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A now former-lawyer based in San Diego, California, is agreeing to a disbarment for allowing a non-lawyer to engage in the unauthorized practice of law. Ernest George Georggin, who was placed on inactive status as of Monday this week, according to the California State Bar website, allowed a non-attorney, Eric Phillips to open up a law firm under his name, reports the American Bar Association (ABA).
Georggin, 68, has agreed to surrender his law license and additionally to pay $90,000 in restitution fines, plus interest, to former clients who were scammed under this scheme. And you thought filling out your moral character application would be expensive.
What happened, exactly?
According to the stipulated facts, Georggin and Eric Phillips, who is not a lawyer, formed Georggin Law together in 2010. While Georggin collected a salary from the firm's operations, Phillips was the one who managed the firm. He and other non-lawyers set legal fees, used a stamp with Georggin's signature on it to conduct exclusively legal business, and accepted clients.
The stipulation also only represents a portion of the 650 former clients whom were believed to have paid the law firm in advanced fees and in return, received nothing. Also according to the stipulation, Georggin has not returned any portion of these fraudulently acquired advanced fees.
Georggin has admitted to several violations. Primarily, this includes: aiding a non lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law, failing to return advanced fees, failing to participate in the State Bar's disciplinary investigation, splitting legal fees with a non-attorney, and committing acts constituting moral turpitude failing to perform legal services of value.
He is currently being placed on inactive status, pending California Supreme Court review of the stipulated disbarment.
Greedy associates, any thoughts on Georggin or disbarment in general? Tweet us your thoughts @FindLawLP.
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