Legal Ethics

Disbarred Law Grad Can’t Use ‘JD’ After His Name, Judge Rules


A onetime lawyer who was disbarred in 1992 cannot use the initials “JD” after his name because his apparent intent was to convince others that he was a licensed attorney, a federal judge has ruled.

Bruce Andrew Brown, a 1984 Columbia Law School graduate, had sued the Ohio Supreme Court after it barred him from using the terms “Esq.,” “Esquire,” “Juris Doctor” or “JD” as part of a 2009 sanction for the unauthorized practice of law, the National Law Journal reports. Brown had claimed the “JD” restriction violated his First Amendment and due process rights.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan of Ohio upheld the JD ban in denying a motion to reconsider a December decision. “He has used the term to [convince] others, including a federal judge and city prosecutor, that he was an attorney,” she wrote.

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