Following on the heels of a controversial decision by the State Bar of California to admit into the practice of law an undocumented resident, a unanimous California Supreme Court ordered Wednesday the licensing agency to justify the decision.
According to The Recorder, a San Francisco-based legal publication, the court asked for briefs on the following issues :
-- Does federal law preclude an undocumented immigrant's admission to the State Bar?
-- Does state law allow undocumented immigrants to obtain professional licenses in various fields, including the law and medicine?
-- Does a law license imply that its holder can legally practice in California?
-- Are there any legal or "public policy" limits on the immigrant's ability to practice law?
-- Do any other concerns arise if undocumented immigrants are allowed to practice?
The proceedings involve Mexican-born Sergio Garcia -- a 2009 graduate of McGeorge School of Law -- who came to the United States with his parents when he was 17-months old.
Mr. Jerome Fishkin of Fishkin & Slatter who presently represents Sergio Garcia. Fishkin, not a stranger to the Leslie Brodie Report given his involvement in the 60 Days Suspension Scandal, was previously the subject of an ethics complaint for engaging in discriminatory practices and speech that demonstrate invidious animosity toward a group different from that to which he belongs, namely White Christians -- which is otherwise an irritant to him. Fishkin often uses pejorative and demeaning stereotypes to describe them. For example, “REDNECKS” are lower-class, beer-drinking idiots. He mocks women from Virginia, their virginity and their vaginas. By taking such cheap shots, Mr. Fishkin amuses himself and some of his Facebook friends, including Susan Margolis (former spouse of Arthur Margolis), another ethics lawyer who practices in Los Angeles. (Image: courtesy photo)
Stanford Law professor Deborah Rhode, a legal ethicist, said she would be surprised if the court approved a legal license for Garcia before he obtained residency. Rhode stated "It seems fairly inconsistent with a long line of decisions that officers of the court are forsworn to uphold the law and should not be seen to have defied it," according to the Sacramento Bee.
Garcia's lawyer, Jerome Fishkin of Fishkin & Slatter, stated: "We hope that the California Supreme Court adopts the state bar's finding that Sergio meets all legal qualifications to become a California lawyer," per The Recorder.