Foiled Again: Fake Lawyer Busted for Fake Lawyering Across the U.S.A.
If the name Leaford George Cameron rings a bell, that's probably because you've seen it before in connection with criminal convictions against him for scamming people by pretending to be a lawyer. His victims have faced real consequences including deportation and losing a home, as a result of his fake lawyering.
Luckily for legal consumers, Cameron may not ever be dispensing legal advice again as he is looking at a potential maximum sentence of 75 years after being convicted in a nationwide fake lawyering scandal. Cameron is alleged to have defrauded more than 100 victims. He will be sentenced in federal court on May 31, and with any luck, his sentence will restrict dispensing legal advice to his fellow inmates (and wouldn't that be a fun appeal to read -- Fake Lawyer Appeals Sentence Prohibiting Fake Lawyering in Jail).
Details of the Dastardly Deeds
Leaford George Cameron seemed to take whatever cases he could convince people to hire him for. He set up a fake law firm, complete with real fake letterhead, and took cases in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Jamaica and India.
Cameron claimed to have attended Cambridge University in London. He also claimed, when asked by authorities in relation to prior fake lawyering charges, that he "should" have been licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. However, when authorities investigated, no records were found of Cameron being licensed to practice law in any state. Cameron used state bar numbers of actual licensed attorneys and somehow managed to keep fake practicing for over a decade.
Know Thy Adversary
When it comes to your opposing counsel, unless you actually know them, it's probably worthwhile to run a quick web-search to confirm they are actually licensed and in good standing. Depending on your state bar, the information you can learn from your adversary's profile may actually be worthwhile.
For example, in California, the state bar website tells you the date of admission and whether an attorney has faced any discipline (and if so, you can see why). Also, the state bar website offers expanded profiles that let attorneys provide their practice areas, which can clue you in to whether your adversary is in over their head (in an unadvertised practice area).
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