A comment here yesterday caused me to check out a website that I’d never before seen, and it scared the daylights out of me. The concept seems not merely sound, but actually quite good. It offered lawyers “virtual law partners”:
The VIRTUAL LAW PARTNER concept: Our BRAIN TRUST. Add the Expertise of Highly-Experienced Legal Professionals to break into new practice areas and/or crack the tough cases:
For lifestyle, personal, and family reasons, some highly experienced attorneys, paralegals, and legal consultants enjoy being semi-retired or do not prefer to launch an entire law firm or work a full time job. Having earned the right to slow down and enjoy life, occasional consulting is perfect. Some top experts are willing to step in to help you add new areas of practice to your law firm and/or tackle that impossible case that is driving you nuts. They no longer want to file a new case and be chained to that courthouse for the next 2-3 years.
Why not? There’s a lot of merit in the idea that JAMS isn’t the only job in town for the retired judge, and that some of us who’ve done our time in the trenches would like to do some legal work without the rigors of a full time practice. But a quick romp through the website took the wind out of my sails.
Got a criminal case, here’s what it says:
Instant Law Partner’s founder has engineered with local counsel hundreds of acquittals in criminal defense, with an astonishing record of success in defending against criminal charges. He has also over-turned convictions even after trial using very advanced techniques of criminal law. Do you have a client or someone you know already in jail? Don’t give up just yet. Instant Law Partner might be able to vacate criminal convictions, working with a locally-licensed attorney.
Wow, “very advanced techniques” is an awfully intriguing phrase. What sort of magic are they talking about that “locally-licensed” lawyers wouldn’t know about? And who is this founder who has “engineered” hundreds of acquittals. How does one “engineer” an acquittal anyway?
Instant Law Partner is a nation-wide network of attorneys both currently in practice and retired, paralegals, law professors, former judges, experts, consultants, mediators, and researchers.
Even more wow. Yet a thorough search of the website fails to reveal a single name of anyone in this nation-wide network. There’s a page of testimonials by lawyers with only a single letter for their last name, who apparently have been using this service for years with unbelievable success. One would suspect that they would be a household name amongst lawyers, given how they win the unwinnable case, but I’ve never heard of them.
While the sales pitch appears more directed at clients than lawyers, this service states that it’s only available to lawyers:
You, the Attorney (the client of Instant Law Partner) must be licensed to practice law in any and all jurisdictions and/or Courts involved in the case. Instant Law Partner only provides support services directly to licensed attorneys. This gives you confidence that we are here to support you, and we will never compete with you. We are not going to work directly with your clients or any other clients. It also simplifies our operations so we can focus on serving you. While in many if not most situations, Instant Law Partner’s experts, associates, or researchers working on your case or project will in fact be licensed attorneys, and may even be licensed in your particular State, you the Attorney must rely 100% on your own license to practice law, business license in your State, etc.
In other words, they get paid and you bear 100% of the responsibility. Well, the attorney who represents a client always bears 100% responsibility, though it’s a bit peculiar that they feel compelled to spell this out.
With so many interesting questions, coupled with the inability to find a name anywhere on the website of this lawyer who wins hundreds of acquittals in unwinnable cases, I couldn’t help but track back the source. It appears that the Founder of this enterprise is Norman “Storm” Bradford, His name was once listed on the website, along with a lawyer named Jon Moseley, whose office is the same as the “virtual office” of Bradford’s, and who gives the website as his own. Avvo doesnt list any lawyer named Jon Moseley in Virginia.
There’s no indication that there is any lawyer in the United States named Norman Bradford, though he has another business called Mortgage Fraud Examiners (the “#1 Choice of Attorneys Nationally”), also at the same virtual address. The only name on that website comes from this testimonial :
“There’s no comparison, Mortgage Fraud Examiners provides the most exact
and comprehensive forensic services available today.” – Jon Moseley, Esq.
Where have I heard that name before? A search of Moseley appears to show that he is, indeed, a lawyer, though apparently one with some curious views :
A lawyer who worked as the campaign treasurer to GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell in the 2008 race thinks that President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim.
“Yes, actually, I do,” Jonathan Moseley told TPM on Monday when asked if he still believes that Obama secretly practiced the Islamic faith.
What the search failed to reveal is that Moseley has any “very advanced techniques” for obtaining post-conviction dismissal. It does, however, appear that he’s got some darn sweet techniques, along with Storm Bradford, for persuading overworked or underqualified lawyers to send them a payment to win that unwinnable case using their nation-wide network of experts, retired judges and law professors. Any law professors want to fess up that they’re moonlighting for these guys?
On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog. Thanks to Storm for leaving me a comment and putting this on my radar, and Mark Bennett for running down some of the background on this enterprise. If anyone decides to avail themselves of this service as a result of this post, I expect a check in the mail for a third.