According to the Alabama State Bar Association, former Mobile County Circuit Court Judge Herman Thomas is making his third attempt to have his law license reinstated since being indicted on sex abuse charges in 2009.
Prior to his exit from the bench in 2007, Thomas was accused of arranging prisoners to be delivered to his office in Government Plaza where he was said to engage in “spanking” them while their pants and underwear were removed.
Though it took two years, the former judge was eventually indicted on 14 charges of sex abuse, attempted sodomy and assault. He was ultimately acquitted, but Thomas still faced two separate disbarments from the ASBA.
During hearings on those matters, records show Thomas admitted to spanking multiple young men, but claimed he never spanked any of those who testified against him. A second disbarment was issued by the disciplinary board after Thomas was found to have practiced law with a suspended license after his indictment was unsealed.
The incidents occurred in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Under Alabama law, attorneys are allowed to appeal their disbarments, which Thomas attempted to do in November 2010 and again last March.
Both of those attempts were unsuccessful, with the disciplinary board concluding just a year ago that Thomas “failed to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he has the moral qualifications to practice law” in Alabama. The board also said Thomas failed to prove his return to law wouldn’t be “detrimental to the integrity and standing of the Bar or subversive to the public interest.”
Those rulings don’t seem to have deterred Thomas, though, as the former judge has once again appealed his standing disbarment. A legal notice in the Press-Register is said to have announced the third attempt at an appeal, though Lagniappe has not been able to confirm it.
However, Kelley Lee, a digital communications manager with ASBA, told Lagniappe June 29 that “Thomas has applied for reinstatement.” However, she said a hearing on his petition had not yet been scheduled.
In accordance with Alabama’s Rules of Civil Procedure, an attorney must wait at least a year to the day after having an appeal denied before again petitioning the bar for reinstatement. After Thomas’ denial in May 2015, the timeline for his most recent attempt appears to be right on schedule.