Unauthorized Practice of Law NC

Report
March 15, 2013
David Johnson, Deputy Counsel
The North Carolina State Bar

Unauthorized Practice in North Carolina is
mainly defined by statute
◦ G.S. 84-2.1
◦ Broad definition
 providing any legal service or advice
◦ Specifically includes
 Preparation of contracts, deeds, wills, trusts, and court
pleadings for others
 Appearances before courts and tribunals on behalf of
others

G.S. 84-4 prohibits individuals who are not
licensed from engaging in the practice of law
◦ Cannot advertise as an attorney

G.S. 84-5 prohibits business entities other
than law firms from engaging in the practice
of law
◦ A business entity may not provide legal services to
its customers even if the services are performed by
an attorney

UPL can consist of either of two types of
activities
◦ Actual provision of legal services
◦ Holding out to the public as an attorney or as able
to provide legal services

Cannot avoid UPL simply by saying you are
not an attorney or are not practicing law
◦ Disclaimers are meaningless if the activity is
substantively the practice of law

Attorneys licensed to practice in other states
generally may not practice in North Carolina
◦ Statute (84-4)
◦ Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 5.5(a) &
(b)
 (a) A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction
where doing so violates the regulation of the legal
profession in that jurisdiction.
 (b) A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in this
jurisdiction shall not:
 (1) except as authorized by these Rules or other law,
establish an office or other systematic and continuous
presence in this jurisdiction for the practice of law;

Under statute
◦ Pro hac vice
 State pro hac vice governed by N.C. Gen. Stat. 84-4.1
 Federal pro hac vice governed by local rules

Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct
◦ Broader pro hac vice provision
 May do preliminary work before admission
◦ In-house corporate or government lawyer
◦ Matters strictly related to federal law
 May cover federal criminal practice

Posing as a lawyer may serve as a basis for
federal fraud charges


Former federal inmate solicits federal
prisoners for post-conviction legal work
Distributes a business card in federal prisons

Claims he is lawyer with a law degree from
“Cambridge”
◦ In response to inquiry, provides us with a transcript
 “Cambridge” turned out to be “Cambridge State
University”



Cambridge State University was an online
diploma mill
Evicted from Hawaii
Moved to Jackson, Mississippi


Actually filed a complaint on behalf of a
prisoner in Ohio
Summarily dismissed


Connor alleges that he paid Duncan $16,400
Information that Duncan has offered his
services to other prisoners

Immigration Consultants
◦ Obtained an injunction against an immigration
consultant in Charlotte
◦ Violated the injunction
◦ Submitted work authorization applications for a
roofer in West Jefferson
◦ Has now pled guilty to federal charges in the
Western District

Fake law Firms
◦ Use photos of real lawyers with stock photos
◦ Change information and sometimes names

Fake law firm website used to deceive
◦ Perpetrator presented check that appeared drawn
on law firm account to a check cashing service
◦ Service looked at the website
◦ Convinced that the check was legitimate and cashed
it
◦ Check was fraudulent

Loan modification and foreclosure defense
◦ Business located in Washington
◦ Held itself out as able to prevent foreclosures
◦ Had a “paralegal” send a notice to the trustee
demanding that the foreclosure proceeding stop
◦ Identified a lawyer as supervising her
◦ Notices came from a “Postal Annex” store in San
Diego
◦ “Paralegal” lived in Florida
◦ Recently a Durham man held himself out as a “legal
assistant”
 Took $2,500 from a woman to obtain a “verbal”
restraining order
 Took $760 from an older man confined to a wheelchair
to “negotiate” a med-mal claim with Duke Medical
Center
 Told the man he had “settled” his claim for $750,000
 Prepared a “settlement agreement”
Plaintiff shall prepare a “Agreement of
Silence” of the Action and lodge it with the
Court.

Numerous problems with “sovereign citizens,”
including the “Indigenous Moors” who call
themselves “attorneys in law”
WRIT OF PROHIBITION PETITION NOTICE OF
DISMISSALOF SENTENCE FOR FALSE
IMPRISONMENT AND FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION


Recently enjoined a woman from Charlotte
who “helps” others with defending foreclosure
actions
Claims she is a separate “body politic,” not a
citizen of the state
I AM an Article III, Preamble Citizen within the
meaning of the Organic Constitution…You
have no authority regarding this separate
Body Politic
Furthermore, you are guilty of copyright
infringement and are hereby invoiced
$795,000,000,000 ($795 billion) United
States silver dollars due and payable in full
not later than December 31, 2009.



One man appeared before Judge Trawick in
Wake County to represent a neighbor on a
foreclosure appeal
Told Judge Trawick that he was licensed on
another planet
Judge Trawick told him that we don’t
recognize licenses from foreign jursidictions
Jay Vincent, absent any individual capacity, but
as Trustee and attorney-in-fact for the vacant
office of Honorable Clerk of Superior Court for
Davidson County, North Carolina

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