F. Lee Bailey may have played a key part in helping OJ Simpson secure his acquittal for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, but that’s not enough to convince officials for the State Bar of Maine to approve his bid to practice law in the state. Despite his high-profile and notable legal career, the State Bar of Maine says that Bailey isn’t fit to practice law in the state. Bailey played a key part in the defense of O.J. Simpson including cross-examination of key witnesses.
Bailey’s storied legal career began in 1961 when he represented a man charged with murder. Bailey had less than one year of practice experience at the time, but he successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court just a few years later. Ultimately, the man was never convicted for the crime.
Unfortunately for Bailey, trouble came soon after. Florida officials revoked his license to practice law, and Massachusetts soon followed suit. Maine is the latest state to deny Bailey a bar card. He’s 81 years old but says he wishes he could practice law.
Bailey says that he thinks the judiciary resents him for his success in the O.J. Simpson case. He says he was just doing his job. The bar examiners of Maine say that Bailey blames others for his own misconduct and refuses to show remorse. They say that’s a problem when it comes to getting a bar license. They say what really happened is that Bailey refused to transfer stock that the government took from a client as part of a plea agreement. Bailey was found in contempt of court and spent 44 days in jail.
The State of Florida says that Bailey’s actions were enough to warrant disbarment for at least five years. They also say that he commingled client funds with his own assets and that he did things that amounted to a conflict of interest. They also say he wasn’t forthcoming when they asked for complete information.
Bailey passed the Maine bar exam in 2012. He asked for a license to practice. In a split decision, the board of law examiners said that they aren’t sure he has the necessary character and fitness to practice law. They don’t deny that Bailey has many supporters. They even admit that he has great legal advocacy skills. However, they think that Bailey’s past misdeeds are too much. Bailey won’t be practicing law in the Pine Tree State any time soon.