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March 15, 2013 David Johnson, Deputy Counsel The North Carolina State Bar.

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Presentation on theme: "March 15, 2013 David Johnson, Deputy Counsel The North Carolina State Bar."— Presentation transcript:

1 March 15, 2013 David Johnson, Deputy Counsel The North Carolina State Bar

2  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

3  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

4  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

5  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;

6  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

7  Posing as a lawyer may serve as a basis for federal fraud charges

8  Former federal inmate solicits federal prisoners for post-conviction legal work  Distributes a business card in federal prisons

9  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”


11  Cambridge State University was an online diploma mill  Evicted from Hawaii  Moved to Jackson, Mississippi



14  Actually filed a complaint on behalf of a prisoner in Ohio  Summarily dismissed




18  Connor alleges that he paid Duncan $16,400  Information that Duncan has offered his services to other prisoners

19  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

20  Fake law Firms ◦ Use photos of real lawyers with stock photos ◦ Change information and sometimes names




24  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






30  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







37 ◦ 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”


39 Plaintiff shall prepare a “Agreement of Silence” of the Action and lodge it with the Court.

40  Numerous problems with “sovereign citizens,” including the “Indigenous Moors” who call themselves “attorneys in law”


42  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

43 I AM an Article III, Preamble Citizen within the meaning of the Organic Constitution…You have no authority regarding this separate Body Politic

44 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.


46  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

47 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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