On Monday, July 31, 2023, CBS Colorado reported that Jennifer Reba Edwards, a well-known animal rights lawyer in Colorado, has been disbarred by the State Supreme Court following her criminal conviction in 2021. The court’s decision comes after Edwards was found guilty of multiple charges, including stalking, retaliating against a witness, solicitation to commit murder, and other criminal counts.
The disbarment order, effective since June 19 of this year, marks a significant blow to Edwards’ legal career and reputation. Previously known as Jennifer Emmi, she is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for her crimes. The court’s hearing board, in its ruling, stated that Edwards had caused emotional harm to her children by committing criminal acts in their presence. Additionally, they emphasized that her actions had also harmed the integrity of the legal system.
Edwards had initially faced charges for allegedly attempting to hire someone to kill her ex-husband’s girlfriend. However, during the trial, she tearfully denied having any intentions of causing harm, claiming that her actions were completely out of character and expressing deep embarrassment for them. Earlier this year, Edwards was transferred from a Colorado prison to the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Virginia.
Despite her conviction and imprisonment, Edwards had requested a suspension of her law license rather than disbarment, hoping for an opportunity to rehabilitate herself and rebuild her life. However, the hearing board rejected this plea, asserting that disbarment was the only appropriate sanction given the severity of her misconduct.
M. Colin Bresee and Malcolm Seawell, who represented Edwards during her criminal proceedings, expressed disappointment with the disbarment decision. They highlighted Edwards’ contributions to the legal field, particularly in the area of animal rights, and her efforts to overcome barriers to equity. They argued that her groundbreaking work had been instrumental in shaping the field of animal rights law and had even become part of the curriculum in law schools worldwide. Bresee and Seawell firmly stated their belief that Edwards did not deserve to be disbarred.
Source: CBS Colorado