary action. Yet it is still difficult to employ a disciplined attorney:

In a recent Colorado case, a disbarred attorney was hired by his former firm—ostensibly operated by his former associates. The reality was that the disbarred attorney was still running the firm, according to Nancy L. Cohen, president of the National Organization of Bar Coun­sel. “It is going to be hard for you to supervise that person and tell them what to do,” she says.

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