STATE BAR Issues Statement on Supreme Court’s Summary Disbarment Case

Contact: Laura Ernde 

415-538-2283

laura.ernde@calbar.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23, 2014 – The State Bar of California released a statement today following the California Supreme Court’s ruling In re Gary D. Grant on Discipline, S197503, which found that an attorney’s felony conviction for possession of child pornography warrants summary disbarment.

“Today’s decision recognizes that belonging to the legal profession is a privilege and not a right. The bar’s ability to hold attorneys to the highest standards is critical in maintaining the integrity of the profession,” said State Bar CEO Joseph Dunn.

Gary D. Grant pleaded guilty to the felony of knowingly possessing child pornography in 2009. The State Bar Court recommended a two-year suspension of his license and the Office of Chief Trial Counsel petitioned for review, arguing that the crime warranted summary disbarment because it constituted moral turpitude per se. A unanimous Supreme Court agreed and ordered his disbarment.

The decision is available on the court’s website.

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The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, protecting the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. Membership now stands at about a quarter million.