The U.S. Department of Justice’s top attorney for environmental issues apologized to a federal court for practicing law with a lapsed bar license.
Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division Jeffrey B. Clark wrote a letter to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after Clark’s name appeared on the federal government’s filing of a case challenging the state of California’s regulations for vehicle emissions while his bar license had lapsed.
Clark said his D.C. bar license was placed on inactive status Oct. 1, 2019 after not paying yearly dues.
He said he paid the dues and a $280 penalty fee once he found about his status on Dec. 9.
Clark said the D.C. Bar did not have his correct address on file. D.C. Bar rules state that lawyers need to update their address within 30 days of any change.
Clark joined the Justice Department on Nov. 1, 2018 after working at the Washington, D.C. office of international law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He said the firm paid for his license in past years.
Clark’s name appeared on Department of Justice filings made in defense of the Trump administration’s proposed nationwide fuel economy and emission standards for cars and light trucks.
The state of California and 22 other states filed lawsuits to be able to establish their own, stricter emissions standards.