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Jun. 6, 2024

Society is moving away from the "Scarlet Letter" approach to punishment and the State Bar should as well

"State Bar Trustees Approve Expungement of Discipline Records," Daily Journal May 17. The State Bar should implement a more inclusive and flexible standard for granting relief to deserving applicants or attorneys who have made mistakes in the past and have shown efforts toward rehabilitation

Eugene M. Hyman

Judge (Ret.), San Clara County Superior Court

Santa Clara Univ Law School

Eugene is a retired judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, where for 20 years he presided over cases in the criminal, civil, probate, family and delinquency divisions of the court. He has presided over an adult domestic violence court and in 1999 presided over the first juvenile domestic violence and family violence court in the United States.

Society, in general, is moving away from the "Scarlet Letter" approach to punishment and the State Bar should as well. Most discipline issued to attorneys is related to addiction behaviors like substance abuse or gambling. There are excellent interventions available for these illnesses. They are less likely to be a lifetime disease.

The Bar should set general parameters for relief for expungement, similar to the penal code's expungement se...

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