Saturday, October 24, 2009

Judge Puts Kibosh on Ghostwriting Paralegal Felon

A Nevada defendant in a federal lawsuit has been firmly reprimanded by U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley for allegedly having a “ghostwriter” with no law license prepare some of his court documents, which constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the ghostwriter in question, James Kimsey, is a self-described paralegal for “high-powered lawyers” in Las Vegas. Like the defendant, Rick Rizzolo, he’s also a convicted felon. Kimsey’s prior convictions include the unauthorized practice of law, so he appears to have some experience in this area.

Felons aren’t supposed to fraternize with each other without the permission of their probation officers, but Rizzolo’s new attorney says he had permission to associate with Kimsey. Just to make sure, the Court is sending a copy of its order to the U.S. Parole and Probation department.

It looks like Rizzolo’s decision to try a ghostwriter instead of a licensed attorney might have cost him more money in the long run, since the Court ordered him to pay the plaintiffs' “reasonable attorney fees and costs” – which the plaintiffs' attorneys claim are in the neighborhood of $260,000.00 to respond to “frivolous motions” filed by Rizzolo and Kimsey.

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