Legal Ethics

Former DOJ lawyer who practiced without active license for 20 years is admonished


A former lawyer for the Department of Justice who practiced for 20 years without an active law license has been disciplined with an informal admonition–the lightest possible penalty–for failing to maintain an active license and providing false information to the DOJ about her status.

Laura Heiser began working for the DOJ in 1986, then let her Ohio bar membership lapse in 1989, reports the Blog of Legal Times. Her Washington, D.C., bar membership became inactive in 1990.

Because Heiser worked in the DOJ’s antitrust division and rarely appeared in court, her bar status was not questioned, according to the article, which relies on information in a letter of admonition by District of Columbia bar authorities.

Heiser said her failure to maintain her bar membership was inadvertent and the letter says she took responsibility for the lapse. The DOJ said no cases were adversely affected.

Heiser could not be located for comment, the BLT article notes. She stopped working for the DOJ in 2013 and no longer practices.

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