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Morrissey's Law License Is Sent to the Barbie


The former Richmond commonwealth's attorney had his application to practice law turned down April 26 after word spread of his troubled past in Richmond, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

"Justice Peter McLellean found Morrissey was not a fit and proper person to practise law and rejected his application," the paper reported. The justice cited Morrissey as "a talented and effective advocate," whose deception amounts to gross breaches of obligation and trust.

Before the decision, "Fightin' Joe" had worked in Australia as a lecturer at universities and mentor to the Crown's 100 top prosecutors, all the while failing to disclose his previous record of run-ins — fines, fights, jailings — in Richmond.

After being disbarred here in 2002 and having his license revoked in 2004, Morrissey eventually moved to Sydney, where he quickly made friends and became a star. The state's senior prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, even penned a letter of support for him to the Legal Practitioners Admission Board and wrote a letter to the Department of Immigration requesting Morrissey be given a "distinguished talent visa," appointing him to the mentoring post.

Morrissey made front-page news in The Sydney Morning Herald Aug. 25 when reporter Stephen Gibbs discovered Morrissey's past and his failure to disclose it when he was appointed as the first mentor to help Australia's prosecutors.

James T. Maloney, who once worked under the tutelage of Morrissey and took over his Richmond firm, told Style in March: "The fact that people of this city continue to be interested in Joe's welfare is a testament to the impact that his career, however tumultuous, had on the lives of so many Richmonders." S

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