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Impeached former federal judge surrenders law license

The Supreme Court of Louisiana [official website] on Friday granted [text, PDF] the request of a Louisiana federal judge who sought to permanently resign from practicing law. Ex-federal judge Thomas Porteous [JURIST news archive] voluntarily surrendered his law license after being convicted on four articles of impeachment and removed by Congress [JURIST report] in December. Pursuant to the order, Porteous is no longer permitted to practice law or seek readmission to the practice of law in Louisiana or in any other jurisdiction. Porteous was accused of accepting bribes from lawyers while a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana [official website], making false statements in his bankruptcy declaration and lying to Congress during his confirmation.

The US House of Representatives [official website] voted unanimously [JURIST report] in March to impeach Porteous. After an investigation [report text, PDF] by a special committee, the Judicial Conference found "substantial evidence" that Porteous had signed false financial disclosure forms, falsified statements in a personal bankruptcy proceeding, made false representations to secure a bank loan and violated criminal laws [text] and ethical rules by soliciting and receiving "cash and other things of value" from lawyers in a bench trial over which he was presiding. Porteous' decision in that case, In re Liljeberg enters v. Lifemark Hospitals, was later partially reversed [opinion] by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which earlier this year reprimanded Porteous [text, PDF]. A House committee began investigating Porteous [JURIST report] in 2008. Porteous is the eighth federal judge to be impeached and convicted by Congress.

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