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High court grants Morrissey petition to reinstate law license

The Supreme Court of Virginia has granted Richmond legislator Joe Morrissey’s petition for reinstatement of his law license.

In an order released today, the Supreme Court set conditions for final action: Morrissey must provide evidence he has attended 60 hours of continuing legal education within the past five years, and he has to pass the written portion of the Virginia State Bar examination and get a scaled score of 85 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. He also must show he “has met the other requirements set out in Part 6, Sec. IV, Paragraph 13-25(G)” of Virginia Supreme Court Rules.

The court explicitly denied Morrissey’s request that he be exempted from taking the bar exam.

Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser and Justices Leroy Millette and Elizabeth McClanahan dissented from the reinstatement order

In July, the Virginia State Bar recommended against reinstatement of Morrissey’s license, arguing he had engaged in fist fights, castigated and disobeyed judges, used the resolution of cases to bolster his political objectives and violated a court order by speaking to the press.

Morrissey, who represents Charles City County and parts of Henrico County and the City of Richmond, was reelected to the House of Delegates in November.

In a separate order, the Supreme Court also granted a reinstatement petition filed by Salvage DeLacy Stith. For final licensure, Stith must pass the written portion of the Virginia Bar examination, provide proof of 60 hours of CLE within the past five years, and show he has met the other requirements of Part 6, Sec. IV, Pararaph 13-25(G) of the Supreme Court Rules.

Chief Justice Kinser and Justice McClanahan also dissented from the order granting Stith’s reinstatement petition.
By Deborah Elkins

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