Rudy Giuliani One Step Closer to Disbarment in DC

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A final decision could take more than a year.

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Rudy Giuliani’s license to practice law in DC could be in danger. A subcommittee of the DC Bar’s Board on Professional Responsibility determined on Thursday that Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and personal attorney to Donald Trump, violated the terms of his license when he filed a Pennsylvania lawsuit attempting to block certification of the 2020 election, according to the Washington Post.  

The subcommittee’s preliminary findings don’t outline any specific disciplinary measures, but the lead prosecutor with the DC Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Council, Phil Fox, called for disbarment. Fox said that Giuliani had used his license to “undermine the legitimacy of a presidential election.” The next step will be Giuliani’s team submitting briefs to defend his actions and define his role in the Pennsylvania lawsuit. 

During his testimony in front of the subcommittee, Giuliani called Fox’s presentation “cheap” and said, “I don’t know what has happened to the defense of lawyers who take on unpopular causes,” Politico reported.

The panel’s chairman, Robert C. Bernius, questioned whether disbarment might be too harsh, referring to the 2016 case of a local judge who was suspended from practicing law in the District for only 90 days when the Board of Professional Responsibility found he committed misconduct. 

In that case, former judge Roy Pearson Jr. sued a local dry cleaner to the tune of $54 million for losing his trousers, claiming it violated their “satisfaction guarantee.” The board, more than a decade later, found that Pearson had disobeyed rules and made claims with no merit, according to WUSA. The case made national headlines and even became a storyline on Law and Order

The ultimate resolution for Giuliani will take some time. The panel will send its final decision to the DC Bar in the spring, and they will make a recommendation to the DC Court of Appeals. The DC Court of Appeals will then decide whether or not to revoke his license.

Editorial Fellow

Keely recently graduated with her master’s in journalism from American University and has reported on local DC, national politics, and business. She has previously written for The Capitol Forum.

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