It looks as if Maine's criminals will be denied the services of one of America's most prolific criminal defense attorneys. It appears F. Lee Bailey has been denied the right to practice law in vacation land. According to the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, it wasn't that the venerable 79 year old failed the Maine Bar Exam. He passed it last February. He's got other problems. Unfortunately for Bailey, the state has a bar rule that basically treats a disbarment in another state just as if it happened in Maine. In case you forgot, Bailey was disbarred a few years ago in the states of Florida and Massachusetts.
|Pepperidge Farms Remembers|
Of course, Maine didn't forget. After all, the state is Pepperidge Farm country "and Pepperidge Fahm Remembahs." Bailey's disbarments in Florida and Massachusetts followed a Florida Supreme Court finding of 7 counts of attorney misconduct. He had allegedly transferred a large portion of his marijuana dealing client's assets into his own accounts, He then used the interest gained to pay for personal expenses. He served 44 days in the Federal Pen. The Nutmeg Lawyer doesn't believe it. We think the real culprit was either the one armed man or OJ.
In a 5-4, 22 page decision, the State of Maine Board of Bar Examiners felt that"Mr. Bailey has not met his burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that he possesses the requisite good character and fitness necessary for admission to the Maine Bar." Other issues raised included Bailey's recurring income tax questions and his residency status. All of this despite Bailey's impressive Milano level list of character witnesses that included former Maine governor John Baldacci. Perhaps Bailey's Achilles Hill is that he came off unremorseful. As the majority concluded: "Rather than accepting that he was disbarred because of his own misconduct, Bailey continues to place blame elsewhere"
It is quite a far fall from grace for a man who has taken part in some of the biggest trials of American jurisprudence. Bailey established his reputation in the appeal of Sam Sheppard, the inpiration of the television show and movie "The Fugitive." In 1966, Bailey successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that Sheppard was denied due process. His retrial resulted in a not-guilty verdict. Bailey was also involved in the trials of Albert DeSalvo ("the Boston Strangler"), the Dr. Carl A. Coppolino murders trial, and the court martial of Captain Ernest Medina (accused in the My Lai Massacre). Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray attempted to hire Bailey , but he turned down the case. Among Bailey's most infamous cases are perhaps the representation of Patty Hearst and OJ Simpson.