Selling v. Radford,
243 U.S. 46 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Selling v. Radford, 243 U.S. 46 (1917)

Selling v. Radford

No. 21, Original

Submitted November 20, 1916

Order made March 6, 1917

243 U.S. 46


Only by the action of this Court may one who has secured admission to its bar be disbarred from practicing before it.

The character and scope of the investigation to be made on a prayer for disbarment, before sanction is given to it, must depend upon the character of the acts of misconduct charged, the place of their commission, and the nature of the proof relied upon to establish them.

While membership of the bar of a state court of last resort and fair private and professional character are both prerequisite to admission to the bar of this Court, loss of the first, after admission here, cannot, without more, affect the standing of the member.

Fair private and professional character, however, are continuing essentials, and their loss by wrongful personal and professional conduct, wherever committed, is adequate reason for disbarment.

An order of the highest court of a state disbarring a member of its bar upon charges of personal and professional misconduct this Court has no authority to reexamine and reverse in the capacity of a court of review.

Such an order of the state court, although not binding on this Court as a thing adjudged, so operates, while unreversed, against the private and professional character of the member as to constrain this Court to exclude him from its bar also unless, upon intrinsic consideration of the state record, this Court shall (1) find that the state procedure was wanting in due process, (2) come to a clear conviction that the proof of facts relied on by the state court to establish want of fair character was so infirm that acceptance of the state court's conclusion thereon as a finality would be inconsistent with this Court's duty, or (3) discover some other grave and sufficient reason why this Court could not disbar consistently with its duty not to take that action unless constrained under the principles of right and justice to do so. Ex Parte Tillinghast, 4 Pet. 108, distinguished.

Page 243 U. S. 47

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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