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Sex offender seeks right to practice law in Kentucky

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Guy Padraic Hamilton-Smith graduated in the top third of his law school class at the University of Kentucky, but the state Supreme Court blocked him from taking the bar exam because he is a registered sex offender.

In the first case of its kind in Kentucky, the court rejected Hamilton-Smith’s bid and a move by the state Office of Bar Admissions to create and endorse a blanket rule that would have kept all registered sex offenders from gaining access to the legal bar.

‘‘Rather, we believe the better course would be to allow any applicant for bar admission who is on the sex offender registry the opportunity to make his or her case on an individualized basis,’’ Chief Justice John D. Minton wrote.

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