If It Takes a Thief to Catch a Thief, Does It Take a Lawbreaker to Make a Lawyer?
From yesterday’s Providence Journal.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court has ordered that the Stephen M. Hunter’s license to practice law be suspended for one year. Hunter has been convicted of five crimes.
One felony and four misdemeanors. And just one year later, Mr. Hunter will once again be able to practice law with the blessing of the State of Rhode Island.
In view of the confidentiality that shields the criminal records of both lawyers and non-lawyers and presumably precludes the ability to obtain some basic statistics, all we can do is ask questions. How many lawyers with a criminal record possess or anticipate recovering their Rhode Island law license? Percentage-wise, how does this stack up to the leniency demonstrated to felonious lawyers in other states?
One other important point, not to be found in statistics but in the law itself. Are the terms and conditions for lawyers to obtain, lose and re-obtain their law licenses dictated by the lawyer-heavy General Assembly of Rhode Island? Or does the statute on this point confer latitude and discretion to the RI Supreme Court?