Morrissey could get law license back - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Morrissey could get law license back

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The long road to recovering a damaged image may finally be coming to an end for Henrico Delegate Joe Morrissey.

Morrissey is an attorney by trade, but a series of embarrassing legal setbacks in the late 90's stripped him of his license and sent him to jail. Now he is on the verge of getting everything back.

It is an image Morrissey would like to permanently put behind him, A once proud public servant shackled and disheveled, being ushered away to jail.

That was in 2000-- fast forward to 2011, Joe Morrissey is a changed man. A prominent state representative and a member of Democratic House leadership.

But while Morrissey is a player once again, he still lacks the one thing that would officially put everything behind him, his ability to practice law.

The former Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney lost his license permanently in 2003 after a series of damaging charges. Over a 13 year period Morrissey had his license either suspended or dismissed 5 different times.

Among his problems? He got into a fight with a man in 1999 that led to the man being tossed through a plate glass window. He was accused of attempting to bribe a local charity with free legal services instead of serving 300 hours of community service, and a conviction of contempt in court for which he sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Without the ability to practice law in the states, Morrissey literally bounced around the world. Teaching and studying in Ireland and Australia. He lost a job mentoring young prosecutors in Sydney after his past back in Virginia came to light.

Now, back in the U.S. since 2006, Morrissey has been elected twice to the House of Delegates, hoping to win a third straight term this fall.

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board will hear Morrissey's petition for re-instatement on April 22nd. They will recommend to the state Supreme Court if his petition should be granted or denied.

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