SAN FRANCISCO — A former journalist who became the subject of a Hollywood movie after he was caught fabricating articles in the late 1990s is fighting to become a lawyer in California over the objections of a state bar committee that has judged him morally unfit for his new profession.
Stephen Glass, whose ethical missteps at The New Republic and other magazines were recounted in the film “Shattered Glass’’ and an autobiographical novel, has challenged the bar committee’s decision to deny him a license to practice law, the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday.
An independent state bar court has ruled in Glass’s favor, saying the Committee of Bar Examiners wrongly concluded he had not proven he could be trusted. The case is pending before the California Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the committee’s appeal. No date for oral arguments has been set.
Glass attended law school at Georgetown University and passed the state bar exam in 2009. Now 39, he works as a law clerk at a Beverly Hills firm. His lawyers did not immediately respond to telephone and e-mail messages for comment yesterday. The bar association’s lawyers said in written filings that even though Glass’s transgressions occurred when he was in his 20s, his attempts at atonement were inadequate and in some cases coincided with the publication of his novel. They faulted him for never compensating anyone who was hurt by his falsehoods.
Law and journalism “share common core values - trust, candor, veracity, honor, respect for others,’’ Rachel Grunberg, a lawyer for the State Bar of California, told the Chronicle. “He violated every one of them.’’
The bar court that overruled the committee in July was persuaded, however, that Glass was repentant and had been rehabilitated.