Who can prosecute Gurus?

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Jeffrey
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Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Jeffrey » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:11 am

I got a comment a few weeks ago that brought up an interesting point. If we have documented cases of gurus giving people legal advice in exchange for money that result in the client losing in court or going to jail, who can that information be sent to to hopefully get a prosecution going?

I was thinking maybe the state bar for unauthorized practice of law, but most of these cases involve a guru in one state and a client in another state. Would the bar in the state the Guru lives in have the ability to charge them for stuff that happened in another state? What is the level of evidence you should accumulate before contacting them? etc.

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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby bmxninja357 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:44 am

did most of the guru's not teach us that we can file our own private prosecutions?

gosh, this could make it awkward down at the dennys....

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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby The Observer » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:02 pm

bmxninja357 wrote:did most of the guru's not teach us that we can file our own private prosecutions?

gosh, this could make it awkward down at the dennys....

peace,
ninj


I think the only prosecutions you would see at a Denny's FOTL Court would be in the parking lot.
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby The Observer » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:05 pm

Jeffrey wrote:I got a comment a few weeks ago that brought up an interesting point. If we have documented cases of gurus giving people legal advice in exchange for money that result in the client losing in court or going to jail, who can that information be sent to to hopefully get a prosecution going?

I was thinking maybe the state bar for unauthorized practice of law, but most of these cases involve a guru in one state and a client in another state. Would the bar in the state the Guru lives in have the ability to charge them for stuff that happened in another state? What is the level of evidence you should accumulate before contacting them? etc.


I imagine that it would be up to the government prosecuting attorney for wherever the crime occurred to make that decision. But what is the definition of "legal advice?" And how bad does it have to be before it is considered criminal?
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:08 pm

Jeffrey wrote:I got a comment a few weeks ago that brought up an interesting point. If we have documented cases of gurus giving people legal advice in exchange for money that result in the client losing in court or going to jail, who can that information be sent to to hopefully get a prosecution going?

I was thinking maybe the state bar for unauthorized practice of law, but most of these cases involve a guru in one state and a client in another state. Would the bar in the state the Guru lives in have the ability to charge them for stuff that happened in another state? What is the level of evidence you should accumulate before contacting them? etc.


There is a difference between giving someone advice and representing them in a legal matter. And if you took the idea of prosecution to an extreme, selling someone a book could be construed as providing legal advice.

And the "victim" in these circumstances has rejected the sound advice to retain an actual attorney.
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Dr. Caligari » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:03 pm

Judge Roy Bean wrote:There is a difference between giving someone advice and representing them in a legal matter. And if you took the idea of prosecution to an extreme, selling someone a book could be construed as providing legal advice.

And the "victim" in these circumstances has rejected the sound advice to retain an actual attorney.


Preparing legal documents for someone else to file in their court case is considered the unauthorized practice of law. And the authorities with jurisdiction over that would be the ones in the state where the documents were filed, even if the guru lives elsewhere.
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Prof » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:29 pm

This is one of those "it depends" matters. Context and content count. For example, providing forms of the typical "fill in the blank" variety is not the practice of law-- otherwise, lots of printing companies would be under "cease and desist" orders. "LegalZoom" and similar form and some content providers have been dragged before Unauthorized Practice" committees of local bar associations with little impact upon their businesses.

The tests for "unauthorized" practice are now much stricter and much more flexible, as I learned when I served on the local Unauthorized Practice Committee.
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:39 pm

Good to hear from you, Prof! It's been a long time. 8)
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Philistine » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:51 pm

bmxninja357 wrote:did most of the guru's not teach us that we can file our own private prosecutions?

gosh, this could make it awkward down at the dennys....

peace,
ninj

Now that's funny ninja. :lol:

To the matter of the question, it seems we've had Eric's case where the boys were chased by the real estate board and Burnaby's chief Sino whatever where the Notaries got involved. It seems you have to start with a professional association and move forward from there. The crown doesn't seem to get involved until someone is punching a little higher.

