One set of rules for me and my friends...
... a whole other set for everybody else. And that includes you. (link)
Thomas B. Griffith, President Bush's nominee for the federal appeals court in Washington, has been practicing law in Utah without a state law license for the past four years, according to Utah state officials.
Griffith, the general counsel for Brigham Young University since August 2000, had previously failed to renew his law license in Washington for three years while he was a lawyer based in the District. It was a mistake he attributed to an oversight by his law firm's staff. But that lapse in his D.C. license, reported earlier this month by The Washington Post, subsequently prevented Griffith from receiving a law license in Utah when he moved there.
Under Utah law, Griffith's only option for obtaining the state license was to take and pass the state bar exam, an arduous test that lawyers try to take only once. He applied to sit for the exam, but never took it, Utah bar officials confirm.
Utah State Bar rules require all lawyers practicing law in the state to have a Utah law license. There is no general exception for general counsels or corporate counsels. Lawyers who practice only federal law or whose work is solely administrative can avoid the requirement in some cases.
A lawyer who specializes in legal ethics said Griffith's two licensing lapses should disqualify him from a lifetime appointment to one of the nation's most important federal benches, second only to the Supreme Court.
"This moves it for me from the realm of negligence to the realm of willfulness," said Mark Foster, a Zuckerman Spaeder attorney who represents lawyers in ethics matters. "People who thumb their noses at the rules of the bar shouldn't be judges."
No, wait... you're confusing Griffith with one of the little people!