Real Peril of Virtual Lawyers

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. 

42 thoughts on “Real Peril of Virtual Lawyers

  1. Lee

    The only thing that could make these posts any better is if you had footage of a news crew chasing them from their office door to their car. GOTCHA!!

  2. SHG

    There’s nothing like a good ambush interview.  I was a little surprised that this post received no comments. I always wonder what that means.  Yours is appreciated.

  3. Catherine Mulcahey

    At least the Virtual “Law Partner” stuff is being marketed to lawyers, who presumably could perform due diligence. The “Mortgage Fraud Examiners” site targets pro-se foreclosure defendants who have no idea what they’re dealing with. I hate seeing a high-pressure mix of truths, half-truths and outright lies designed to get money out people who can least afford it, without giving them advice that would help them keep their homes.

  4. SHG

    Presumably? Anyone inclined to use a service like this must be presumed to never perform due diligence in the first place.

  5. Storm Bradford

    I normally wouldn’t even acknowledge such tripe, but I felt that in this case I should.

    Firstly, our record speaks for itself and our clients are highly appreciative of our services.

    Secondly,you’ve made many assumptions that are just plainly incorrect, and you’ve made comments that are libelous and defamatory.

    Thirdly, based on what I’ve seen of your track record you could use are services. BTW, great lawyers don’t make “mistakes” in murder trials.

    Fourthly, you know what would scare “the daylights out of me,” is that if I were a client of yours and you even had a blog, let alone posted two or three times a day on it.

    Lastly, You must be a “dump truck,” I know of no formidable criminal attorney that has the time to spare on a blog let alone wasting more time like you did!

    I don’t want to hold you up any longer, I’m sure there are plenty of ambulances going by your office right now.

  6. Storm Bradford

    What facts do you have to support your libelous and defamatory statements that “Mortgage Fraud Examiners targets pro-se foreclosure defendants who have no idea what they’re dealing with;” and “MFE has used “a high-pressure mix of truths, half-truths and outright lies designed to get money out people who can least afford it, without giving them advice that would help them keep their homes?”

  7. SHG

    So are you a lawyer?  Who are your highly appreciative “clients”?  Who is in your nation-wide army of experts, other than Moseley?  It sure doesn’t look like this client was very satisfied with you, Norman.

    Cut the crap, Norman, and either say something useful in your own defense or don’t waste my bandwidth.  Just so you know, screaming libel and defamation on the internet is tantamount to admitting that you got nailed.  Anything else you want people to know about you?

  8. Storm Bradford

    Scotty boy, more than happy to post whatever you want, once you post your percentage of acquittals you have in ratio to the amount of cases you’ve taken. What is it 6% or less. Also we can chat about the murder trial you blew. You “dump trucks” are all the same. Sorry to be so blunt scotty boy, but I’ve forgotten more law than you’ll ever know.

    Keep posting libelous and defamatory remarks and I’ll take down your pants and spank your bare ass for everyone to see. Don’t play with the big dogs scotty boy, you could get bit! Shalom.

  9. SHG

    Looks like your crashing and burning there, big dog. And what’s with the “spank my bare ass” comment?  Are you some kind of pervert as well?

  10. SHG

    I think the “spank my bare ass” comment is kinda sick.  You think he’s some sort of sex offender sicko on top of everything else?

  11. Jonathon Moseley

    Hmmm… While I don’t have much time to dissect your ramblings — as I have legal cases to attend to and have to get ready for court tomorrow — let me get this straight….

    You cannot get your facts straight. You build conjecture upon conjecture, mixed in with assumptions.

    But you want someone to believe you know something about the law? Hmmmm….

    I only have a moment.

    But why don’t you compare the misrpresentation of my political discussion of Obama with what is stated above.

    Would you trust someone with your legal case who so badly distorts the original source?

    http://usnavjonmoseley.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-barack-hussein-obama-still-muslim.html

  12. SHG

    Sometimes, I just can’t improve on a fella’s own comments.  This is one of those times.  Even though I don’t ordinarily allow links in comment, yours is just too special to delete. 

