Is San Diego Lawyer Mary Frances Prevost Unhinged?

JoAnne Musick is not only a contributing writer at Fault Lines, but the past-president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, maybe the best local criminal defense bar association in the nation.  So when a Houston lawyer, Brian Roberts, found that a post he wrote had been reposted without permission, JoAnne stood up for him, because that’s what honest lawyers do for other honest lawyers.

A lawyer stealing a post? Not exactly a new phenomenon. But there is a secondary phenomenon which takes a disgraceful situation and makes it worse.  There are two choices when a lawyer is caught red-handed stealing someone else’s posts. You can apologize for being a worthless scoundrel who lacks the capacity to write for herself, or you can be Mary Frances Prevost.


Well sure, lots of people who lack the minimal competence to produce writing of their own steal the efforts of others to slime the internet with other people’s thoughts. And even though it’s wrong with attribution to lift a post wholesale, the problem is compounded when the claim that there was attribution isn’t true either.  But then, Prevost’s history with plagiarism is nothing new.

And did this nasty little woman really call JoAnne “stupid girl”?  Indeed she did. And worse. This was just the beginning of her “mean girls” effort. After all, get caught dirty so why not let the “real you” out?


Apparently, Prevost sees herself as an important person on the twitters, and dismisses JoAnne as a “girl no one follows.”  But that’s one small bit of Prevost’s dive into the cesspool. Its gets more bizarre, accusing JoAnne of being a “Trumpster”?!?


Could this just be some sort of inexplicably inane joke? Well, no.


Not that I’m qualified to diagnose a diseased mind, but this appears to be a full-blown psychotic breakdown,

It’s bad enough that Prevost is one of those scummy lawyers who scrape other people’s content to make up for their own inadequacies. That’s bad, very bad. And the lack of integrity reflected by her conduct isn’t about lawyer marketing, but about a lawyer for whom honesty and ethics is meaningless.

But when a lawyer behaves like some sick psycho stalker, in a dark room in search of another person’s personal photographs to use on twitter to attack her appearance, to manufacture some insanely irrational connection to a political candidate and post it on social media, there appears to be a very serious need for her character and fitness to be challenged.

Mary Frances Prevost gives every appearance of being psychologically unhinged, incapable of distinguishing reality from whatever twisted fantasy is sloshing around in her head. The viciousness alone of her bizarre social media foray into the cesspool suggests that there is something terribly wrong with this person. Perhaps she’s a danger to herself? She certainly appears to be a danger to others.

This is not a person who should be entrusted with a client’s life. This is a person who would likely benefit greatly from psychotropic medication.  She clearly appears to have lost touch with reality.

And Mary? While JoAnne may not have a big enough following on the twitters to impress you, I have a few more than she does. I have a few more than you do too. Get help Mary Frances Prevost. You desperately need help.

And stop scraping posts too, You don’t get to steal content from other lawyers because you’re incapable of producing it yourself. Not even when you’ve overcome whatever sad, twisted demons are screwing with your head and making you behave like this. Just stop.

As for JoAnne, welcome to the world of diseased minds on the internet. They steal. They attack. They indulge in their bizarre fantasies about people. Remember, there is no sanity test given before someone can buy a keyboard. As for why Mary Frances Prevost is such a nasty, vicious, irrational and ignorant person, who knows. But while the internet is full of such people, the legal profession should not be. Your effort to be there for your fellow lawyer, Brian Roberts, is commendable. That you had to endure this flaming nutjob is unfortunate.

If there is nothing else to take comfort in from this experience, know that Mary Frances Prevost’s behavior is the coup de grâce of an unhinged mind. Perhaps now she can get the help she so desperately needs.




65 thoughts on “Is San Diego Lawyer Mary Frances Prevost Unhinged?

  1. Murray Newman

    Of course, the irony here is that with Prevost’s poor spelling and schoolyard style personal attacks, nobody would have ever actually believed she was capable of writing at Brian Robert’s level . . .

    Not to mention that for someone who seems to have such disdain for Donald Trump, she has quite a bit in common with his wife.

  2. Norahc

    And with this post you now have your next Carl David Cedar. In a year or so she’ll be asking you or lamely trying to threaten you to remove this post.

    Good to know my popcorn futures will continue to be profitable.

  3. Robert

    About the lack of attribution part: didn’t Prevost state that she was reprinting an article written by someone else, and give a link to the original article by the original author? She wasn’t claiming it was her own work.

    1. SHG Post author

      She said that. But it appears to be untrue. All the posts list her as author. This has been a recurring issue, as per HCCLA which noted her scraping, as well as others.

  4. SamS

    You need to cut her some slack. Her biography says she was a reporter for the Washington Post in her formative years.

      1. Jim Tyre

        How about that, according to her twitter bio, Mary Frances is a SUPER LAWYER? Pretty sure that trumps everything.
        (I just read through her full TIL yesterday. Wow. Just wow.)

  5. Erik H.

    That’s really something. Judging from some of Bennett’s posts re prior assaults, BBO discipline, apparent plagiarism of other articles, etc. the Streisand Effect is alive and well.

