Stephen Glass, the former writer who was revealed to have made up parts or all of more than 40 articles for The New Republic and other publications in the 1990s, will not be admitted to the California State Bar, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.
In its opinion, the court wrote that Glass had failed to prove that he had truly reformed, writing that his actions to make amends appeared to be entirely in his own self interest.
“Many of his efforts from the time of his exposure in 1998 until the 2010 hearing, however, seem to have been directed primarily at advancing his own well-being rather than returning something to the community,” the opinion reads. “His evidence did not establish that he engaged in truly exemplary conduct over an extended period. We conclude that on this record he has not sustained his heavy burden of demonstrating rehabilitation and fitness for the practice of law.”
Glass worked for The New Republic from 1995 until 1998, when he was fired after he was revealed to have fabricated a company, characters, and an entire story. The book and movie “Shattered Glass” are based on his story.
During his time at The New Republic, Glass was pursuing a law degree at Georgetown University. In 2002, he applied to become a member of the New York Bar, then withdrew his application when it was made clear that he would not be accepted due to his past record. He passed the California Bar exam in 2006, and applied for membership in the California Bar in 2007. He currently works as a paralegal in California.
The court opinion argued that Glass’s lies did not stop with his writing between 1995 and 1998, saying that after people became suspicious of his writing, he “made every effort to avoid detection” and later, “did not fully cooperate with the publications to identify his fabrications.”
“Stephen Randall Glass made himself infamous as a dishonest journalist by fabricating material for more than 40 articles for The New Republic magazine and other publications,” the court wrote.
When applying to the New York Bar, the court said, “he exaggerated his cooperation with the journals that had published his work and failed to supply a complete list of the fabricated articles that had injured others.” Only when the “moral character” proceedings began for his application to the California Bar, did Glass give a full accounting for the made-up facts in his earlier stories.
“We conclude that on this record he has not sustained his heavy burden of demonstrating rehabilitation and fitness for the practice of law,” the court wrote.