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Disbarment

Definition - What does Disbarment mean?

Disbarment is the disciplinary action through which an attorney who has engaged in unacceptable or illegal conduct loses their license. The revocation of their license can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances of each case.

Because it is the harshest possible sanction, disbarment is only handed down following a thorough review. Lawyers facing this punishment must also be given the chance to present their side of the story.

Justipedia explains Disbarment

There are certain circumstances in which a state bar association will resort to disbarment:

  • It will do so if one of its members engages in any activity that violates professional ethics. This can include but is not limited to substance abuse, dishonesty and/or deception (usually with regard to billing), or the commission of a felony.
  • Another common reason for disbarment is any activity that constitutes the wrongful use of public office.
  • An attorney who uses unacceptable tactics to influence the outcome of a case or otherwise interferes with the administration of justice may also face disbarment.
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