    1. Hunting guy

      I have been told that the correct phrase is, “Pistols at dawn, sir, and coffee for one.”

  6. Grock

    JoAnne Musick ‏@joannemusick
    JoAnne Musick Retweeted HCCLA
    bad form @CrimeDefense to steal from @BMRLawyer and @hccla_tv @NCDDNews take note

    JoAnne’s comment above was made after the comment from HCCLA below

    HCCLA ‏@HCCLA_org 17h17 hours ago
    lawyers, stop stealing content; @CrimeDefense posted @BMRLawyer “Beasts of Burden” without attribution or permission

    Which Prevost then follows with this:

    Mary Frances Prevost ‏@CrimeDefense 9h9 hours ago
    @joannemusick You used the word “steal” in your posts. Accusing someone of a crime is defamation per we. The complaint is filed this week

    What I find peculiar is that Prevost choose to threaten JoAnne with a lawsuit for “defamation per we” (whatever that is), rather than HCCLA, even though Prevost was aware of the previous HCCLA tweet since she was direct mentioned on the tweet. It seems she mistakenly thought Musick was an easy target.

    Prevost’s tweet is proof not only of her thin skin but her incompetence as a lawyer. I’ll allow she may have slipped while typing and hence the “we” not “se”. However, as a lawyer she should know the proper term is Libel per se since defamation is an area of law that providing civil remedy while Libel is the actual a written or published defamatory statement (tort).

    But wait, it gets better. She states:

    Mary Frances Prevost ‏@CrimeDefense 11h11 hours ago
    @ericlmayer Simply that you retweeted someone who said I copied someone’s work when I quoted it & linked it. Musick is a nut

    And whilst calling another attorney a “nut” apparently overlooked this little gem.

    March 1, 1986. Police arrested Mary F. Prevost, 24, of 2001 N. Adams St., Arlington, VA, and charged her with one count of attempted murder. In a brief hearing yesterday in General District Court, Judge Francis E. Thomas raised Prevost’s bond from $10,000 to $100,000 and ordered a psychiatric evaluation. Prevost is being held in Arlington County Jail.

    The therapist who examined Prevost after the arrest described her as “a potentially seriously disturbed young lady.“

    The arrest information describes Prevost as registered as a graduate student at George Washington University’s School of Public and International Affairs and born in Montclair, N.J. It also describes her as a slender blonde.

    Mary F. Prevost’s own bar profile information in California shows she attended the same undergraduate school of George Washington Univ; Washington DC as the Prevost described in the arrest. Furthermore, Mary F. Prevost the attorney also came from NJ and is the exact same age as the Mary F. Prevost arrested for attempted murder in Arlington VA.

    So yes, I’d say Prevost is unhinged.

    1. Natalie


      I had been amusedly following this twit war, giving props to JoAnne for bringing out the batshit crazy in her unworthy adversary – but “unhinged” doesn’t even cover it. How is this woman still in possession of her bar card? The character and fitness review board needs to have another look.

    2. Norahc

      “Defamation per we” must be the new feelz version of defamation…

      It’s defamation because “we” say it is

  7. Jack M

    Old Greek saying. I think Aerostotottlies said it
    “Can’t fix stuppidd”
    And yes spelling errors intentional folks
    Say a prayer for the demented one and wish her well

  8. KronWeld

    Is this the same person? Can I cut and paste from a CB Journal?

    From May, 2016

    MARY FRANCES PREVOST [#157782], 54, San Diego, was placed on a one-year stayed suspension and two years’ probation with the condition that she make restitution of unearned fees plus interest. The order took effect Oct. 23, 2015.

    A three-judge review panel of the State Bar Court determined that she stopped communicating with a Texas client who had retained her to determine whether she was the subject of an investigation for theft in San Diego and, if so, to represent her in the criminal matter. When Prevost did not return numerous telephone calls and emails, the client terminated her services and asked for a refund of the $3,500 fee. When the request went unanswered, the client complained to the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar. Prevost then suggested the client withdraw her complaint and wrote, “I WOULD APPRECIATE A RESPONSE since my entire future is on the line.” She wrote further letters that the client and her relatives regarded as threatening and ended one phone call by saying, “Have a nice life; what’s left of it.”

    In aggravation, Prevost committed multiple acts of misconduct and overreaching.

    In mitigation, she lacked a discipline record, has a good character and has performed community service.

    I know links aren’t allowed, but the reference Link:

      1. kushiro

        Here’s a pretty sensational account of that incident. It’s from an Oct 1987 article in People Magazine entitled “The Dark Side of Love”, which described real life encounters similar to Fatal Attraction, which was hugely popular at the time of publication:

        A Jilted Lover Says It With Flowers and a Kitchen Knife

        [Ed. Note: It would be too ironic to copy an article from People here, while complaining of someone else scraping content. Sorry, but can’t do it.]

        1. DaveL

          What floors me is that, having apparently trolled the Internet for dirt on Joanne Musick and come up with nothing more salacious than family photos, she decided to engage in an online mud-slinging battle anyway, knowing what was floating around out there about her.

