Appeal from decision of State Board of Law Examiners denying application of Aldo L. Icardi for admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Samuel L. Rodgers, with him Rodgers and Roney, for appellant.
Roy Wilkinson, with him G. F. Baer Appel, for appellee.
Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Jones and Mr. Justice Cohen dissent. Mr. Chief Justice Bell and Mr. Justice Pomeroy took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Appellant, Aldo L. Icardi, appealed to this court from a decision of the State Board of Law Examiners denying his application for admission to the Bar of this court. Because of the extremely unusual nature of this appeal, we granted appellant's request for oral argument.
The history of Icardi's efforts to be admitted to the practice of law and his personal history, as it reflects on those efforts, must be set out in order that the instant appeal be brought into proper focus.
After his graduation from the University of Pittsburgh, early in 1943, Icardi entered the United States Army. He served for six months in the Coast Artillery and then was transferred to the Office of Strategic
Services. He was honorably separated from active service in January of 1946, having been decorated by both the Italian and American governments.
Following his separation from active service, he enrolled in the Law School of the University of Pittsburgh and was approved, on December 13, 1946, for registration as a law student by the Allegheny County Board of Law Examiners. On August 27, 1948, the Allegheny County Board again approved him, this time in connection with his application to be admitted to the Bar Examination. He successfully completed the Bar Examination given in March of 1949 and was, at that point, fully qualified for admission to practice except for the service of the clerkship required by our rules.
Without having served the requisite clerkship, Icardi accepted employment in Lima, Peru, where he also continued his legal education at the Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru, where he earned the degree of "abogado". He passed the Peru bar examination and was admitted to practice there in April of 1951. Shortly thereafter he returned to the United States and applied to the Allegheny County Board for a waiver of the clerkship requirement, the waiver request being based on his graduate studies and employment in a legal capacity in Peru. On June 26, 1951, the Allegheny County Board approved the request but the State Board denied it.
Shortly thereafter, wide publicity was given to a war-time incident in which Icardi was allegedly involved. A national magazine published an article which alleged that Icardi and certain confederates, while on a secret mission behind the German lines in Italy, had murdered one Major Holohan, the commander of the mission, and appropriated government funds to their own use. As a result of the publicity which followed the ...