Friday, January 06, 2017

People v. Starski (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 5, 2017)

There are a lot of ways you can go after you fail to make it past your first year of law school.  You can try to get admitted to a different (potentially unaccredited) law school.  You can try to become a paralegal.  You can get a job in a non-legal field.

Or you can simply pretend that you're an attorney.

That's what Edward Starski did here.  According to the Court of Appeal, he attempted to shakedown a lumber mill by pretending to be an attorney with a fake injury claim on behalf of his father in law.  He had filed "lots" of lawsuits -- but less than 50 -- before, and "won most of them".  He gave a variety of reasons why he claimed to be entitled to pretend to be an attorney.  None of them persuasive to the jury, which found him guilty on all counts, including the unauthorized practice of law and attempted grand theft.

Oh, and Mr. Starski couldn't even remember which law school he had attended.  At trial, he said he had attended the University of Colorado, Sturm College of Law.  But as the Court of Appeal notes in a footnote: "This was not correct: Sturm College of Law is a part of the University of Denver, not the University of Colorado."

Mr. Starski does succeed on one point.  He doesn't get sentenced to actual prison time.  Just probation and a suspended sentence.

So that's something.