Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer and one of Connecticut’s leading columnists, writes the Connecticut Supreme Court should reinstate former Mayor Joe Ganim’s law license. Basically he writes what makes the practice of law so special? It deserves no more respect than “used car salesmen, television preachers, or newspaper editors.”
Connecticut’s Supreme Court is deciding former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim’s appeal to recover his license to practice law despite his federal conviction and prison term for corruption. The big issue in the case seems to be Ganim’s lack of repentance, but there’s a bigger and unacknowledged issue: the pretense of Connecticut’s legal system that there is special honor in the practice of law.
The Supreme Court itself essentially repudiated that pretense 30 years ago when, reversing longstanding Connecticut precedent holding that felons cannot practice law, it reinstated the law license of a Manchester man convicted of a felony in a motor vehicle fatality case in which he lied to police. But that case was not widely publicized as the Ganim case has been.
With so many watching, the Supreme Court should reinstate Ganim as a proclamation of “caveat emptor,” a warning that practitioners of the law in Connecticut deserve no more respect than used car salesmen, television preachers, or newspaper editors.