Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sanction For Unauthorized Practice

A case summary from Kentucky Court Report:

Kentucky Bar Association v. Sandra Camille Brooks 2010-SC-00000139-KB September 23, 2010

Opinion of the Court. All sitting; all concur. Brooks operates a business, “Legal Self Help,” in which she sells legal forms, assists customers in completing the forms, and gives legal advice to customers. In 1997, the KBA issued a directive to Brooks to cease and desist engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. Brooks refused to comply and in 2004 the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky found Brooks guilty of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. In 2005, the Supreme Court held her in contempt, imposed a monetary sanction and again ordered her to refrain from the unauthorized practice of law. Brooks still refused to comply and in April, 2010 this Court ordered Brooks to show cause why she should not be held in contempt for violating the 2005 Order. Kentucky case law clearly establishes that Supreme Court has jurisdiction to sanction and enjoin non-lawyers from practicing law without a license. Kentucky Constitution § 116 provides for the Supreme Court to govern admission to the bar and to discipline members of the bar. This express authorization carries with it an implied corollary power to sanction those who invade the province of the profession without obtaining admission to the bar. Brooks held in contempt for violating the 2005 Order because her activities create the misleading impression that she is providing legal services in the capacity of an attorney. Sanction of $5,000 imposed for Brooks’ continued contemptuous actions.

(Mike Frisch)


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