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Sorry, I forgot I was posting in the US forum, but the principle is probably the same for the state attorneys...

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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Burnaby49 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:00 am

Philistine wrote:
bmxninja357 wrote:did most of the guru's not teach us that we can file our own private prosecutions?

gosh, this could make it awkward down at the dennys....

peace,
ninj

Now that's funny ninja. :lol:

To the matter of the question, it seems we've had Eric's case where the boys were chased by the real estate board and Burnaby's chief Sino whatever where the Notaries got involved. It seems you have to start with a professional organization and move forward from there.


Seems to be the case, at least here in Canada. The notaries had to pursue a private action against the Chief because the government wouldn't do it. I believe same with lawyers. However I think that it's different with doctors because of the enhanced risk and the government takes those on directly with backing from the medical association. But it takes a lot even with doctors leaving a lot of leeway for the alternate-medicine quacks.
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby bmxninja357 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:15 am

One would think you would go after them using a lawsuit, possibly class action. All you need is proof the goods or services are actually useless and that the seller knew, or ought to have known the product or service was not only defective but also dangerous. Yet marketed them anyway. Think treadeau in the alternative medicine racket or the wire bracelets. Same legal theory. Only this causes more harm than a piece of aircraft cable with two copper balls on the ends.

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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby notorial dissent » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:58 am

The problem, is that while for every Trudeau,who I happen to not think got anywhere near what he deserved, there are the ones who it would be pointless to go after since they've already spent it. The other problem with going the civil route is that in order to get there you have to find one of their "victims" who will admit to having been victimized, and then there is the whole sort of trying to cheat someone, the taxman, etc thing that just makes it real hard to get any of them to do so. That and the vast majority of the "victims" aren't all that bright to begin with, couldn't really afford to go to court, and the whole admitting they were scammed bit is a problem for them. They are rather like the prosperity suckers, it hasn't happened in umpteen years, it isn't NEVER EVER going to happen, but they have faith and nothing you can say to them changes that. They will continue being bone headedely stupid and faithful to the end.
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Jeffrey » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:20 pm

Dr. Caligari wrote:Preparing legal documents for someone else to file in their court case is considered the unauthorized practice of law. And the authorities with jurisdiction over that would be the ones in the state where the documents were filed, even if the guru lives elsewhere.


So I would have to contact authorities in each state where the Guru had clients and send them the pertinent information?

Where's the line crossed? If it's a federal criminal case and the Guru was paid in exchange for helping draft documents and file lawsuits, can that be acted upon?

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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby wserra » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:17 pm

Jeffrey wrote:So I would have to contact authorities in each state where the Guru had clients and send them the pertinent information?


Basically yes. Unless you could get the feds interested, which is not likely. Especially if the guru in question is not drinking his/her own Koolaid.

Where's the line crossed? If it's a federal criminal case and the Guru was paid in exchange for helping draft documents and file lawsuits, can that be acted upon?


Can it be? Sure. Will it be? Maybe, maybe not. LE tends to view stuff like this as victimless, since the person whom the guru was helping was trying to get over. If the victims were little old ladies and retired parsons, that would pique their interest.
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby Jeffrey » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:33 am

To use an example you recently gave, would you even bother trying to report the Mark Edwards / Marc Stevens situation?

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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby SteveUK » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:45 pm

Look, we all know that if you need a reputable prosecutor - there's only one place to turn!


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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby wserra » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:47 pm

Jeffrey wrote:To use an example you recently gave, would you even bother trying to report the Mark Edwards / Marc Stevens situation?


Nope.
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby pigpot » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:19 pm

wserra wrote:
Jeffrey wrote:To use an example you recently gave, would you even bother trying to report the Mark Edwards / Marc Stevens situation?


Nope.


Marc Stevens case... Which would that one be?
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Re: Who can prosecute Gurus?

Postby wserra » Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:37 pm

"A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
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