D.C. Court of Appeals suspends Hunter Biden's law license following felony conviction in Delaware

 June 27, 2024

First son Hunter Biden was convicted earlier this month on a trio of federal firearm felonies related to his lying on a federal form about his illicit drug use to illegally purchase and possess a handgun he was barred by federal law from having in 2018 because of his otherwise admitted addiction to crack cocaine.

As a result of that felony conviction by a federal jury in Delaware, Biden's law license in Washington D.C. has been suspended, and if his appeal of that conviction proves unsuccessful, he will ultimately be disbarred, Breitbart reported.

Notably, the Yale Law School graduate who was first licensed to practice law in Connecticut previously had his license in that state suspended for failing to pay a small administrative fee. It is unclear if Biden also holds a law license in his home state of Delaware, or what the status of that license might be.

Biden's D.C. law license suspended

On Tuesday, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued an order that noted that Hunter Biden "is suspended immediately from the practice of law in the District of Columbia pending resolution of this matter."

The order cited D.C. Bar Rule XI §10(b) and 10(c) as necessitating the suspension of Biden's law license because of his conviction for a "serious crime," which includes "any felony" or any other crime that includes as an element things like "improper conduct as an attorney, interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, willful failure to file income tax returns, deceit, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft, or an attempt or a conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit a 'serious crime.'"

The court's order also directed the D.C. Board of Professional Responsibility to "institute a formal proceeding to determine the nature of the offense and whether it involves moral turpitude, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as (1) an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community, or (2) a quality of dishonesty or other immorality that is determined by a court to be present in the commission of a criminal offense."

That "formal proceeding" by the Board was directed to observe D.C. Code §11-2503(a), which states: "When a member of the bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals is convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, and a certified copy of the conviction is presented to the court, the court shall, pending final determination of an appeal from the conviction, suspend the member of the bar from practice."

The D.C. statute adds: "If a final judgment of conviction is certified to the court, the name of the member of the bar so convicted shall be struck from the roll of the members of the bar and such person shall thereafter cease to be a member."

The brief order from the D.C. Appeals Court wasn't quite finished there, though, as it directed Hunter Biden's attention to D.C. Bar Rule XI §14, which requires him to notify all clients and adverse parties of his current suspended status, among other things, and §16(c), which outlines the process, including eligibility and timing, of the potential reinstatement of his license.

Biden to be sentenced in an as-yet unscheduled hearing

The Hill reported that Hunter Biden was found guilty by a unanimous federal jury in Delaware of three federal gun crimes that included lying on the federal ATF 4473 form about his illicit drug use and his illegal possession of a firearm as an illicit drug addict.

A date for a sentencing hearing has not yet been set, and Biden faces the possibility of a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison plus a $750,000 fine.

However, given his status as a first-time offender, federal sentencing guidelines suggest that he will possibly receive a 15-21 month sentence behind bars, if not less because of his family name. His father, President Joe Biden, has stated that he will not pardon his son.

Biden's defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, has already filed a motion calling for a new trial because of alleged procedural errors and has vowed to pursue an appeal of the conviction to the highest level.

It does not appear that Biden or his attorneys have commented publicly on the suspension of his law license by the D.C. Court of Appeals.

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