        2. Scott Jacobs

          Wait… If this is the same Mary, how the HELL did she pass whatever passes for Character and Fitness in California? She frickin’ STABBED SOMEONE!

          1. kushiro

            There is a June 1986 story in the Washington Post about the attack. It mentions the father of the attacker as being Francis X. Prevost. This is the same name as the father that “Super Lawyer” Mary Frances Prevost writes about on her blog.

      2. Marc not-R

        Best part of that story is the ex-BF jumping out of the shower and chasing Prevost down “naked in a snowstorm”. This has movie on The Hallmark channel written all over it!

        1. Scott Jacobs

          I get being worried the nutty ex might come back, but why would a woman break off an engagement to a dude that ran naked through a snowstorm to chase down and tackle your attacker? Dude is a badass.

          1. KronWeld

            Ah, from what I’ve read, Mary Frances Prevost came back later (days, weeks ???) and tried to set the house on fire. That was the last straw.

            1. desconhecido

              The timeline is unclear. From the articles it appears that she was in jail and then medical care confinement from the time of the aborted flower delivery until her plea. She was then out on bail and ordered to not be present in Virginia until appearing for sentencing. The arson charge was reported as having been dismissed and best that can be determined from the online articles, the event resulting in the arson change occurred prior to the great race through the snow that she entered against her old boyfriend. According to the People article, she received six months confinement and ten years suspended. Seems that if the arson attempt had occurred after the assault that she wouldn’t have gotten off so easily.

              So, she was sentenced to six months in jail with ten years suspended in late 1986. If she served her six months, then she got out of jail, satisfied the Virginia courts’ interest in her, moved to California, went to law school and got admitted to the bar in about five years. I’m wondering if, perhaps, there was some sort of deferred adjudication arrangement arrived at that ended up with some sort of record expungement allowing her to deny that she had been convicted of a violent felony. Her father was a lawyer of some talent and, perhaps, influence. Could this whole thing have ended up being officially handled as a mental health deal?

              Her bar record is a bit “fraught”. Looks like she has had trouble keeping up with continuing education requirements. Then in the last couple years, since her father died, she has had at least two (maybe three) complaints relating to not adequately doing her job for her clients. Then there is a pretty serious problem with unlicensed practice of law during one of the periods when she was out of compliance because of the CTE deal. She also seems to have trouble complying/cooperating with investigation around the complaints against her. In 2015 she received one year stayed suspension and two years’ probation for one of the earlier complaints. For the violations concerning UPL, it looks like she gets six months suspension and three years probation — that’s pending.

              So, things have not being going well for her, for whatever reason.

      1. SHG Post author

        I’ve heard from a number of people out your way, who all seem to be very afraid of this woman. Tough people who are very afraid of her. As in fear for their lives from this very sick woman. How the hell did she ever get her ticket back from C&F?

    1. Jim Cline

      I don’t know about her look but I do get that driving cross country while wearing depends vibe.

  9. Robb Fickman

    I don’t have enough years left in my life to read everything written re this subject matter. I will say, for the record that Joanne Musick is a great lawyer and she has twice very ably served as president of HCCLA. Joanne was one of maybe a dozen lawyers who changed the culture at the courthouse.(Mark Bennett is also one of the dozen). Joanne stood up to judicial abuse and she continues to stand up to it. Joanne edits our magazine ” The Defender”. Joanne writes articles for the magazine and she does a great job putting it together.
    I cannot think of any lawyer that is held in higher regard than Joanne.
    People define themselves. Joanne has defined herself as a truly talented and giving lawyer. Another person’s ugly words do not define Joanne, they merely define that person.

    I write my own stuff and I sign what I write. I cannot fathom a lawyer plagiarizing another lawyer’s blog.

    Robb Fickman

  10. robert edge

    It looks to me like that there is a very good chance that this women is indeed unhinged in some way. Which makes the whole ensuing discussion kind of gross.

    Ha ha!

    Look at this person with mental problems! She could well be on the edge of a full on break down! Isn’t that hilarious!


    1. SHG Post author

      She could, and in the meantime, she has a licence to practice law, she smeared another women with viciously outrageous attacks on social media, she scraped other people’s content and, oh yeah, she stabbed a woman in the stomach. Hilarious too, right?

  11. MrBill

    Her Yelp page is worth reading. She responded to one negative review by apparently revealing client confidences (that client wanted to lie on the stand but she wouldn’t let him).

    1. Marilyn

      Lawyers have Yelp pages? lol Wow. If you want to see her in action go out to LinkedIn. Her spelling is atrocious and every time anyone makes a comment that doesn’t agree with hers no matter how politely and professionally she comes back with nothing but insults on their looks. She even berated a man who commented on her looks as being a sign of insecurity yet she turned around and did the same to a woman.

  12. Erik H.


    Asher Langton ‏@AsherLangton 12h12 hours ago
    @CrimeDefense serious question: have you ever been charged with attempted murder for stabbing a rival while dressed as a flower deliveryman?

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