The Ravalli Republic earlier this month ran a story concerning Ravalli County Deputy Attorney William Fulbright's long-standing troubles with bankruptcy. Fulbright is currently campaigning for the position of Ravalli County Attorney against incumbent George Corn (his boss), and it seems that in the interests of transparency Fulbright handed the bankruptcy records to the Bitterroot Valley daily. Long-ish story short, Fulbright entered Chapter 7 in Aug. 2003 after 10 years of fighting the Federal Student Loan Commission over the capitalizing of interest on his student loans. According to court records, Fulbright owed $47,095 in principal and $42,461 in interest as of Oct. 2004.
What the Republic overlooked—and what Bitterroot voters might find interesting as the November election approaches—are a number of professional liability claims listed in Fulbright's bankruptcy schedule from his years as a lawyer in California. Records with the San Joaquin County Superior Court show that then-Sacramento resident Dee Gomez sued Fulbright for legal malpractice in 2002, securing a claim of $250,392. In 2001, Monica R. Larkin (also a Sacramento resident at the time) secured a malpractice claim from Fulbright to the tune of $55,370. The San Joaquin court also lists a professional negligence case filed in 1998 against Fulbright by Alan A. Cheney, though no related claim appears in the bankruptcy schedule.
Fulbright, who first registered with the State Bar of Montana in 1999, did not answer calls from the Independent regarding his campaign or his bankruptcy status and has not returned messages left by voicemail and email.