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Nevada High Court Restores Right to Practice Law to Ex-Judge Claiborne

November 26, 1987|Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that ousted federal judge Harry Claiborne, convicted of tax evasion and imprisoned for 17 months, can practice law in Nevada.

The high court issued a two-page order one day after a lengthy hearing on Claiborne's bid to practice, concluding, "We are not persuaded that further discipline should be imposed."

A parade of Nevada's legal elite had appealed Tuesday to the Supreme Court, recounting legal ties to Claiborne dating from 1945 when he began work as a deputy district attorney in Las Vegas.

Claiborne was impeached by Congress and removed from office following the conviction, and the Nevada State Bar last year asked the state high court to impose sanctions against Claiborne.

Claiborne, formerly a prominent Las Vegas lawyer, was named a federal judge in 1978. He was impeached in October, 1986, by the U.S. Senate as a result of his conviction for failing to report $107,000 on his 1979 and 1980 tax returns.

The impeachment process, the first of its sort in more than half a century, was conducted after Claiborne refused to resign and continued to collect his $78,700 annual salary as chief U.S. district judge for Nevada.

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