California Supreme Court rejects disgraced former journalist Stephen Glass’ bid to practice law 

click to enlarge Stephen Glass
  • 2003 AP file photo
  • Stephen Glass, former writer for The New Republic, was ruled not morally fit to practice law in California.

The California Supreme Court ruled today that a disgraced former journalist who fabricated all or part of more than 40 magazine articles is not morally fit to practice law in the state.

In a ruling issued in San Francisco, the high court rejected the application of Stephen Glass, 41, to become a member of the State Bar.

Glass, who now has a law degree and is working as a paralegal in Southern California, wrote most of the fabricated articles while working as a reporter for the New Republic magazine between 1996 and 1998. Several were published in other national magazines.

The state Supreme Court has the final say over who can be a lawyer in California.

In an unsigned "by the court decision," the seven justices said, "Glass's journalistic dishonesty was not a single lapse of judgment, which we have sometimes excused, but involved significant deceit sustained unremittingly for a period of years."

"Glass's deceit also was motivated by professional ambition, (and) betrayed a vicious, mean spirit and complete lack of compassion for others, along with arrogance and prejudice against various ethnic groups," the court said.

"In all these respects, his misconduct bore directly on his character in matters that are critical to the practice of law," the panel said.

The nationally publicized deceit was the subject of a 2003 movie titled "Shattered Glass." Glass also wrote a novel with a fictionalized account of his misdeeds, titled "The Fabulist." He earned $140,000 from the novel, which he said he used to support himself and pay for psychotherapy.

Glass and his lawyers and supporters had argued that he had become rehabilitated and should be allowed to practice law.

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