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I'm slowly but surely crossing states of the list of places I'm willing to live. Arizona came off a long time ago and I'm officially putting Ohio on notice.
The ABA Journal recently reported that an Ohio judge ruled that a disbarred law grad can't use 'JD' after his name. The person at issue, Bruce Andrew Brown, is definitely a shady character. He has an extensive criminal record that includes multiple felonies (grand theft and forgery just to name a few), for a more complete list see the Supreme Court of Ohio Report. Long story short: Shady fellow who lies and steals a lot is disbarred in 1992. He uses his 'JD' title to mislead people into believing that he's an attorney, kind of frequently. Ohio slams him with the (rightful) conviction of practicing law without a license. So far I'm on board.
Here's where I think the profession starts sounding douchey. The judge also ruled that Brown can't use "Esq.," "Esquire," "Juris Doctor" or "JD" after his name. Seriously? This is something we care about? It conjures up images of the Princess Diana situation post-divorce. Is there anyone out there who thinks those policies are useful or relevant?
Worse, it's just inaccurate. He may not be the best representation of the legal profession, but Mr. Brown has, in fact, earned his JD (from Columbia Law School none the less). If "JD" means you are a licensed attorney, then the preparation and application for the bar exam should be included in my tuition and law school training. My law school has supplied me with no shortage of fast talking lines about how "applicable" my degree will be even if I don't practice. Doesn't that mean that whether or not I'm licensed I'm still a "JD"?
Mr. Brown is a loser but that doesn't mean a judge in Ohio can deny him an accomplishment he earned long ago. And really, at the end of the day does it matter what the letters behind his name are when the address below them belongs to a county jail?