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Ex-Lawyer is Abusive Litigant and Barred From Filing Pro Se

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

Some lawyers just don't get it. They think that their JD entitles them to sue anytime, anywhere, anyone. Well, the Tenth Circuit literally laid down the law and has barred an ex-lawyer from filing any more pro se actions to the Tenth Circuit.

Landrith's Pattern of Abuse

You could say Bret D. Landrith's troubles started in 2001 when he graduated from law school. The following year he was admitted to the Kansas bar, and in 2005, not even five years later, he managed to get himself disbarred.

In concluding that disbarment was appropriate, the Kansas Supreme Court found that, in addition to violating six Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct, his "language is occasionally incoherent, and, more than occasionally, inflammatory. In the pleadings and the motions, [Landrith] consistently fails to cite a factual basis for his allegations or to develop sensible legal arguments."

These proceedings instigated a flurry of litigation in the federal courts initiated by Landrith, with Landrith representing himself. We thought the first rule of lawyerhood was never represent yourself, but Landrith, apparently, did not get the memo.

Landrith's Filing Restrictions Order

The Tenth Circuit upheld the dismissal of two of Landrith's actions, and the pro se filing restrictions the District Court of Kansas had placed. Because of his litigiousness, the Tenth Circuit decided to determine whether they should also restrict Landrith from "filing pro se matters in this court."

The court stated:

Landrith has strained this court's resources with his frivolous and abusive pro se filings, which have only increased as of late. His 2011 mandamus petition and the four appeals he filed in 2012 and 2013 presented arguments with fundamental legal flaws, and none were successful. They also exemplify the concerns expressed by the Kansas Supreme Court in disbarring Landrith.

Failing to show cause, the Tenth Circuit ordered that Landrith should be prohibited from filing for pro se relief to the Tenth Circuit unless he is represented by counsel or gets permission from the court.

We know getting admitted to the bar may be exciting, but this is a lesson to attorneys in the fundamentals: speak coherently, have a factual basis for alleging things, don't violate ethics rules, and try not to abuse the system. Perhaps Landrith should consider a position in sales, he seems to have the tenacity for it.

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