California Bar Journal
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Supreme Court denies rehearing on disbarment
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Although Michael Keith Brady has won victories over alcohol addiction and two criminal convictions, the state Supreme Court last month refused to give the Sacramento lawyer a chance to win back his law license.

After a trial judge vacated the criminal convictions that led to Brady's summary disbarment in June, the attorney-turned-state-senate-consultant asked the court for a rehearing of his case. But on Aug. 8, the court denied the request without comment.

"We were stepping into uncharted territory," Brady said. "I thought that I'd at least have been given a written opinion or given a chance to argue before the Supreme Court."

Brady, 49, was disbarred for moral turpitude based on 1998 convictions of receiving stolen property and auto theft. But after completing a court-ordered stint in a state prison rehabilitation center, the charges were dismissed July 2 in a nunc pro tunc order by Sacramento County Judge Gary E. Ransom.

Brady had argued that the disbarment order came before his convictions were final, but State Bar attorneys countered that his court-ordered treatment was no different than completing parole, which under current law does not erase an automatic disbarment.

"Although I respectfully disagree with the State Bar's and the Supreme Court's decision, I graciously accept it, and I choose to put that in my toolbox and move on," Brady said.

"One of the beautiful things about sobriety is we can take an honest look at ourselves and deal with the wreckage of the past," he continued. "It was by my own conduct that I was disbarred, and I accept that . . . so I have nothing to complain about."

Brady was a prominent criminal defense lawyer until the late 1990s, when alcoholism and methamphetamine use led to client abandonment, a wrecked marriage, homelessness, and finally, the convictions.

He pleaded no contest to the charges, which involved his possession of a stolen truck and construction equipment. After Brady emerged from rehab, state Sen. John Burton hired him as a consultant.

Brady served as a consultant to Burton on the creation of a substance abuse program for alcoholic lawyers.