Bloomberg Law
Nov. 7, 2019, 10:11 PM

Ex-Willkie Chair Can Fight Any Disbarment Bid Over College Scam

Melissa Heelan Stanzione
Melissa Heelan Stanzione

A New York appeals court will let former Willkie Farr & Gallagher chairman Gordon Caplan, now jailed for a month for his role in the college bribery scandal, argue why he shouldn’t be disbarred once he’s released.

The Appellate Division, First Department, also imposed an interim suspension on Caplan on Nov. 7 because he was found guilty of a “serious crime” under state law.

The court will hold a hearing within 90 days of his release next month on the appropriate sanction for Caplan. These include censure, suspension, or disbarment.

Caplan was sentenced in October and began serving his federal term on Nov. 6. He was also sentenced to a year of supervised release, 250 hours of community service, and a fine of $50,000.

Caplan, who was the American Lawyer’s Dealmaker of the Year in 2018, pleaded guilty in May to a fraud-conspiracy charge for paying $75,000 to fix his daughter’s college entrance exam scores.

Numerous other parents were charged, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

- With assistance from Patricia Hurtado

The case is Matter of Caplan, N.Y. App. Div., 1st Dep’t, No. 08015, 11/7/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Heelan Stanzione in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at; Rebekah Mintzer at