Legal Ethics

Sex offender fights to take bar exam


A registered sex offender in Kentucky will ask the state supreme court to reconsider its decision barring him from taking the bar exam.

Guy Padraic Hamilton-Smith has a Jan. 13 deadline to ask for reconsideration of its decision to block his bar admission, the Associated Press reports.

Hamilton-Smith pleaded guilty in March 2007 to a charge of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a child and received a suspended five-year sentence. His lawyer, Scott White, tells AP that Hamilton-Smith is “a classic sex addict.”

“The classic example is somebody who just downloads buckets of pornography,” White said. “In that download, there just happened to be child pornography.”

Hamilton-Smith disclosed his conviction and sex-offender status in applications to three law schools in Kentucky. Only one accepted him: the University of Kentucky College of Law. He graduated in 2011 and works in a nonlawyer position at Baldani, Rowland and Richardson. The firm has supported his quest to take the bar exam.

Though the court refused to let Hamilton-Smith take the bar exam, it also refused to adopt a blanket rule banning all registered sex offenders from taking the bar, the story says. The court’s Dec. 19 opinion said sex offenders should be allowed to seek admission on an individualized basis.

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