  13. Jamison

    I have always been skeptical of the “gotcha” tactics that some of you guys occasionally engage in. However, after reading about Storm Bradford and then seeing his response, I realize I was very, very wrong. If you need a good lawyer for the libel/defamation suit, I am sure Bradford could help you line up a good lawyer with the support of all sorts of services.

  14. mirriam

    First, I have to stop snorting my coffee out my nose. Second, who the fuck are these guys? Third, this guy has clearly never tried a case in his life. I’d like to know the name of just one case that we could look up to verify his credentials. Just one.

  15. Mark Bennett

    Storm / Norman couldn’t keep Jonathan / Jonathon from getting suspended from practice for six months with his “Motion to Vacate and Petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis.”

  16. Lee

    “Jonathon Moseley has served in many areas of politics and public affairs. He is currently Executive Director of American Border Control (formerly the U.S. Seaport Commission) which works for 100% American control of ports of entry, including ending Chinese control of Pier J in Long Beach.

    Mr. Moseley founded Shale Oil Now [http://www.ShaleOilNow.com] to promote energy independence, and is the author of a series on energy solutions. He was previously Executive Director of the Legal Affairs Council. In the 1980’s, Mr. Moseley worked for a strong national defense and against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at General Graham’s High Frontier and the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Peace and Freedom, after interning in Congress.

    For several years he was an elected, voting member of the Arlington County Republican Committee and the Loudoun County Republican Committee.

    Moseley has worked on many Congressional and State campaigns, including Christine O’Donnell’s Senatorial bid against Joe Biden in Delaware, and once ran for office in Virginia. He spent five years in the U.S. Department of Education, including in the Center for Choice in Education. Moseley also helped start a church as a missionary in Latvia and taught business in Eastern Europe as part of International Trendsetters.

    After law school, he worked as a lawyer at Larry Klayman’s Judicial Watch, working on the “File Gate” case involving Republican FBI files improperly accessed by the Clinton Administration. He is the author of a novel about post-Soviet Russia Cold Peace. Mr. Moseley studied Physics at Hampshire College, then earned a degree in Finance from the University of Florida, where he was also a columnist for the university newspaper, and a law degree from George Mason University.”

    So he’s Orly Taitz with a dick sans dentistry skills.

  17. Antonin I. Pribetic

    Perhaps Moseley will be kind enough to confirm whether he is the same lawyer providing this testimonial on Instant Law Partner’s website:

    “Instant Law Partner provided valuable insight and advice on many legal cases for my practice, from criminal proceedings to Federal Constitutional claims under 42 USC 1983 to representing a professional in administrative disciplinary proceedings. Instant Law Partner gave me a second set of eyes and a sounding board for finding the parts of the arguments I missed. They pointed out major arguments and important points that I had missed, and led me to entirely new strategies I hadn’t thought of. Instant Law Partner helped me avoid numerous potential mistakes, by giving me an extra level of review before I filed pleadings. However, they always respected my role to make my own decisions for my cases. Whenever I encounter a new situation or have to deal with an unfamiliar area of the law, I can simply call for expert advice. Instant Law Partner is like having an entire team behind me in my law practice… but only when I need them.
    Jon M., Virginia Attorney”

    It certainly is a glowing testimonial.

    Now, Moseley does make a point when he poses the rhetorical question: “Would you trust someone with your legal case who so badly distorts the original source?”

    As Frank Lloyd Wright once said: “The truth is more important than the facts.”

    Facts may not only be distorted, they may also be buried. Fortunately, the internet is a rich, fertile terrain to unearth the truth. I just can’t seem to find any reference to Moseley’s unfortunate 6-month license suspension imposed by the Virginia Bar Association anywhere on Bradford’s website. The good news is that it’s available here: http://www.vsb.org/cgi-bin/docketsearch.cgi?QueryText=05-070-1200
    and here: http://www.vsb.org/docs/Moseley_07-28-09.pdf

    We can all learn something from this important post. Some people, however, never will learn.

