If a person is convicted of drunk driving, one solution is to take his license away. But what do you do the next time he's caught driving drunk? Do you give him back his license temporarily, so it can be taken away again?
You can't take a license away from someone who doesn't have one, so, obviously, there'd have to be some other penalty.
If a teacher, a plumber, a physician, or some other licensed professional were found to be incompetent or acting unethically, one solution might be to take the license away.
But what if it were discovered that that same teacher, plumber, physician, or what-have-you was practicing as a licensed professional without bothering to obtain a license in the first place?
What do you do with a guy like Robert Sanderson?
Sanderson's a St. Louis attorney who is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Indiana. That is to say, he was licensed to practice law in Indiana until last July, when his license was suspended for reasons not made public. As of yet, he retains his Missouri license.
What he doesn't have, and never had, is a license to practice law in Illinois.
That didn't stop him, not at all. Over an eight-year period, the audacious Mr. Sanderson entered his appearance in 3,081 asbestos cases in Madison County. It wasn't a simple oversight, or a onetime error.
Maybe it was that 3,081st case that caught their eye, or maybe they'd been wondering about him for a while. In any case, last May, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission lodged a complaint against Sanderson, and last week the Illinois Supreme Court disbarred him.
Of course, you can't take a license away from someone who doesn't have one, so, presumably, other disciplinary measures will follow. Missouri law license disbarment would be a good start.