16 Pages

Judgment of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Basic respect for the integrity and finality of a prior unreversed criminal judgment demands that it be conclusive on the issue of guilt and that an attorney not be permitted to retry the result at a much later date in his reinstatement proceedings. Alger Hiss was struck from the roll of Massachusetts lawyers on August 1,1952, and now seeks reinstatement. At the hearing before the board, a number of talented and eminent attorneys came forward to attest to Hiss's good character. Others, including a retired Justice of the United States Supreme Court and a former solicitor general of the United States, submitted complimentary affidavits and letters. The matter was duly set down for hearing before a single justice of this court, but, though given due notice of the hearing on the advice of counsel, failed to enter an appearance.