  18. Mark Bennett

    Nino, I’ll call your Bar Association opinion (you know that Virginia beat you to that, right?) and raise you a Virginia Supreme Court opinion.

    Moseley lied to the court, engaged in vexatious litigation (ruh roh), and

    sent an email to colleagues in which he stated that the monetary sanctions award entered by the circuit court judge was “an absurd decision from a whacko judge, whom I believe was bribed,” and that he believed that opposing counsel was demonically empowered.

    I wonder if he enlisted Stormin’ Norman Bradford to write that brief.

  19. Mark Bennett

    Of course he isn’t, Eric. He doesn’t even claim to be.

    I would have guessed “former jailhouse lawyer,” but I don’t think that’s right. Rather, “Storm” is just another ordinary conman, selling lies to desperate people.

    (Norman, my address for service of process is 917 Franklin St., Fourth Floor, Houston, Texas 77002.)

  20. BRIAN TANNEBAUM

    Jamison, when you say “gotcha tactics,” you mean when guys like me catch colleagues of ours (you are still a lawyer I presume) blatantly lying on the internet? Right? The same people you want specifically, me, to “leave alone.”

    Listen kid, take your suspicions about guys like me and go play on your marketing blog. Your concerns about what we do are really, truly, of no importance.

  21. George

    (sorry, I had technical difficulties in my previous post, mean to include these other links as well, Thanks)

    more on Bradford (Maas):

    [Edit. Note: Bummer, the window of opportunity slammed shut.]

  22. Lee

    Seriously. The gift that keeps on giving. Hope everyone is well. Hope I find time to make it back here soon.

  23. SHG

    I know. Every once in a while, a comment (and an old friend), come out of nowhere.  Nice to hear from you.

  24. George

    Just wanted to ask the reason for denying the additional information that I tried to post on Norm Bradford.

    Thank you.

  25. SHG

    Glad you asked. Three reasons.

    1. Since this post was published, the comment policy was changed so that hyperlinks were not allowed in comments.
    2. Your links went beyond the scope of the post into areas of your personal concern with Bradford and othrs with whom he was involved. This is not your soapbox. If you want to raise your issues, do it on your blog.
    3. You only give your first name, without additional identification. If you want to attack someone, then own what you say. Anonymouys pot shots are for cowards. This is true even when the person being attacked is as a bad as Bradford.

  26. Lynn Chase

    I have found several complaints about this fraudster Norman “Storm” Bradford. He is all over the bloggersphere spouting his poison and attempting to con homeowners. Now he touting this TILA win but he doesn’t cite the case. I am sure it doesn’t exist
    Lynn Chase

  27. Bob Hurt

    Dear Frat Boys:

    It seems to me a rather cheap investment to hire Storm Bradford as second chair in your murder or DUI case and see what it feels like to win for a change. Look at it this way. If you lose, well you’re used to that, so no big deal. If you win, you can keep on hiring him because winning feels so good. And clients with money will start flocking to you for help. You’ll have the dough to hire him over and over.

    I have yet to read a single cogent gripe against Storm Bradford for the services he offers. WHy bicker? Why not try to understand how a man who claims to have won over 600 of 750 criminal cases for his clients over the past 35 years has managed to stay in business without any salient complaints or lawsuits against him? If I practiced criminal law, I would beat a path to his door. How many of you can claim such a record of wins?

  28. SHG

    If you’re going to try to troll, you have to come up with something remotely credible. Otherwise, you just play the fool and everybody laughs at you. Maybe with some practice, you can do better. Just not here, as we’ve got a rule against it.

  29. SHG

    I don’t know how it would be possible to confirm, but this is inappropriate for a comment. This post isn’t about you.

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